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October 22, 2007

Silver medal winner Joyce Yang appears at ULM Nov. 8

Incredible pianist Joyce Yang, a student at Julliard School of Music in New York, will perform Thursday, Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m. in Biedenharn Recital Hall at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. The concert, part of the VAPA Guest Artist on Campus Series, is free for ULM faculty, staff and students. Tickets for the general public are $15.

In June 2005, 19-year-old Yang was awarded the silver medal at the Twelfth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The prize package included $20,000, three years of U.S. concert engagements, and a compact disc recording on the harmonia mundi usa label. The youngest of the Cliburn Competition's participants, she was the recipient of both the Steven De Groote Memorial Award for the Best Performance of Chamber Music, as well as the Beverley Taylor Smith Award for the Best Performance of a New Work. Of her spectacular finish at one of the world's most prestigious showcases for young talent, she told reporters, "I'm still dreaming."

The dream continued this summer as Yang appeared with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Mann Center, the Chicago Symphony at the Ravinia Festival, the Aspen Symphony, and she opened the season of the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center. In 2006, Yang made her New York Philharmonic debut with Lorin Maazel in Avery Fisher Hall, preceded by concerts with them in Korea. She has performed with the symphonies throughout North America and in Europe, including appearances at the Kennedy Center for the Washington Performing Arts Society and the Tonhalle in Zurich, Switzerland.

Yang has already scored personal triumphs on the Rising Star Series of the Ravinia and Gilmore Festivals, the Aspen Festival, and the La Jolla Music Society, as well as at the Chopin Festival in Duszniki, Poland and the Beethoven Festival in Warsaw.

More about Yang:

Born in Seoul, Korea, Yang received her first piano lessons at age four from her aunt. She quickly took to the instrument, which she received as a birthday present, and over the next few years won several national piano competitions in Korea. By age 10 she had entered the Korean National Conservatory, and subsequently made a number of concerto and recital appearances in Seoul and Taejon. In 1997, Yang moved to the United States to begin studies at the pre-college division of the Julliard School of Music in New York.

During her first year at Julliard, she won its Pre-College Division Concerto Competition, resulting in a performance of the Haydn Concerto in D major with the Julliard Pre-College Chamber Orchestra. In April 1999, she was invited to perform at a benefit concert with the Julliard Orchestra, conducted by Leonard Slatkin. Winning at the Philadelphia Orchestra's Greenfield Competition led to a performance of the Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Philadelphia Orchestra when she was just 12.

Yang is featured in In the Heart of Music, the film documentary about the 2005 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Her debut disc distributed by harmonia mundi usa includes live performances of works by Bach, Liszt, Scarlatti, and the Australian composer Carl Vine. She currently resides in New York City where she attends the Julliard School as a student of Dr. Yohaved Kaplinsky.

For tickets, call the VAPA box office at 342-1414.

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