Genius Piano Kids

1

Derek Wang  - Boston Ma

Welcome! I am a pianist and  a scholar of the The Lang Lang Foundation and have performed twice at Carnegie Hall and on the Oprah Winfrey show.

Hello everyone,

Despite only one-and-a-half days of rehearsal, Anna, Charlie, Jingyi, Lang Lang, and my concerts in NYC and Costa Mesa CA were a big success! In both concerts, the whole audience stood up and cheered! We got called back for bows several times, and at Carnegie we all received several flowers. Unfortunately, I did not manage to get a good video for either concert, but Anna has a video up here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QM6-6Dy3Wc. I did grab several photos though, and I’ll add those to my photo gallery soon. I do have some of the rehearsal videos, and I will upload them on YouTube soon.

During the first rehearsal at Steinway Hall in New York, Anna and I, who had previously rehearsed together, managed to stay together with Jinyi and Charlie, who had also played together. Later that day, we rehearsed more in The Juliard School. Just as we were going to grab some dinner at a restaurant, we got an urgent phone call. Lang Lang wanted us back at Juliard in five minutes! Everyone raced back in record time and managed to get there. Lang Lang was very enthusiastic, though, and we learned a lot! Gary Graffman then came and gave us lessons. He was very energetic and listened to us three times! Our performance couldn’t have been better, and when we were done, Lang Lang called me and asked, “How does it feel to play at Carnegie Hall for the second time?” Out of nowhere, I responded, “Carnegie Hall is where you turn from a person playing piano to a pianist.” This got the audience very excited and we all felt good afterward. Read the New York Times’ article on this concert here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/29/arts/music/29lang.html.

The next week, Anna and I were flown to California. The weather there was much nicer than it is in Boston! We did not get much time to rehearse, but at the dress rehearsal the next day, everything went well. We also got to have lunch with Lang Lang and the other performers. The final concert was great, and we got a standing ovation. During the intermission, Lang Lang went to us and gave each kid a Lang Lang scarf! (Click here to see it) When we all went back on stage to give final bows at the end of the concert, we all wore our new scarfs. When we got back to the hotel, we went to grab a 12-AM dinner. The next day, we flew back home.

All of this was very fun (and exhausting) and we all are very pleased with the outcome of these two concerts. I am grateful to Lang Lang for giving all of us this opportunity. Back to practicing!

-Derek

 

With Anna Larsen & Charlie Liu - Rach. Vase from Two Pieces

 Derek Wang started studying piano with Mrs. Dorothy Shi at age five. Derek showed innate musicality at an early age and loved to listen to the CD recording “Mr. Bach Comes to Call”. He has performed in many prestigious concert venues and taken lessons with some of the world’s finest pianists, including Lang Lang, Gary Graffman, Cheng-Zong Yin, Yuja Wang, and Jeremy Denk. Derek studies at the Pre-College Division of the Juilliard School, majoring in piano under the tutelage of Prof. Matti Raekallio.

In 2008, Derek was selected as a scholar of the Lang Lang International Music Foundation and performed at the foundation’s inaugural concert in New York City’s Town Hall. In April 2009, Lang Lang invited Derek and two of his fellow scholars, Anna Larsen and Charlie Liu, to play Rachmaninoff’s Waltz for Six Hands at Carnegie Hall at the groundbreaking YouTube Symphony concert.

Rachmaninoff - Vase from Two Pieces for Piano, Six Hands (performed by Derek Wang, Charlie Liu, Anna Larsen). Introduced by Lang Lang, the first YouTube Symphony Orchestra Ambassador.

The world's first collaborative online orchestra performed at Carnegie Hall on April 15, 2009. Selected by the YouTube community and several members of the world's most renowned orchestras, the YouTube Symphony Orchestra is made up of over 96 professional and amateur musicians from 30+ countries and territories on six continents and represents 26 different instruments.  

Bach Prelude & Fugue in C Sharp

Lang Lang is able to make such impact and give back to our society through piano so effectively because of his unparalleled artistry and virtuosity.

As a Lang Lang young scholar, Derek feels the first and foremost responsibility is to live up to the expectations that this honor and recognition carry by improving himself professionally at the piano. Derek takes the mission of the foundation seriously and actively participates in activities that promote classical music education, fundraising, and relief for victims of humanitarian crisis. To be able to contribute to the society through the power and beauty of music is Derek’s goal.

 

With Lang Lang - Prokofiev Toccata

Sergei Prokofiev's Toccata is a "percussive, fiercely energetic" piece abundent with technical challenges that depicts the driving motions of 1912 locomotive and machinery. Using video clips of this as well as of modern-day factories, cars, and computers, I have created this video which I hope will make my recording of this piece more accessible and fun for everyone. The audio and shots of me playing were taken from the "Lang Lang and Friends Live!" concert at the Anderson School in New York City in January 2011, featuring performances by world-renowned pianist Lang Lang and three of his foundation scholars: Charlie Liu (coffeetea), Anna Larsen (LarsenPiano), and me. I am 12 years old in this recording.

I would like to thank Lang Lang and his wonderful foundation as well as the Anderson School for an opportunity to perform for a good cause and inspire kids to love classical music and at the same time be inspired by Lang Lang's brilliant artistry and humanity. Thank you!

Chopin Nocturne Op.9 No. 3

Chopin Piano Concerto No 2 (part 1)

Conceerto No. 2, 2nd mvt.

Chopin Mazurka Op. 50, No. 3

 Masterclass w/Lang Lang - Liszt  Rhapsody

 Masterclass w/Lang Lang - Liszt  Rhapsody

With Lang Lang - Carmen Fantasy

This is a video of Anna, Charlie, and my rehearsal with Lang Lang in California, playing "Fantasy on Themes from Bizet's Carmen" by Mack Wilberg, for two pianos and eight hands. It was recorded just before the "Lang Lang and Friends" concert on November 3, which we also performed with Ms. Jingyi Zhang at Carnegie Hall on October 27. We had a lot of fun playing this piece; Lang Lang was phenomenal and his passion for music is contagious. He is such an inspiration to us all! Both concerts were a great success and we are proud of our work. Thanks are due to Lang Lang, Mr. Gary Graffman, and Ms. Jingyi Zhang for working with us before the concerts and to the Lang Lang Foundation for support. Please visit http://www.derek-wang.com/blog/?p=104 for my blog post about this event.

Liszt Sonetto 104 del Petrarca

Tan Dun - Internet Symphony - You Tube Symphony Event

Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No.11

Tchaikovsky - Nocturne No. 4 in C Sharp

Chopin Etude Op. 10 No. 4

The trio was featured on the Oprah Winfrey show with Lang Lang in May. Later in 2009, the three foundation pianists took on another project together: Mack Wilberg’s “Fantasy on Theme’s from Bizet’s Carmen” for eight hands. They, along with Lang Lang, performed this piece at Carnegie Hall and at Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa, California during the music festival “Ancient Paths – Modern Voices”.

Derek remarked that playing piano with Lang Lang feels like playing with an orchestra. In the same year, Derek gave two solo recitals in Massachusetts and Connecticut featuring works by some of his favorite composers: Bach, Mozart, Chopin, and Liszt.

Piano and classical music have become a very important part in Derek’s life and Lang Lang is his constant inspiration. The Lang Lang foundation offers Derek an opportunity that integrates his musical growth and personal development.

Chopin Etude Op. 10, No. 5 "Black Keys".

Chopin Etude Op.10 No. 3 "Tristesse".

With Lang Lang - Chopin Fantaisie Impromptu

Chopin Mazurka Op. 50, No. 3

Chopin Concerto No. 2 - 1st mvt (part 2)

Concert Bo. 2 - 3rd mvt

On March 2, Lang Lang gave Anna Larsen and me a masterclass at M. Steinert & Sons in Boston as young scholars of The Lang Lang Foundation ( http://www.thelanglangfoundation.org ). I played Hungarian Rhapsody No. 11 by Liszt. I recorded this piece earlier in January, but after learning so much from Lang Lang, I continued to play this piece and have made many improvements. I will make another recording of this piece soon. This is part 1 of 5.

Masterclass w/Lang Lang - Liszt  Rhapsody

 Masterclass w/Lang Lang - Liszt  Rhapsody

 Masterclass w/Lang Lang - Liszt  Rhapsody

Chopin Nocturne Op. 9 No. 3

Brahms Rhapsody Op. 79 No. 2

You Tube Symphony @ Carnegie - Rachmaninov Waltz for six hands.

Anna Larsen, Charlie Liu and I perform Rachmaninoff's Waltz for Six Hands at Carnegie Hall for the YouTube Symphony event. We performed this as students of Lang Lang's foundation. We would like to thank Elena Rossman, Gary Graffman, Yuja Wang, Jeremy Denk, and Michael Tilson Thomas for giving us lessons and helping us to put this piece together in the past few days. We would also like to thank Lang Lang, his foundation, and YouTube for giving us this opportunity.

Moszkowski Etude No. 6

Mendelssohn - Spinnerlied