Prof. Wen-Sinn Yang

Munich University for Music and Performing Arts

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About Prof. Wen-Sinn Yang

"Wen-Sinn Yang proved himself in terms of technique and expression as a worthy successor to Mstislav Rostropovich," wrote the critic of the Frankfurter Rundschau in 1995 about Wen-Sinn Yang’s performance of Dimitrij Schostakovitch’s First Cello Concerto in the Alte Oper Frankfurt.

Cellist Wen-Sinn Yang, born in 1965 in Bern, Switzrland as the son of Taiwanese parents, studied in Zürich with Claude Starck and in Berlin with Wolfgang Boettcher, later participating in master classes with Janos Starker and David Geringas. At the age of 24, Yang was engaged as principal solo cellist of the Symphony Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio.

Since winning first prize at the Geneva International Music Competition in 1991, he has appeared in the most important concert halls of Europe and Asia with such renowned conductors as Lorin Maazel, Sir Colin Davis, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Yuri Terminkanov and Semyon Bychkov. Additionally, Wen-Sinn Yang is a regular guest at the international music festivals in St. Moritz, Davos, Biel, and Dresden, as well as at the Weilberg and Ludwigsburg Castle Festivals.

Wen-Sinn Yang has appeared on a number of occasions as a soloist with the Symphony Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio under the direction of Lorin Maazel. He played the solo part in Richard Strauss’s Don Quixote in Munich and on tour in Japan, as well as the European premiere of the cello Concert Music for Cello and Orchestra by Lorin Maazel on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Bavarian Radio’s „Musica Viva“ concert series. Of this concert, the Munich daily AZ wrote: “Lively music that made a more expressive, intensive impression in Munich with Wen-Sinn Yang than it did at its premiere in Pittsburgh with Rostropovich.“ Further performances followed in the USA (Atlanta, opening concert of the „Cultural Olympics“), Italy, and Spain. In December 1997 Yang is to premiere a cello concerto by Kevin Volans in the Bavarian Radio’s „Musica Viva“ concert series in Munich.

Yang’s broad repertoire is documented on a number of CD recordings for labels like Nimbus Records, Koch Schwann, Tudor, Harmonia Mundi, Arts Music, Telos Records andf Ambitus. The cello concertos of Schumann and Dvorak were released by Sonoris Records New York. For La Vergne Classics he recorded, besides the Solo Suites by J.S.Bach, the first two cello concertos by Carl Davidoff and the Rococo Variations by Piotr Tchaikovsky with the Lativan State Symphony Orchestra, Riga. Four cello concerts from Luigi Boccherini will publish the label Arts Music, in autumn 1999, as CD and DVD.

Wen-Sinn Yang also enjoys an excellent reputation as a pedagogue. Since 2004 he has been Professor of Violoncello at the Academy of Music and Theatre in Munich. 

Enthusiasm for the unknown and constant research distinguishes Wen-Sinn Yang as one of the most versatile cellists of the present day. His performances not only revive the music of nineteenth-century cello virtuosos such as Adrien François Servais and Karl Yulievich Davydov, but also introduce his audiences to such modern composers as Aribert Reimann and Isang Yun.

Alongside his activities as an internationally renowned soloist under conductors including Sir Colin Davis, Lorin Maazel, Mariss Jansons, Shiao-Chia Lü, Grzegorz Nowak, Daniel Klajner, Yukata Sado and Michael Hofstetter and with such orchestras as the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra the Shanghai Symphony, the NHK Tokyo, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Russian State Orchestra of Moscow, Wen-Sinn Yang is also a highly sought-after chamber music partner. His mastery and technical skill is not only strongly expressive but also particularly sensitive, which continues to open up ever-new listening perspectives.

Yang has been Professor of Violoncello at the Academy of Music and Theatre in Munich since 2004 and also regularly conducts international master courses. During the 2016/17 season, he will be Artist-in-Residence with the Taiwan Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra in Taipeh.

Wen-Sinn Yang's wide-ranging repertoire is documented on more than 30 CDs. These include not only the principal works for violoncello by Boccherini, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Saint-Saens, Lalo, Tchaikovsky and Dvořák, but also compositions by Henri Vieuxtemps, Frank Martin, Leonid Sabaneev and Sofia Gubaidulina. Many of these are distinguished as premiere recordings.

Yang, in cooperation with Bavarian Television, recorded the six solo suites of J.S. Bach in 2005. This DVD, released by Arthaus, was praised by critics for its profound awareness of historically informed interpretation performed on modern instruments.

The CD "Alma Brasileira" with chamber works of the Brazilian composer Radames Gnattali was honoured with the Latin Grammy Award as the best classical album in 2015.

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