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Behind the Scenes with Yuja Wang

Yuja Wang and Leonidas Kavakos
Piano sensation Yuja Wang (left) performs with acclaimed violinist Leonidas Kavakos (right) on November 23, 2014. Photos by Ian Douglas and Marco Borggreve.

We’re very excited for Yuja Wang’s return to Ann Arbor this November, when she’ll perform with the acclaimed Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos. Yuja last performed in Ann Arbor in a solo recital in 2011, when we had the chance to ask her a few questions.

UMS: You’re often described as a young piano prodigy. How do you think your youth affects your performance?

Yuja Wang: If there is any effect, I think it’s unconscious or subconscious, but the pieces I learned when I was say, before 16, I would never forget, they just stick with you your whole life.

UMS: Can you talk a little about how you put together your programs? What’s your dream program?

YW: Programming is an art and I get inspired by the menus in Japanese restaurants. Variety and unity are key for me now.

UMS: What composer or work do you find most challenging to play? Do you view that as a good thing?

YW: I only play the works in public when I think I can handle it. Playing, perceiving, understanding, internalizing a work sometimes requires a lifetime, it changes when our point of view of life changes, it’s something that stays with your life, something that counts in the end.

UMS: What’s one piece of advice that you could pass on to other young aspiring musicians?

YW: Go with the flow, be creative, transcend to something more cosmic.

Did you attend Yuja Wang’s previous performances in Ann Arbor? Share your thoughts or experiences in the comments below.