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International Award-Winning Pianist Debuts in Russian Program


Rochester, NY – Featured piano soloist Joyce Yang makes her RPO debut with one of the great Russian masterpiece – Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto – at the First Niagara Center City Pavilion on the Orchestra’s Summer Series on Friday and Saturday, July 17 and 18 at 7:30 pm.  Music Director Christopher Seaman conducts the Russian Spectacular! program, also featuring two popular works by Tchaikovsky.  Yang, Silver Medalist at the 2005 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, has been hailed as “a real find; she plays with poise, brilliance, and solid muscular power” (The Washington Post).

The rousing Polonaise from Tchaikovsky’s opera Eugene Onegin opens the concert followed by Yang’s appearance in Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2.  With attractive melodies and lush color and harmony, this highly popular concerto boasts a brilliant solo part, which mirrored the power and expressivity of the composer’s own magnificent performing skills.  The concert ends with a cornerstone of the Romantic repertoire, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4.  Unlike his earlier symphonies, the Fourth has a heightened sense of emotion and intensity, reflecting the tragedy in the composer’s own life.

Since winning the Silver Medal at the Twelfth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, 23-year old Joyce Yang has appeared with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, and National Symphony.  In 2006, she made her New York Philharmonic debut in Avery Fisher Hall.  Born in Seoul, Korea, Joyce began piano lessons at the age of 4, and by age 10 had entered the Korean National Conservatory and appeared in concertos and recitals in Seoul.  Recent engagements include recitals for the Van Cliburn Foundation in Seoul, Korea and in Hawaii, and collaborations with the Takács Quartet. 

Ms. Yang’s enormous talents provide a taste of what’s to come in November, when the 2009 Gold Medal Winner from the Van Cliburn Competition will be the featured soloist with the RPO.

Tickets for these performances are $20-$50, available online 24/7 at; by phone (454-2100); in-person from the main RPO Box Office (108 East Avenue) 10:00 am-5:00 pm Monday-Friday, and on the following Saturdays: July 11, 18, 25, and August 1. Summer series subscriptions also are available.  On concert nights, the Box Office will be open one hour prior to concert start.  For convenience, an additional Box Office – located at the Pavilion site – also will be open one hour prior to performance for Will Call or to purchase tickets for that evening’s performance.  Tickets also can be purchased seven days a week at area Wegmans.  A convenience fee may apply. 

This series is presented by First Niagara; the City of Rochester, and Senator Jim Alesi; and by the Elaine P. and Richard U. Wilson Foundation.  For more information on the First Niagara Center City Pavilion, visit