Artist Series Concerts National Competition winner Lin Ye, piano

Pianist Lin Ye, who since 2017 has continued to dazzle audiences and judges across the globe, will perform his masterful interpretations of major piano works by Beethoven, Liszt and Prokofiev.

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota welcomes the return of rising young star Lin Ye, a winner at the organization’s 2017 National Piano Competition, Feb. 15-16 at the Historic Asolo Theater.

Ye, who since 2017 has continued to dazzle audiences and judges across the globe, will perform his masterful interpretations of major piano works by Beethoven, Liszt and Prokofiev.

As far as “where-are-they-now” stories go, pianist Ye’s is a happy one. Since becoming a winner at Artist Series Concerts’ 2017 National Piano Competition, Ye has continued to study at the Cleveland Institute of Music under acclaimed Italian pianist Antonio Pompa-Baldi. He took third prize at the 2018 Rina Salo Gallo International Piano Competition in Monza, Italy and also proceeded to the finals of last October’s prestigious Hong Kong International Piano Competition. He has played recitals at Zipper Hall in Los Angeles, Merkin Hall in New York and Roussel Hall in New Orleans, amongst many others. Last summer he spent a month at the Hamptons’ renowned Pianofest where he met with and performed Prokofiev’s challenging “Sonata No. 6” for Jerome Lowenthal, chair of the piano department at Juilliard. He then crossed the ocean to take part in an international competition in Portugal, where he was invited and has since signed a contract to make his debut recording for the KNS Classical Label. After Portugal, Ye played a tour of his native China, a highlight of which was his concert at the Poly Group Concert Hall in Nanjing where the sold-out audience demanded three encores after his performance. Following his concerts in Sarasota, Ye heads to Milan, Italy, where he’ll perform the Mozart Triple Concerto.

“Lin Ye’s stunning performance at our 2017 competition earned him a small legion of local fans and supporters here, including me,” said Joseph Holt, director of artist programs for Artist Series Concerts. “We’re thrilled to bring him back for these two performances of a powerhouse program that puts his virtuosity on full display.”

The first half of the concert pays tribute to the 250th anniversary of Beethoven with the composer’s famous Sonata in C Major, Waldstein, followed by the Sonata in E-flat Major, considered to be Beethoven’s “most bright and cheerful piano sonata.” The second half opens with Liszt’s Ballade No 2, “one of Liszt’s finest piano works.” “Lin performed the Ballade at the competition in 2017 and, that was when we knew we were witnessing something very special,” said Holt. The program will conclude with the Prokofiev Sonata No. 6 in A major, Op. 82, known for its powerful “passages of electric fury alternating with flowing lyricism.”

Ye was born in Dalina, China in 1992. When he was five, his parents realized their son was able to play on the piano virtually any music he heard on the radio and television and started him with piano lessons soon after. At an early age, Ye began winning competitions immediately, with his most memorable, and most useful, prize being a new piano. In 2008, at age 15, after a series of successful concerts in Germany, he left his native China to study, by invitation, at the renowned Hochschule fur Musik in Hannover. He was admitted to the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2016, where he has since studied under Antonio Pompa-Baldi. “Lin Ye is a remarkable young talent who, not surprisingly, has already amassed an impressive array of prizes and performance accolades worldwide,” said Holt. “This is a great opportunity to hear a great young artist whose star is truly on the rise.”

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