Music / Wang Yuja

Playing Rachmaninov at the Hollywood Bowl, August 2011.

The only explanation for Wang is that she must be some sort of cocky classical music cyborg.
—LA Times

Wang Yujia 王羽佳 (usually referred to as Yuja Wang by Western audiences) is a Chinese classical pianist.

Born in Beijing in 1987, she started studying the piano at age 6, and when she had reached the ripe old age of 10, she was good enough to look around for an international level conservatory. She applied to Mount Royal in Canada, but was turned down due to being too young. She applied again the following year, and despite still being underage, she was accepted out of concern that if she was turned down twice, she might not reapply when she was old enough. She then perfected her technique at the Curtis Institute of Music under the tutelage of Gary Graffman and, by age 16, was starting to play internationally.

Already seen as a highly promising rising star, she exceeded all expectations in 2007 when she replaced at the last moment the legendary pianist Martha Argerich in Boston. Since then she has played in just about every one of the world's highest-profile classical venues, and is booked solid for the next several years. She has released five CDs on the Deutsche Grammophon label: Sonatas & Etudes, Transformations, Rachmaninov, Fantasia and The Piano Concertos (Rachmaninov, Prokofiev). She also performed on the soundtrack of the 2013 film Summer In February.

Critics frequently comment on the fact that, despite her diminutive stature and tiny hands, she can get out of a piano impressively powerful notes. She has also generated controversy by performing in ever-skimpier outfits.

She has been compared to Ada Wong of Resident Evil, though she giggles a lot more in interviews.