Chicago Symphony Orchestra With Joyce Yang | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Chicago Symphony Orchestra With Joyce Yang

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Born in Seoul, pianist Joyce Yang was 11 when she moved to the U.S. in 1997 to study in the precollege division of the Juilliard School. She quickly won the division's concerto competition, and at 19 she took the silver medal at the prestigious Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. In the documentary of the competition and in her recital CD her passion is astonishing, but she also has a rock-solid technique, a deep comprehension of the music, and the rare ability to communicate what she feels. The clip of her playing Dvorak's Piano Quintet with the venerable Takacs Quartet is riveting; in the clips of Prokofiev's notoriously difficult Second Piano Concerto, which she'll perform with the CSO tonight, her playing of the lyrical opening solo is elegant and expressive, and in the more biting, bravura sections it's fearless, rhythmically precise, and absolutely thrilling. Now just 20, she'll go far. The program will also include Shostakovich's moving and powerful 13th Symphony, Babi Yar; James Conlon conducts. Sat 7/22, 7:30 PM, Pavilion, Ravinia Festival, Green Bay and Lake Cook Rds., Highland Park, 847-266-5100, $10-$45.

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