Tianwa Yang


The young Chinese violinist Tianwa Yang is a rising star and has been described by critics as ‘the strongest young violinist, far and wide’ (Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonnatgszeitung) and ‘one of the most sensational violin talents of the new century’ (MusicWeb-International). According to John Sutherland of the Seattle Times, ‘this young woman could outplay the devil’. According to a critic at theFrankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Yang has ‘arrived at the top, in the small top group of the world’s best violin virtuosos. Yang is a Naxos recording artist based in Germany and a multiple-time winner of the ECHO Klassik award.

Yang was born in the Chinese capital of Beijing in 1987. The child prodigy began playing the violin at the age of four, demonstrating remarkable skill. Within a number of years, she had already won six competitions. At just 10 years old, Yang was accepted as a student of Lin Yaoji at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. After just one year of study with Yaoji, Yang was being praised as ‘a Pride of China’ by Hong Kong media. At the age of 13, she became the youngest artist ever to release Paganini’s24 Caprices. Yang travelled to Germany to study chamber music after being awarded a scholarship by the German Academic Exchange Service in 2003. This also marked the beginning of her European career. She still resides in Germany. Throughout her career, she has been gratefully supported and influenced by, not only Yaoji, but also Jörg-Wolfgang Jahn and Anner Bylsma.

Yang has appeared with many major orchestras world-wide, including the symphony orchestras of Detroit, Edmonton, Seattle, Baltimore, Nashville, Kansas City, Pacific, Toledo, SWR Baden-Baden Freiburg and New Zealand, along with the philharmonic orchestras of Hong Kong, Malaysia, Buffalo, the BBC, Deutsche Radio, Erfurt, Helsinki, Warsaw and Royal Liverpool. She has also performed with the MDR-Sinfonieorchester-Leipzig, Bayerisches Staatsorchester, Orchestre National d'Île de France,Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hong Kong Sinfonietta. Yang has appeared at a number of festivals including the Ravinia Festival, Virginia Arts Festival and the Schwetzinger Festival.

Upcoming performances include debut appearances with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, The Florida Orchestra, the Guerzenich Orchestra in Cologne and the Vancouver and Winnipeg Symphonies.

Yang has performed under prestigious conductors such as Marc Albrecht, Andreas Delfs,JoAnn Falletta, Giancarlo Guerrero, Günther Herbig, Yoel Levi, Carlos Miguel Prieto,Gerard Schwarz and Vassily Sinaisky.

Yang’s live concerts have been broadcast from the Schwetzingen Festival, the SWR Stuttgart, the Montpellier Festival (Radio France) and from the Berlin Philharmonic Hall (Deutschlandradio).

Yang’s most recent recording is of violin concertos from Édouard Lalo and Joan Manén (2016) with the Barcelona Symphony and the Catalonia National Orchestra. She announced in March 2017 that this recording received the quarterly prize of the German record critics (Deutsche Schallplattenkritik). In addition, her album received the ‘Star of the Month’ in the Fono Forum in December 2016.

Other recent recordings are of Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Violin Concertos (2015), which she recorded with the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden and Freiburg and the complete Solo Sonatas byEugène Ysaÿe (2014), which won numerous awards. Her recording of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concertos (2013) was also highly praised, leading MusicWeb-International to hail her as ‘one of the best new violinists of the new century’ and the German Record Critics to award her their Annual Prize in 2014. Earlier recordings include the eight-disc set of the Complete Works for Violin byPablo de Sarasate (2013) and the Complete Works for Violin and Piano byWolfgang Rihm (2012). David Hurwitz of Classics Todaydescribed Yang as a ‘sensationally talented violinist’ after listening to her recordings of Sarasate’s violin works, for whichAll Things Strings complimented her ‘stunning effortless virtuosity’ and ‘uncanny affinity for Spanish music’. Other praise from the Sarasate album includes comments from American Record Guide, which described her as ‘an unquestioned master of the violin’ andFanfare, which claims she ‘rises above her competition’.

Additional recordings include Piazzolla’s Las 4 Estaciones Porteñas with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and the Vivaldi/PiazzollaEight Seasons with her own ensemble, ensemble Tianwa Yang.

Yang is Professor of Violin in Switzerland at the University of the Arts in Bern. She performs on a Guarneri del Gesu violin from 1730, which is on loan from Kei Mei Rin from Singapore. In 2016 she founded the chamber music festival MEETINGS, which was met with much enthusiasm. The festival took place again in August 2017 in Kassel under the heading ‘Do you love Brahms?’.

Yang has already received many awards during her short career, including the Volkswagen Foundation prize ‘Star of Tomorrow’ by conductorSeiji Ozawa and the 2006 Prix Montblanc. In 2014 she was award the coveted ECHO Klassik Award for ‘Best Up-and-Coming Artist’ and in 2015 for ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’.