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Notes on the performers
23-year-old Chinese Pianist Yuzhang Li is one of the ten semi-finalists in the Leeds International Piano Competition in 2021 and a Medallist in the Hilton Head International Piano Competition in 2022. Her performance of Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 with Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra after winning the First Prize in Futian Cup Piano Competition was highly praised by Maestro Lang Lang, and reviewed by Shenzhen News as ‘A performance of such composed manner and maturity that exceedingly surpassed our expectation’.
At the age of 14, Yuzhang performed a full set of Etude Tableaux by Rachmaninov in her first recital. Now as a concert pianist, Yuzhang performs in Europe and Asia extensively both solo and chamber music. Her major performance engagements included concerts at the Wigmore Hall, Royal Academy of Music, Steinway Hall in UK, Bechstein KONZERTFLÜGEL in Germany, Yongsan Concert Hall in South Korea, and Central Conservatory, Sichuan Conservatory, Shenzhen Concert Hall, and HUAFA Performance Theatre in China.
In addition to her appearance in the recent international competitions and concerts, she has received recognitions from other competitions throughout the years and collected some top prizes, including the second prize in the Steinway Piano Competition in 2019, the second prize in the “Grotrian” International Piano Competition in 2017, the Special Performance Award in the Wiesbaden International Piano Competition in 2016, and the first prize of the Seiler Cup Piano Competition in 2015.
Scholarships and titles she garnered also indicated her all-round development in musical life. In 2019, Yuzhang was awarded the China National Scholarship, resulting from her excellent performance in both piano playing and academic study. In 2021, she was given the full scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music and became an ABRSM Scholar. In 2023, she was selected as a Tillett Artist, receiving support from the Tillett Trust.
Yuzhang was admitted by the best mark to the Central Conservatory in China in 2017, studying with Professor Danwen Wei and Professor Jiajia Shi. After graduating at the top of the class, Yuzhang started studying at the Royal Academy of Music with Professor Ian Fountain in 2021. In 2023, she received an offer to pursue a research degree at the Royal Academy of Music and began her doctoral studies.
Johann Sebastian Bach
Partita No. 2, BWV 826
The Partita for keyboard No. 2 in C minor, BWV 826, is a suite of six movements written for the harpsichord by Johann Sebastian Bach. It was announced in 1727, issued individually, and then published as Bach’s Clavier-Übung I in 1731.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Rondo in A minor, K. 511
Mozart recorded the completion of the Rondo in his personal thematic catalog on 11 March 1787; he was age 31 at the time and had only recently returned from a triumphant journey to Prague, where he witnessed great success for a new production of his 1786 opera The Marriage of Figaro, for his Symphony No. 38, and for his own solo piano performances. notes some other major works of this stage in Mozart’s life: the Rondo shortly preceded the beginning of work on Don Giovanni; and instrumental pieces from 1787 include the Third and Fourth String Quintets as well as the string serenade Eine kleine Nachtmusik.
Six pieces for piano, Op. 118
- Intermezzo in A minor. Allegro non assai, ma molto appassionato
- Intermezzo in A major. Andante teneramente
- Ballade in G minor. Allegro energico
- Intermezzo in F minor. Allegretto un poco agitato
- Romanze in F major. Andante
- Intermezzo in E♭ minor. Andante, largo e mesto
Brahms’s Six Pieces for Piano, Op. 118, were completed in 1893 and published with a dedication to Clara Schumann. The set was the penultimate of Brahms’s published works. It was also his penultimate work for piano solo.
The pieces are frequently performed. Like Brahms’s other late keyboard works, Op. 118 is more introspective than his earlier piano pieces, which tend to be more virtuosic in character.