Yuja Wang (pictured) is one of the most gifted classical pianists in the world. (Photo/Chen Chii-quan)
At 24, she is already a household name in China and gaining increasing fame around the world. In fact, pianist Wang Yuja has been listed as a key cast member at several large music festivals taking place around the world this year, including the Verbier Festival scheduled for July in Switzerland, a music festival at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles in August and the Proms, the world's greatest classical music festival, in London.
Following in the footsteps of her slightly older countrymen, Lang Lang and Li Yundi, Wang is yet another young Chinese pianist to emerge on the international stage in recent years.
Wang's latest album is a collaborative effort with Clardio Abbado, the music director and chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
Nicknamed the 'female Lang Lang,' Wang certainly does share some features in common with Lang Lang, the superstar Chinese pianist. Both are star pupils of Gary Graffman, former president of the Curtis Institute of Music; both of them also started their careers as backup pianists.
In addition, Wang's albums are released by Universal Music Group, the world's leading music company with wholly-owned record operations or licensees in 77 countries. Universal had earlier released Lang Lang's works.
Recently, Wang and Lang Lang have attracted increasing attention and commentary from foreign music commentators. For instance, Wang's performance was on a list compiled by editors and music critics of the programs these experts were most eager to attend. The list was published in the latest issue of Gramophone magazine.
One commentator said: "I want to see Lang Lang's compatriot, Yuja Wang, play Bartok's Second Piano Concerto on August 16."
In addition, like Lang Lang, Wang has also earned accolades from several world-renowned conductors.
The Verbier Festival is primarily a celebration of classical music in Switzerland under the auspices of Swiss clock and watch maker Rolex. Band members of the festival are composed mainly of young people who hope to learn through cooperation with established musical heavyweights. Wang is a relatively young musician at the festival, and her presence is further proof of her soaring popularity.
Besides her busy performance schedule, Wang has released several albums. Since 2009, she has released a recital album per year.
Last month, Deutsche Grammophon released Grammy-nominated pianist Wang's first orchestral album with Rachmaninov's challenging Piano Concerto No. 2 in collaboration with the legendary maestro Claudio Abbado.
Wang's first encounter with Abbado was said to be highly dramatic. Abbado extended an invitation for cooperation to Wang in 2008 after watching her perform on a French TV program.
Wang said that in addition to classical musicians, pop diva Lady Gaga has had the biggest influence on her.
Wang Yuja 王羽佳
Lang Lang 郎朗
Li Yundi 李雲迪