Applauded by enthusiastic audiences worldwide for her musical poetry, expressivity, and powerful virtuosity, pianist Chaojun Yang has enjoyed an international performing career since the age of four. With her consistently exciting and dynamic performances, she has appeared on concert stages in Shanghai—her native city, as well as in Hong Kong, Taiwan, France, Australia, Croatia, Britain, the Philippines, North Korea, Poland, Canada, Italy, Germany, and the USA. Chaojun has received commendations from the Shanghai Municipal Committee of Government for her outstanding musical performances and was awarded the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award in May 2013. Chaojun has also received awards from numerous competitions such as the first place in the Morningside Music Bridge Chamber Music Competition in Calgary, Canada, Silver Medal in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, and the top prize in the North American Round of Hastings International Competition. As a recitalist, Chaojun has performed in some of the greatest venues throughout the world including the Sydney Opera House, Shanghai Grand Theater, Fisher Center, and Detroit Symphony Hall—where her performance of Beethoven’s “Waldstein” Sonata aired on classical radio station WRCJ. As a concerto soloist, she has appeared with the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, Eastman Philharmonia, the Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra, The Orchestra Now, the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra, and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.
Spotlighted by the major Chinese press (Xinhua News, SMG Shanghai Television, Family Education Times, etc.) as a child prodigy, at just six years old—at the invitation of the International Exhibitions Bureau (Bureau International des Expositions）and with the mayor of Shanghai—Chaojun visited France where she performed for 300 guests and governors from 88 countries. Her talents have also been on display at the Taos Chamber Music Festival, Braunschweig Classix Festival in Germany, Pianofest in the Hamptons, Chopin House in Poland, Haikou Great Hall of the People, Shanghai Symphonic Hall, and Shanghai Concert Hall.
Born into a family of music lovers, Chaojun’s first guiding light for music came from her father, a senior engineer who enjoyed playing numerous instruments in his spare time. Chaojun was subsequently trained in the distinguished Russian and Germanic pianistic traditions with teachers including Er-Yao Lin, Cheng-Zhi Ding, Ming-duo Li (student of Yakov Zak), Zhe Tang, Michael Coonrod, Matti Raekallio, Benjamin Hochman, Hung-Kuan Chen, and Douglas Humpherys. Chaojun also benefited from lessons, masterclasses, and chamber music studies with Vladimir Ashkenazy, Borromeo String Quartet, Leon Fleisher, Joan Tower(composition), Fou Ts’ong, Richard Goode, Alexander Korsantia, David Krakauer, Anton Kuerti, Robert McDonald, John Perry, Shanghai Quartet, Paul Schenly, Peter Serkin, and Nelita True.
Chaojun graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan in 2013, then completed her Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts double-degree from Bard College, majoring both in Piano Performance and French Studies.
In 2019 Chaojun was awarded a full scholarship to the Juilliard School of Music, New York City, where she got her Master of Music degree in June 2021 studying with Hung-Kuan Chen. She is now pursuing Doctoral of Musical Arts (DMA) in Piano Performance & Literature at Eastman School of Musicunder Douglas Humpherys.
Teaching has always been an essential part of Chaojun’s artistic journey and was integrated with her performance career. Chaojun started to teach piano regularly when she was only eight years old upon avid requests from her neighboring amateur music lovers in Shanghai. Besides Chaojun’s private teaching studio in China, in 2019-2021, Chaojun has served as a Morse Artist Teaching Fellow at the Juilliard School in New York City, where she has given weekly lessons to Juilliard School’s partner school City College Academy. Chaojun was also a teaching assistant at Juilliard where she has taught Secondary Piano classes, a series of mandatory piano classes for all non-keyboardist undergraduate and graduate students.
From 2021, Chaojun started to teach Secondary Piano lessons to students from University of Rochester, as well as Eastman School of Music. Chaojun sees teaching music as a task to help student developing and ultimately liberating their own inner artistry. From studying music, Chaojun believes that the students would benefit not only from mere music progression, but also a heathier and joyful way of living by building positive habits such as concentration in the moment, persistence with daily practice, and
courage to express themselves in public. All these qualities are not just essential to music, but also to life.
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