About this Event
26 Gibbs Street, Rochester 14604
Applauded by enthusiastic audiences worldwide for her musical poetry, expressivity, and powerful virtuosity, pianist Chaojun Yang has enjoyed an international performing career since the age of four. With her consistently exciting and dynamic performances, she has appeared on concert stages in Shanghai—her native city, as well as in Hong Kong, Taiwan, France, Australia, Croatia, Britain, the Philippines, North Korea, Poland, Canada, Italy, Germany, and USA. Chaojun has received awards from numerous competitions such as first place in the Shanghai Student Arts Festival Young Artists Competition, first place in the Morningside Music Bridge Chamber Music Competition in Calgary, Canada, and the top prize in the North American Round of Hastings International Competition.
As a recitalist, Chaojun has performed in some of the greatest venues throughout the world including the Sydney Opera House, Shanghai Symphonic Hall, and Detroit Symphony Hall—where her performance of Beethoven’s “Waldstein” Sonata aired on classical radio station WRCJ. As a concerto soloist, she has appeared with the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, the Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra, The Orchestra Now, the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra, and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. Most recently in November 2021, she performed with the Eastman Philharmonia under the baton of Neil Varon as the winner of Eastman 2021 Concerto Competition winner.
Spotlighted by the major Chinese press (Xinhua News, SMG Shanghai Television, Family Education Times, etc.) as a child prodigy with high musical sensitivity, at just six years old—at the invitation of the International Exhibitions Bureau (Bureau International des Expositions）and with the mayor of Shanghai—Chaojun visited France where she performed for 300 guests and governors from 88 countries. Her talents have also been on display at the Sydney Opera House, Taos Chamber Music Festival, Braunschweig Classix Festival in Germany, Pianofest in the Hamptons, Chopin House in Poland, Detroit Symphony Hall, Haikou Great Hall of the People, the Shanghai Grand Theater, Shanghai Concert Hall, and Shanghai Symphonic Hall.
Due to her outstanding musical performances, Chaojun has received commendations from the Shanghai Municipal Committee of Government and was awarded the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award in May 2013. She has won concerto competitions at the Shanghai Conservatory, Interlochen Arts Academy, and the Bard College-Conservatory of Music, and most recently at Eastman School of Music in 2021. She won Third Prize at the Morningside Music Bridge Concerto Competition and the First Prize in the Pearl River Kayserburg National Youth Piano Competition, where she was awarded the highest model piano as part of her prize.
An avid chamber musician, Chaojun and two musical colleagues founded the Y. Trio in 2009, performing from China to the United States. Chaojun was also the winner of the 2006 Bo De Chamber Music Competition, as well as the Morningside Music Bridge Chamber Music Competition in Calgary, Canada. In 2012, her Y. trio was awarded the Silver Medal in the prestigious Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.
Born into a family of music lovers, Chaojun’s first guiding light for music came from her father, a senior engineer who enjoyed playing numerous instruments in his spare time, and who also owned a record shop and collected many great recordings. Chaojun was subsequently trained in the distinguished Russian and Germanic pianistic traditions of Yakov Zak, Heinrich Neuhaus, and Arthur Schnabel, with teachers including Er-Yao Lin, Cheng-Zhi Ding, Ming-duo Li (student of Yakov Zak), Zhe Tang, Michael Coonrod, Matti Raekallio, Benjamin Hochman, Hung-Kuan Chen, and Douglas Humpherys. Chaojun also benefited from lessons, masterclasses, and chamber music studies with Vladimir Ashkenazy, Borromeo String Quartet, Leon Fleisher, Joan Tower(composition), Fou Ts'ong, Richard Goode, Alexander Korsantia, David Krakauer, Anton Kuerti, Robert McDonald, John Perry, Shanghai Quartet, Paul Schenly, Peter Serkin, and Nelita True.
At age nine, Chaojun was admitted to the Shanghai Conservatory Primary and Middle School, where she was the only pianist to be cited as an outstanding student for six consecutive years. Three years later, on a full scholarship, she was admitted by the Idyllwild Arts Academy as the youngest student ever. At age 14, Chaojun received a generous offer to attend the Purcell School of Music in the UK. Finally, at age 16, Chaojun decided to come to Michigan, saying goodbye to her family and friends in China, to study at the Interlochen Arts Academy in the United States. The wonderful rural setting in Michigan inspired Chaojun in many ways so she decided to continue pursuing both her musical and academic passions in the States. Among 13 offers she received from top conservatories and universities, Chaojun chose Bard College for their unique 5-year double major program, and graduated in 2019 with the Bachelor of Music and the Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring both in Piano Performance and French Studies.
In June 2021, Chaojun completed her Master of Music degree (MM) with a full scholarship under Professor Hung-Kuan Chen at the Juilliard School. She is now pursuing a Doctoral of Musical Arts (DMA) degree at Eastman School of Music studying with Professor Douglas Humpherys.