photo: Jordan Wood

Praised by Fanfare as “a first-rate pianist who isn’t afraid of challenges,” Chinese-American Pianist Clara Yang has performed in notable venues such as Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall (New York), Auditorio Nacional de Musica (Madrid), Forbidden City Concert Hall (Beijing), Chiesa dell’Addolorata (Italy), the Seymour Centre (Sydney), the Barclay Theater (Irvine, CA), Kodak Hall at the Eastman Theater (Rochester), the Sunset Center (Carmel, CA), Memorial Hall (Chapel Hill), Meymandi Concert Hall (Raleigh), and on series such as Carolina Performing Arts, Dame Myra Hess (Chicago Cultural Center), and Museu d’Història de Barcelona. She is currently Associate Professor of Music and Head of Keyboard Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Besides performing the traditional repertoire, Yang is also an avid contemporary and new music interpreter. The distinguished composer Chen Yi composed the piano concerto Four Spirits for her. Yang performed the U.S. premiere of the concerto with the distinguished conductor Maestro Long Yu (余隆) leading the China Philharmonic Orchestra (中国爱乐乐团) in the Carolina Performing Arts series. She performed the world premiere of this work with the China Philharmonic in the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing. In addition, she performed Philip Glass’s etudes alongside the composer himself, Timo Andres, and other renowned artists in the Glass at 80 Festival in 2017. She recorded Lee Weisert’s Érard, which was written for her, for Weisert’s album Wild Arc on the New Focus label. Yang served on the Artist Panel for New Music USA in 2015. 

Concert highlights as a concerto soloist include performances with renowned conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Long Yu, Huang Yi, Josep Caballe Domenech, Jeff Tyzik, Carl St. Clair, Tonu Kalam, Grant Llewelyn, George Jackson, and Laura Jackson. She has soloed with the European Union Youth Orchestra, the China Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sichuan Symphony Orchestra, Banda Sinfónica Municipal de Madrid, the Eastman Philharmonia, the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, the North Carolina Symphony, and the Charlottesville Symphony Orchestra, among others. In addition, she has performed with acclaimed artists such as Aaron Diehl, Joélle Harvey, and Lucia Lucas.

Her solo album Folding Time (Albany Records) won a Global Music Awards Gold Medal and received rave reviews from FanfareNew York Arts, and American Record Guide. It was chosen as one of the Best of 2016 by American Record Guide. She has also recorded a cello-piano duo album titled Grieg and Prokofiev (Albany Records) with Los Angeles Opera cellist Helen Zheng Altenbach. Her albums and performances have been aired on ABC Classic FM in Australia and New Zealand, 98.7 WFMT Chicago, and many other major radio stations across the United States.

Yang received her D.M.A. in piano performance at the Eastman School of Music, where she was a student of Nelita True. She studied with Claude Frank at the Yale School of Music (M.M., Artist Diploma) and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Southern California as a student of John Perry.


Mother Tales

Release Date: December 8, 2023
Catalog Number: NV6581
20th Century
21st Century
Against the backdrop of the pandemic, violinist Sunmi Chang and pianist Clara Yang embarked on this meaningful project. MOTHER TALES is an album that pays tribute to four remarkable women composers – Florence Price, Gabriela Lena Frank, Liliya Ugay, and Amy Beach. Notably, the album shares the same title as Liliya Ugay’s commissioned work, an exquisite and heartwarming piece that reflects on motherhood. However, in this project, the concept of a “mother” transcends biological boundaries, encompassing all those who have had a profound influence and nurturing presence in the lives of others.