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Yuanfan Yang - Piano


Born in Edinburgh, Yuanfan began learning the piano when he was 6, passed Grade 8 with Distinction at the age of 8 and achieved a Diploma of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (DipABRSM) when he was 10. He was awarded the AMusTCL Diploma in Music Theory with Distinction in 2015. Yuanfan recently graduated from the Royal College of Music in London with a First Class Honours Masters degree, and is now studying for his Artist Diploma there.

Yuanfan has won numerous piano competitions, including 1st Prize of the 15th Frechilla-Zuloaga International Piano Competition in Spain 2021, 1st Prize of the Prix Animato Tarnow Competition 2018, and 1st Prize and the Marcella Crudeli Diploma Prize for Youngest Finalist in the Roma International Piano Competition 2018, Italy. Prior to this, he had won 1st Prize at the Cleveland International Young Artists Piano Competition in the USA in 2015, and 1st Prize of the 4th International Franz Liszt Piano Competition in Weimar, Germany in 2014, in which he also won Special Prizes for Best Improvisation & Composition, and Best Interpretation of Works by Liszt. Yuanfan is also a fluent sight-reader, having been the champion of the ongoing Michael Abraham Sight-Reading Award six years in a row, ever since he joined Chetham’s. He has also won 1st Prizes in the UK Liszt Society International Piano Prize 2015, the Royal Academy of Music’s Lilian Davies Prize 2018 and Sterndale Bennett Prize 2015, and the 9th Grand Prix Interlaken Classics International Piano Competition 2016, and was a former Keyboard Category Winner and a Grand Finalist in the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition 2012. He is kindly being supported by Help Musicians UK, Talent Unlimited and the Munster Trust.

In 2019, Yuanfan was named as one of the winners of the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition, as well as the Special Prize for Best British Contestant after his performance of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. A keen chamber musician, Yuanfan was the recipient of the Royal Overseas League Collaborative Piano Prize 2020.

Yuanfan has performed for many eminent festivals, music societies and key events throughout the UK, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, Spain, Switzerland and the US, and has performed concertos by Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Gershwin, Grieg, Mozart, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky with many leading orchestras including the Royal Northern Sinfonia, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Romanian Radio National Symphony Orchestra, the Wuhan Philharmonic Orchestra, the Canton Symphony Orchestra in Cleveland, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Manchester Camerata. In 2022, Yuanfan was selected for the Tillett Trusts’ Debut Scheme, which will see him make his debut at Kings Place in London, amongst other venues later this season.

Yuanfan is also a versatile composer and an accomplished improviser. His ‘Fantasy in G’ for piano was broadcast on BBC Two in 2007 and 2008, and his arrangement of ‘Scarborough Fair’ was shown on BBC Four in 2010. His piano composition ‘Waves’ won the Overall Award in the European Piano Teachers Association UK Composition Competition 2011, and was also one of the winners in the BBC Proms Young Composers Competition 2011. His ‘Haunted Bell’ won first prize in the Golden Key International Piano Composition Competition in 2012, and it was broadcast on BBC Four and BBC Radio Three. He was a finalist in the National Centre for Early Music Composers’ Award 2013, where his piece ‘Crushed Suites’ was premiered and recorded by the leading early music ensemble Florilegium. In 2016, his ‘Silhouettes’ for small ensemble and ‘axis’ for violin and piano were premiered in London, the latter of which was a prize-winner at the Royal Academy’s Alan Bush Composition Competition 2016. Yuanfan’s Piano Concerto No. 1 ‘The Wilderness’, scored for solo piano and full symphony orchestra and written at the age of seventeen, was premiered in Qianjiang, China and was subsequently performed in Manchester, London, Paris and Wuhan. In 2017 this concerto was chosen for substantial funding by the China National Arts Fund and subsequently funded eight public performances with the China National Orchestra of Theatre & Dance throughout several cities in China between 2017-2019. In September 2019, Yuanfan’s Piano Concerto No. 2 ‘The Peony Pavilion’ was premiered at the Greenwood Theatre in London with the Hornton Symphony Orchestra, with himself as the soloist.

Yuanfan’s debut album Watercolour featuring an eclectic range of solo piano music alongside three of his own compositions was released on Orchid Classics to critical acclaim, including 4* from International Piano Magazine.

updated September 2022