FeaturedThe Stage

Grammy-nominated Joyce Yang to return to Des Moines

The Des Moines Symphony will perform “Discover Freedom” at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18 and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 19 at the Des Moines Civic Center (221 Walnut St., Des Moines).

Grammy-nominated pianist Joyce Yang returns to Des Moines in a brilliant showcase of Grieg’s authentically Norwegian Piano Concerto in A Minor. The program begins with Glinka’s heroic and exuberant Ruslan & Lyudmila Overture followed by Florence Price’s heartfelt Andante moderato. Shostakovich’s tragicomic Symphony No. 9, a critique of the political and artistic oppression experienced in Stalinist Soviet Russia, closes the concert.

Discover Freedom features four beautiful symphonic works connected  emerges. Art at its most basic level is the expression of ideas. Art is produced by people from all walks of life under all manner of different circumstances. These artists find ways to express their dreams and desires through their work, and in these pieces we can observe four artists, all from different backgrounds and experiences, expressing a desire for freedom.

Single tickets range from $15 to $70 and are available online through dmsymphony.org (up until two hours prior to performances) and at the Civic Center Ticket Office (515.246.2300), 221 Walnut Street, Des Moines; open 10 AM-5 PM Monday through Friday and two hours prior to performances. Single tickets, excluding student rush tickets, increase $5 on the day of the concert.

Student tickets are half-price in all sections and are available through the Civic Center Ticket Office with valid student ID. Student rush tickets, subject to availability, are $5 for junior high and high school students and $10 for all other students the day of the concert through the Civic Center Ticket Office. Tickets will be available at the door.

Yang first came to international attention in 2005 when she won the silver medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The youngest contestant at 19 years old, she took home two additional awards: Best Performance of Chamber Music and Best Performance of a New Work.

The following year, Yang made her New York Philharmonic debut alongside Lorin Maazel at Avery Fisher Hall and accompanied the orchestra on their tour of Asia, making a triumphant return to her hometown of Seoul, South Korea. At the request of Maazel during his final season as music director, one of Yang’s subsequent appearances with the New York Philharmonic included opening night of the 2008 Leonard Bernstein Festival. And in 2010, she received the Avery Fisher Career Grant and earned her first GRAMMY® nomination.

Born in 1986 in Seoul, South Korea, Yang received her first piano lesson from her aunt at age four. She quickly took to the instrument, which she received as a birthday present, winning several national piano competitions over the following years. By age ten, she had entered the School of Music at the Korea National University of Arts, making concerto and recital appearances in Seoul and Daejeon. In 1997, Yang moved to the United States to begin studies at the pre-college division of the Juilliard School with Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky. During her first year at Juilliard, Yang won the pre-college division Concerto Competition, resulting in a concerto performance with the Juilliard Pre-College Chamber Orchestra. At age 12, she won the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Greenfield Student Competition, performing Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto with the Orchestra. She graduated from Juilliard with special honor as the recipient of the school’s 2010 Arthur Rubinstein Prize, and in 2011 she won its 30th Annual William A. Petschek Piano Recital Award.

Audiences can learn more about the pieces performed during each Masterworks concert in the Symphony’s “DMSO Remix” podcast (get it on SpotifyApple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts) or by attending free Concert Prelude Talks led by Dr. Eric McIntyre, Professor of Music at Grinnell College, before each performance. Dr. McIntyre will discuss the music and composers featured in each concert 45 minutes prior to each Masterworks concert in the Prairie Meadows (East) Lobby.

Discover Freedom
Saturday, Nov. 18 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 19 at 2:30 p.m.
Des Moines Civic Center
Joseph Giuntaconducting
Joyce Yang, piano

GLINKA                     Ruslan & Lyudmila Overture
GRIEG                        Piano Concerto in A Minor
PRICE                         Andante moderato from String Quartet No. 1
SHOSTAKOVICH     Symphony No. 9 in E-flat Major

More Information
2023-2024 Masterworks concerts take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays at the Des Moines Civic Center (221 Walnut Street, Des Moines IA, 50309). For complete program details, please use the links below:

Visit dmsymphony.org for complete season details. Find more information, including where to park and what to expect, at dmsymphony.org/about/plan-your-visit/