At age 19, pianist Youlan Ji won first prize at the 2018 New York International Piano Competition in June. Presented by the Stecher and Horowitz Foundation, the New York International Piano Competition held its ninth biennial competition with the six finalists appearing at Carnegie Hall. Born in Beijing and based in New York City, Youlan Ji is currently pursuing a degree at the Juilliard School. She also won the Bronze medal in the inaugural Van Cliburn Junior Competition in 2015. Her program will include the Washington, DC, premiere of Toccata by American composer Gregory Spears, commissioned especially for the Competition.
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750)
Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue in D minor, BWV 903
FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809)
Sonata in G Major, Hob. XVI:40
Allegretto e innocente
JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-97)
Variations on a Theme by Robert Schumann in F-sharp minor, Op. 9
GREGORY SPEARS (b. 1977)
Washington, DC premiere
FREDERIC CHOPIN (1810-49)
Scherzo No. 4 in E Major, Op. 54
SAMUEL BARBER (1910-81)
Sonata in B-flat minor, Op. 26
Allegro vivace e leggiero
Fuga: Allegro con spirito
Pianist Youlan Ji, born in 1999 in Beijing, China, became the Joyce B. Cowin First Prize Winner of the 2018 New York International Piano Competition, a biennial event presented under the auspices of The Stecher and Horowitz Foundation. At the age of four, she began studying the piano with her mother, and between the ages of nine and twelve, continued her piano studies with Professor Yuan Ling at the Affiliated Middle School of Central Conservatory of Music at Beijing. In 2012, Ji moved to New York to attend the Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division, where she continues to study with Yoheved Kaplinsky.
Ji won First Prize at the Xinghai Cup Piano Competition (2008), the United States Open Music Competition (2011), the Third International Rosario Marciano Piano Competition (2011), the Beethoven Piano Concerto Competition (2014), and the Nordmann Scholarship Competition (2016) hosted by the Juilliard Pre-College Division. In 2015, Ji won Third Place at the Cliburn International Junior Competition. Ji has been featured in recitals in Beijing, Shanghai, New York, Aspen, and Amsterdam, and has attended master classes with Orli Shaham, Dina Yoffe, Dang Thai Son, Arie Vardi, and Murray Perahia.
She has performed the Chopin Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 2 with Juilliard’s Pre-College Orchestra as the winner of its concerto competition. Ji was a young scholar during the 2015/2016 school year at the Artemisia Akademie at Yale and also won a Jack Kent Cooke young artist award.