GRANVILLE, Ohio—The 31st season of Denison University’s Vail Series opens with superlative and renowned pianist Yuja Wang at 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7, in Swasey Chapel (200 Chapel Drive). A limited number of tickets may be offered for sale to the general public at $15 if space allows. Details will be posted at www.vailseries.org or call 740-587-6557.
The exuberant young pianist is widely recognized for her playing that, according to The New York Times, “seems to have everything: speed, flexibility, pianistic thunder and interpretive nuance.” Her performances have been described as remarkable for their sensitivity, fluidity and virtuosity, as well as a technique that is not only “flawless” but “effortless.” Wang has been praised for her authority over the most complex technical demands of the repertoire, the depth of her musical insight, as well as her fresh interpretations and graceful, charismatic stage presence.
Wang, now 24 years old, first ascended the steps to the Swasey stage in 2004. This year’s performance marks her sixth captivating visit to Denison, just prior to her solo debut at Carnegie Hall. In addition to her appearances at Denison, Wang has performed with many of the world’s prestigious orchestras including the Baltimore Symphony, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Houston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony, New World Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony.
The evening’s repertoire delivers a romp across Europe with composers representing countries from Russia to Spain, including Ravel, Debussy and Albéniz. The technically challenging program includes Rachmininoff’s Étude-tableau, op. 39; Beethoven’s Sonata no. 13 in E-flat major, op. 27, known as the “Quasi una fantasia” or “Almost a Fantasy”; and Alexander Scriabin’s Sonata no. 5, op. 53, which has been described as the most difficult piece in the entire piano repertory.
The Vail Series will continue its 31st season with performances by the Munich Symphony Orchestra and Gloriae Del Cantores on Thursday, Oct. 27; the premiere North American performance of dancer Dada Masilo on Friday, Feb. 3; and chamber orchestra The Knights on Wednesday, April 11.
Endowed by a generous gift from the late Mary and Foster McGaw in honor of Jeanne Vail, class of 1946, the Vail Series brings to Denison the world’s premier performers, as well as new musical talents, enriching the artistic experience of the entire Denison community. During the series’ 31 years at Denison, such extraordinary talents as Joshua Bell, Renée Fleming, Mark O’Connor, Itzhak Perlman, Wynton Marsalis, Leontyne Price, Dizzy Gillespie, Emanuel Ax, Béla Fleck, Bobby McFerrin, and, of course, Yo-Yo Ma, have graced the stage of Swasey Chapel.