Yuja Playing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3

by youyezeng

This weekend I went to the Yannick and Yuja concert with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Kimmel center. This time, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3, Strauss’s Serenade in E-flat major for Winds and Ein Heldenleben were on the program. Rachmaninoff’s No. 3 is often referred to as one of the most technically challenging piano concertos in the standard classical repertoire. The piano soloist, Yuja Wang, gave a wonderful performance and here I attach a video clip of Yuja performing this piece at another concert. I recommend you watch the last few minutes as you can see how Yuja used her marvelous skills to gradually build up the anxiety and then release the tension at once through a series a cadenzas in an extremely fast concluding passage.


If you have seen Yuja’s performance before, you would have known that she was a very characteristic pianist, especially with her signature short black hair and exaggerated bows so deep that you worried her head would hit the piano bench. Before coming to Philadelphia to study at the Curtis Institute of Music, Yuja studied piano in China. This reminds me of another well-known Chinese pianist who is also famous for his exaggerated performance on stage. After seeing Yuja’s performance, who do you prefer?