Yuja Wang Wins Artist of the Year Award

music

Yuja Wang

With Kevin Spacey at Kennedy Center Honors. My interviews with pianists Yuja Wang, Lola Astanova, and Cecile Licad HERE. Yuja is a sweetheart; no egomaniac like many superstars.

Here’s the original orchestral version of The Rite of Spring (which is included in excerpt format in the video above.) This masterpiece changed music forever. It is the single most important piece of music of the 20th Century. Before it, music was romantic in nature. It changed everything. Dissonance and a bold new direction ended the romantic and impressionist schools.

Now here’s Yuja much younger being taught by Leon Fleisher, whom I once saw play. Leon lost the use of his right hand, so he turned to playing just left hand concerti and teaching. Note (and learn) from Yuja one amazing thing: she listens carefully, and seeks steadily to improve. It is a very slow process for some, easier for others. You can never know everything, but if you’re willing to learn and study, and work hard at it, mastery is assured. If you have a big ego, you just can’t listen as carefully. Narcissists believe they already know everything. LOL. Curiosity is the key to discovery.

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