In the upcoming performances of our programme Flights of the Angakok, Dutch piano talent Yang Yang Cai plays the role of the Angakok, the mythical Inuit shaman, while the choir sings of the spirits of nature (light/sun, wind, water) in a ritualistic-like chant. It is a role that Yang Yang Cai is very much looking forward to: “I hope for a beautiful, organic collaboration with the Nederlands Kamerkoor and I am very curious to see how the piano part and the choir will blend into an organic whole. I find it special to play the role of the shaman and hope it will be a special experience for the audience as well.”
Yang Yang Cai (born 1998) is one of the greatest piano talents of her generation, praised for her refined, aesthetic interpretation and technical mastery. She began taking piano lessons from Noor Relijk at the age of five. When she was ten years old, she was accepted into the class of distinguished piano educator Jan Wijn, with whom she studied for over a decade. In May 2019, she received her Bachelor’s degree from the Conservatory of Amsterdam with outstanding reviews. Yang Yang studies with Frank van de Laar at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and also takes master classes with Enrico Pace at the famous Imola Piano Academy.
Yang Yang has taken numerous master classes with Boris Berman, Matti Raekallio, Mikhail Voskresensky, Jacques Rouvier, Dominique Merlet, Igor Roma, Frederic Chiu, Klaus Hellwig, Arie Vardi and Maria João Pires, Victor Derevianko and Alexander Gavrylyuk, among others.
She has won several important awards over the years, including first prize at the Steinway Piano Competition in 2008 and in 2012. In 2013, Yang Yang won first prize in the Junior Final of the International Young Pianist Foundation (YPF) Competition, and in 2017 she earned the Classic Young Masters Award. On Feb. 10, 2019, Yang Yang was named the grand winner of the prestigious Grand Prix Youri Egorov in the international YPF Piano Competition; a tough competition culminating in her performance of Chopin’s second piano concerto, together with the symphony orchestra of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam conducted by Jean-Bernard Pommier.
Yang Yang has since played in several important concert halls including the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, the DeLaMar theater and Royal Theater Carré. She also participated in The International Holland Music Sessions and Aspen Music Festival and School 2018 (USA), among others. She is a frequent guest at the Grachtenfestival Amsterdam, Festival Wonderfeel, Festival Jong Talent Schiermonnikoog and the International Chamber Music Festival Schiermonnikoog. She has also performed several times on the TV programs DWDD and Podium Witteman. With violinist Shin Sihan and cellist Alexander Warenberg, Yang Yang formed the successful Amsterdam Piano Trio. She also played in a regular piano duo for five years.
Yang Yang is always looking for new ways to give meaning to musical programs, for example by collaborating with artists and musicians in other genres, and by continuing to actively broaden her horizons.