B i o g r a p h y

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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. He is a First Class Graduate of both the Royal Academy of Music, and the Royal College of Music in London, the latter of which he is studying now on the Artist Diploma course as a Scholar.

Yuanfan recently became the 1st Prize and Audience Prize winner of the prestigious Casagrande International Piano Competition in Italy, in September 2022. Prior to this, Yuanfan achieved 1st Prizes in: the 15th Frechilla-Zuloaga International Piano Competition in Spain 2021, the Prix Animato Tarnow Competition 2018, and the Roma International Piano Competition 2018, Italy, as well as 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. Most recently, his Piano Concerto No. 3 in Five Movements and solo piano piece ‘Petite Partita’ won 1st Prize and Gold Medal of the Rachmaninoff International Music Competition – composition category. October 2022 saw a concert at St John’s Smith Square in London devoted almost entirely to his own music, featuring the Berlin Metropolitan Orchestra and including the world premiere of selections from his new Piano Concerto No. 4, as well as movements from his Piano Concerto No. 3, some solo piano music and songs.

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 Inspire 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 October 2022. Shorter biography available on request.

To contact Yuanfan, please visit the 'Contact' page.

 

 

“...exceptionally fine for a pianist of any age...brilliantly

executed, beautifully organised, breathless in its

excitement and deeply affecting in its sentiments".

 

— International Piano Magazine, November 2016

​on Yuanfan Yang's recital at the Gartner Auditorium,

Cleveland Museum of Art in August 2016

 

 

“a giant of the keyboard”

 

— John Amis

Music Opinion

 

 

“[Yang's] dazzling Schumann and Liszt

rivalled those of the young Ashkenazy.”

 

— Stephen Wigler

International Piano Magazine

Selected Awards

PIANO

  • 1st Prize and Audience Prize - 32nd Casagrande International Piano Competition, Italy, 2022

  • 1st Prize - 15th Frechilla-Zuloaga International Piano Competition, 2021, Spain

  • Selected for Making Music's Selected Artists Guide 2020-2021 - extended to 2023

  • Royal Overseas League (ROSL) Collaborative Piano Prize 2020

  • One of the Winners + Prize for Best British Contestant – Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition 2019

  • Scholarship Award Winner from Help Musicians UK, and the Countess of Munster Musical Trust 2019

  • 1st Prize – Prix Animato Tarnow International Piano Competition, Poland

  • 1st Prize + Marcela Crudelli Diploma for Youngest Contestant – Roma International Piano Competition 2018

  • One of 24 Quarterfinalists selected for Leeds International Piano Competition 2018, and one of two UK contestants

  • The Hattori Foundation Award 2017

  • Semifinalist and Alink-Argerich Foundation (AAF) Prize – Cleveland International Piano Competition 2016

  • 1st Prize – Grand Prix Interlaken Classics Competition 2016, Switzerland

  • 1st Prize – Cleveland International Young Artists’ Piano Competition 2015 in Ohio, USA

  • 1st Prize, Classical Sonata Prize, Special Liszt Prize, Special Improvisation and Composition Prize, Junior Jury Prize, and EMCY Prize for Most Outstanding Contestant at the 4th International Franz Liszt Competition, 2014, Weimar, Germany

  • 3rd Prize – Minnesota International E-Piano Competition, 2013, USA

  • 1st Prize – RNCM James Mottram International Competition, Under-19-Category, 2010

  • 1st Prize and Overall Award – EPTA UK Piano Competition 2010

  • 1st Prize – Manchester International Concerto Competition, Under-16-Category, 2009

 

COMPOSITION

  • 2010: European Piano Teachers Association UK Composition Competition 2010 - 1st Prize of his age category class

  • 2011: European Piano Teachers Association UK Composition Competition 2011 - 1st Prize of his age category class + 1st Prize Overall Competition Winner

  • 2011: BBC Proms Composers Competition 2011 - one of the winners

  • 2012: Golden Key International Composition Competition 2012 - 1st Prize

  • 2013: National Centre of Early Music (NCEM) Composers Award - one of the four finalists

  • 2014: 4th International Franz Liszt Competition for Young Pianists - Special Prize for Best Composition and Improvisation

  • 2016: Royal Academy of Music's Alan Bush Prize for Composition - one of the winners

  • 2022: 1st Prize in the Rachmaninoff International Competition for Pianists, Conductors and Composers - Composition Category (for his 'Petite Partita' and 'Piano Concerto No. 3 in Five Movements).  More info here