An artist with a winning combination of consummate technical brilliance, fine musicianship, and personal verve, pianist Xiayin (SHA-EEN) Wang wins the hearts of audiences wherever she appears. As recitalist, chamber musician, and orchestral soloist in such venues as New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, she has already achieved a high level of recognition for her commanding performances.
"Even for the most gifted young pianist, it takes a lot to be noticed. . . Xiayin Wang is clearly doing something right. Ms. Wang’s recital at Zankel Hall on Monday night offered plenty of evidence for her success. Bach’s Violin Chaconne in D minor, as arranged for piano by Busoni, served as her calling card. It neatly illustrated two of her principal strengths: an estimable grasp of pianistic color and an ability to maintain and illuminate a strand of melody within the thickest of textures." Steve Smith, The New York Times, April 2, 2008
This past May, Ms. Wang performed at the new Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center. Included in her program was the world premiere of “Enchanted Garden”, Preludes Book II by noted composer, Richard Danielpour. (Book I was premiered by Christopher O'Riley on July 4, 1992 at the Aspen Music Festival). This December, Ms. Wang will record both Book I & II for Naxos. She has been invited back to the Smithsonian Institution where she will present the Washington D.C premiere of the work in March 2010, as part of their Meyer Concert Series.
Other highlights include Ms. Wang’s performance of the Ravel Piano Concerto in G Major with the Manhattan Chamber Players in New York under the direction of the estimable conductor Eduard Zilberkant. Ms. Wang also performed in recital and as soloist in California, Washington, New Mexico, New Jersey and Florida, notably at the Naples (FL) Philharmonic Hall and as soloist with the Miami Pops Orchestra.
This season includes engagements with Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra; the National Symphony Orchestra of the Dominican Republic; as well as in Danbury, Connecticut; Travis City Opera House, Michigan; a tour of North Carolina and the Hawaiian Islands; Jordan Hall, Boston and Nichols Hall, Chicago.
Last summer, Ms Wang was heard in recital at Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, in Lenox, Massachusetts where she presented a formidable program featuring Prokofiev’s Sarcasms, Op. 17; three sonatas by Scarlatti; Scriabin’s Fantaisie in B minor, Op. 28; Piazolla’s Adios Nonino; the Bach-Busoni Chaconne in D minor; and Ravel’s La Valse. She also appeared at the Caramoor Festival in Katonah, New York. Reviewing her recital at the Freer Gallery of Art at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., David Ginsberg wrote in The Washington Post: “The five steely movements of Prokofiev’s ‘Sarcasms,’ Op. 4, were unfailingly incisive and vital. Scriabin’s Fantasie in B Minor, Op. 28, was a luscious wash of color, infused with big swirls of sound. Her soon-to-be-released recording of the composer’s music on the Naxos label should be a dandy.” (June 21, 2008)
In New York, Ms. Wang was presented in recital as part of the Prestige Series at the International Keyboard Institute and Festival at Mannes College of Music in New York. In April 2007 she made her orchestral debut at Carnegie Hall’s Isaac Stern Auditorium performing the Schumann Piano Concerto and Ravel’s Concerto in G Major with the City Symphony under conductor George Manahan. Reviewing her May 2006 recital at Alice Tully Hall, longtime music critic Fred Kirshnit of The New York Sun praised Ms. Wang for her “robust, confident performance.”
Ms. Wang has released three recordings. The latest solo album for the Naxos label features the great Russian composer Aleksandr Scriabin in a range of works from his early Chopinesque period to such later compositions as “Vers la Flamme,” Op. 72 and Deux Danses, Op. 73.
Reviewing this recording for Buffalo News, critic Jeff Simon gave it high praise: “Here is a beautiful young pianist with a superb Scriabin recital. Her performances are warm and intuitive and logical and completely non-rhetorical. The result is an extraordinary disclong journey into Scriabin’s increasingly sulfurous and mad world.” (June 7, 2009)
In June 2008, Ms. Wang released a recording of Brahms’s Quartet for Piano and Strings in G Minor, Op. 25 and Quartet for Piano and Strings in C minor, Op. 60 with the Amity Players on Marquis Classics. Reviewed in the March/April 2009 issue of American Record Guide, William Bender gave the recording high praise:
“Wang and the Amity play Brahms with love, understanding, a proper sense of measure, and scintillating technique. To them the lyrical, poetic side of the composer is a vital factor that offers a compelling balance to the more hell-bent moments in these works… While the three strings are never obscured by the piano, it is Wang’s playing that dominates the recording and controls the architecture of the piece. Based on her work here is a young pianist of immense talent, way beyond promise.”
David Breckbill, writing in the December 2008 issue of BBC Magazine, wrote: “I have genuinely enjoyed their committed advocacy of this great music…” And the November/December 2008 edition of Fanfare praised the recording “The dynamic Quartet No.1 in G Minor comes off with just the right combination of exuberance and fullness of sound; tempos are well-judged throughout, the somewhat expansive first movement in particular allowed to unfold without the frantic feeling one sometimes gets with faster performances…a performance that does its young players proud.”
In April 2007, Ms. Wang released her debut recording “Introducing Xiayin Wang” on the Marquis Classics label. The recording, which features works by Mozart, Ravel, Bach, Scriabin and Gershwin received the following praise in the November/December 2007 issue of American Record Guide:
“Her eclectic program begins with the Bach-Marcello Concerto in D minor and continues with Mozart’s Sonata 10 in performances of both technical accomplishment and insight. While making little outward attempt to impress, Wang does just that, as the refinement and understated beauty of her playing – particularly in the slow movements – is of a loveliness to draw tears from a sensitive listener. Her immaculate appoggiaturas along with a touch of romantic expression clearly separate this artist
from the high level of average we usually hear from young artists today.”
Reviewing this recording for BBC Music Magazine, critic Julian Haylock wrote the following:
“Wang’s immaculate phrasing and finger-work remain deeply impressive in the malevolent waltzing of the Ravel, Scriabin’s microcosmic musical implosions, and Gershwin’s re-appropriation of popular idioms. . . An impressive debut by any standards.” (November 1, 2007)
Ms. Wang completed studies at the Shanghai Conservatory and garnered an enviable record of first prize awards and special honors for her performances throughout China. She performed with many of China’s leading orchestras and in the country’s most prestigious concert halls. Ms. Wang, who began piano studies at the age of five, subsequently came to New York in 1997 and, in 2000, was awarded the “Certificate of Achievement” by the Associated Music Teacher League of New York, winning an opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall. She also pursued studies at the Manhattan School of Music and won the school’s Eisenberg Concerto Competition in 2002, as well as the Roy M. Rubinstein Award. Xiayin Wang holds Bachelor’s, Master’s and Professional Studies degrees from the Manhattan School of Music. Ms. Wang is a Steinway Artist.
Ms. Wang is represented by Palomino Entertainment Group. www.palominogroup.net