It was a personal invitation to play in Rome for the press conference of the 30th anniversary from the indomitable Marcella Crudeli (the Fanny Waterman of Italy!) that brought Yuanfan Yang back to Rome.A happy coincidence as the Keyboard Charitable Trust which has been promoting Yuanfan is also celebrating its 30th anniversary this year https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.wordpress.com/2021/10/06/brazil-200-celebrations-with-the-keyboard-charitable-trust-on-wings-of-song/
Marcella ,in her 80th year had just a few days ago concluded her yearly Masterclasses for young musicians . https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.wordpress.com/2021/10/23/magisterium-of-marcella-crudeli-takes-viterbo-and-rome-by-storm/ And is now ready for the competition that she has brought to the Eternal city for the past 30 years.One of the very few capital cities that had been deprived of an important International Piano Competition until Marcella took the reigns .A yearly competition that she has guided with the same force and dedication that Dame Fanny brought to Leeds.It was a privilege for me to be present this summer when she was awarded the Premio for ‘A life in music’ in Sorrento having already received official recognition from the President of Italy. https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.wordpress.com/2021/07/31/sorrento-crowns-marcella-crudeli-a-lifetime-in-music/
Yuanfan having won the ‘Premio Chopin’ in 2018 it was Chopin that took pride of place in a programme that included the Preludes op 28 together with three Debussy Preludes from Book 2 and his own composition the Waves ( written ten years ago and awarded many prestigious prizes including BBC television and radio performances).Yuanfan is not only a formidable pianist but a composer who tells me that he has just finished his third piano concerto which he wrote in the lockdown period and is very happy with the result.His first concerto toured China when he was still a teenager!A real thinking musician with that rare gift of improvisation,an almost almost forgotten art these days but an essential part of a complete musician in the past.
And it was with such delight that after the tumultuous applause that greeted his ‘superb refined and mature’ performance of the Chopin Preludes that our hostess asked him to improvise on ‘La ci darem la mano’.An astonished and delighted audience after such a breathtaking performance of quite transcendental playing were invited to offer a melody for him to improvise on.
‘Carmen’in the style of Scott Joplin brought this small elite gathering to their feet as they more than confirmed the choice of this Premio Chopin 2018 and looked forward after the pandemic to the new live edition from 4-16 November.
Yuanfan Yang is helped by the Keyboard Charitable Trust of which I am a trustee and co artistic director and it was only last month that he was invited to play at La Mortella on Ischia in a long awaited collaboration between the KCT and the Walton Foundation.He was also invited to play in Sorrento by that other tireless promoter of all things musical in the Sorrento peninsular :Paolo Scibilia.I wrote a detailed appreciation of his magnificent performances some of which we heard today in Rome https://christopheraxworthymusiccommentary.wordpress.com/2021/09/06/yuanfan-yang-in-paradise/