Performance Program


Cheng-Harrell Open Night: Cabinet of Curiosities

February 24, 2023, 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Frick Madison

About the Series Schedule

Piano Performances
in Honor of the Late Alexis Gregory

Performances by

Yang Gao
Jiwon Yang
Matei Varga

Remarks by

Pavlina Dokovska
Chair of the Piano Department, Mannes School of Music
Artistic Director, Mannes Sounds Festival

Matei Varga
Artistic Director, Vendome Prize for Piano

Yang Gao
5:30 p.m.

Haydn, Sonata in E minor

I. Presto
II. Adagio
III. Vivace molto (“Innocentemente”)

Brahms, Sonata No. 3 in F minor, Op. 5

I. Allegro maestoso
II. Andante
III. Scherzo
IV. Intermezzo (“Rückblick”)
V. Finale

Jiwon Yang
6:30 p.m.

Sonata in B minor

Ballade No. 3 in A-flat major
Nocturne in G major, Op. 37, No. 2
Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53 (“Heroic”)

Impromptu in G-flat major, Op. 90, No. 3

Fantasie in B minor, Op. 28

Étude en forme de valse, Op. 52, No. 6

Matei Varga
7:30 p.m.

Two Keyboard Sonatas

Fantaisie-Impromptu in C-sharp minor, Op. 66

Sonata, Op. 27, No. 2 (“Moonlight”)

Ernesto Lecuona
“Danza Lucumi”
“Zambra Gitana”
“Yo Te Quiero Siempre”
“Vals Azul”

Honoring Alexis Gregory

Tonight’s performances are dedicated to the memory of Alexis Gregory. Mr. Gregory was the founder of Vendome Press—a preeminent publisher of elegant volumes on fine art, architecture, and culture—and of the Vendome Prize, a prestigious piano competition now hosted in New York City and originally held in Europe, first at the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon and later at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland. He was also a major art collector and connoisseur, and his generous bequest to The Frick Collection of fine and decorative works of art is celebrated in the current exhibition at Frick Madison, The Gregory Gift.

Artists' Biographies

Yang Gao was born in Dalian, China, and gave his first recital at ten years old. Gao received his Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and is pursuing his master’s at the Mannes School of Music. He is featured as one of the young artists in this season’s Rising Star series at Portland Piano International, and he will also be featured as a soloist in the Mannes Sounds Festival finale concert at Carnegie Hall, in May 2023. He performed at various prestigious venues around New York City during the 2021–22 season and, as an active performer of chamber music, has appeared in venues across the United States. Gao has received a number of awards, among them first prize in the Steinway Junior Piano Competition in Northeastern China, the CCM Scholarship Competition, and the Matinée Musicale Cincinnati Nancy F. Walker Memorial Scholarship Competition.

Jiwon Yang debuted at the age of nine with a solo recital at Mozart Hall and Kumho Art Hall in Seoul, South Korea. She is currently a Bachelor of Music student at the Mannes School of Music. Jiwon has performed throughout New York City, including with Camerata New York Orchestra and at the Mannes Sounds Festival, Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall, and the American and New York Yacht Clubs. She has also appeared in performances and as a soloist at notable venues around the country and the world, from Dallas to Moscow, Manila, and Seoul. At only seventeen years old, Jiwon has received numerous awards, most recently third prize at the Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition, in 2019, and at the Cleveland International Piano Competition for Young Artists, in 2018.

Matei Varga has appeared as a soloist and recitalist in many of the world’s leading concert halls, among them Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York City, Konzerthaus Berlin, Palau de la Música in Barcelona, Victoria Hall in Geneva, and the Auditorium du Louvre, Salle Cortot, and Salle Gaveau in Paris. Varga holds a bachelor’s degree from the National University of Music in Bucharest, Romania, as well as a master’s degree and Professional Diploma in Piano Performance from the Mannes School of Music. He is the 2021 recipient of the Romanian-American Fine Arts Award and is a top prizewinner at the Maria Canals and George Enescu international piano competitions. Varga lives in New York City and serves as Artistic Director of the Vendome Prize for Piano.