B i o g r a p h y






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 received his bachelor’s degree in Music from the Royal Academy of Music with First Class Honours, and is now pursuing his master’s degree at the Royal College of Music.

Yuanfan has won numerous piano competitions, including 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, Best Interpretation of Works by Liszt, with which he was awarded the Special Prize for Best Interpretation of a Classical Sonata, the Special Prize for Best Interpretation of Works by Liszt, the Special Prize for Best Composition and Improvisation, the Junior Jury Prize, and the European Union of Music Competitions for Youth (EMCY) Prize for Most Outstanding Contestant. 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. He was the Keyboard Category Winner and a Grand Finalist of the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition 2012 and won both category and overall prizes at the European Piano Teachers Association (EPTA) UK Piano Competition 2010. As the youngest participant and top eight semi-finalist in the Cleveland International Piano Competition 2016, Yuanfan’s performances earned him the Special AAF (Alink Argerich Foundation) Prize. He is kindly supported by Help Musicians UK, Munster Trust Derek Butler Award, and Talent Unlimited.

Recently, 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 critically acclaimed performance of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.


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.

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 Junior Group of 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 in September 2017 on Orchid Classics to critical acclaim, including 4* from International Piano Magazine.

Yuanfan is one of 20 artists selected for Making Music's Selected Artist Guide 2020-2021.


Updated December 2019. 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


  • 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



  • 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