On Love and Longing, the up-and-coming pianist’s Steinway & Sons debut album available digitally May 6 and physically May 27, Yoonie Han invites us into her soundworld, enveloping us with her exceptional imagination and the narrative power of some of classical music’s most famous melodies. The Romantics (Schubert, Liszt) and their descendants (Wagner, Prokofiev) figure prominently on this lovelorn album, but there are also a number of surprises, including the world premiere recording of a flamenco-inspired new piece written for Han by composer Theodore Wiprud.
Everywhere Yoonie Han performs, the South Korean born pianist with a Curtis/Juilliard pedigree entrances her audience with her “flowing tones, poetic phrasing, and heavenly singing melodies” (The Cincinnati Enquirer) as well as her “musical imagination…and feel for complex textures” (The Washington Post). Since 2009 when she was awarded the Gawon Music Prize, which recognizes young pianists destined for greatness, Han’s unique vision of the solo piano repertoire has been gaining traction with critics and fans alike. Her Steinway & Sons debut brings this vision to the fore.
Han delights in the deep humanity of music and this characteristic is obvious in her sparkling, penetrating renditions of Liszt’s transcriptions of Schubert lieder and of Wagner’s epic Isoldens Liebestod. She freezes Romeo & Juliet at the story’s most tender moment in Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet before Parting, and celebrates another famous couple with a heart-rending performance of Friedman’s arrangement of Mélodie from Orfeo ed Euridice by Gluck. And there is as much expressed in the expansive silences of Reynaldo Hahn’s rarely performed “poèmes pour piano” as there is in achingly beautiful phrases.
She indulges in the sultrier side of love in Granados’s El amor y la muerte from Goyescas, providing a satisfying sequel to her ravishing recording of other sections of this grand work. Han’s deep interest in Spanish art and music is also on display in El Jaleo, a piece written especially for Han by the American composer Theodore Wiprud that takes its inspiration from the depiction of flamenco in John Singer Sargent’s painting of the same name. This is the world premiere recording of El Jaleo.
About Yoonie Han
South Korean pianist Yoonie Han has won top prizes in distinguished international competitions and the highest accolades for her poetic performances in major concert halls in the U.S. and around the world.
In 2009, Ms. Han was honored with the Gawon Music Award as the “most brilliant pianist aged 17 to 31 of any nationality who possesses the most promising potential for global prominence.”
She is the first-prize winner of the Washington International Piano Competition (2011), the Fulbright Competition (2011), Juilliard’s Gina Bachauer Piano Competition (2008), the World Piano Competition (2008), and the Kosciuszko Chopin Competition (2005), and has garnered major prizes at the Helsinki Maj Lind International Piano Competition and Milan Concorso Pianistico Ettore Pozzoli Internaziole. Following her 2001 grand-prize award in the Korea National Music Competition, the Korean Ministry of Culture named her its “most promising young artist.”
Ms. Han made her solo debut with the Seoul Philharmonic at age 13, and has since performed with the Berlin Symphoniker, Buffalo Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Banff Festival Orchestra, and I Pomeriggi Musicali di Milan. Her performances have also been broadcast on WQXR- New York, NPR’s “Artist Showcases”, Chicago’s WFMT, and many others.
Ms. Han received a Bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music studying with Eleanor Sokoloff, and a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School as a pupil of Robert McDonald. She is completing her Doctorate at SUNY Stony Brook, and continuing her studies with Philippe Entremont. Yoonie Han is a Steinway Artist.
About Steinway & Sons label
The Steinway & Sons music label was founded in 2010 and has produced many phenomenal albums since its inception. Recordings on the Steinway & Sons record label can be purchased through ArkivMusic.com as well as Amazon, iTunes and other fine retailers around the globe. This collaboration under the umbrella of the historic Steinway & Sons is a perfect vessel for producing the finest quality recordings by some of the most talented pianists in the world.
About Steinway & Sons
Since its founding in New York in 1853, Steinway & Sons has been considered the world's premier piano manufacturer. Known for their exceptional craftsmanship, Steinway & Sons pianos are built in one of two company-owned and operated factories: Astoria, New York and Hamburg, Germany. Steinway & Sons pianos are still constructed primarily by hand, using many of the techniques developed over 160 years ago. Today, Steinway & Sons also offers the Boston and Essex piano lines, Listen, a magazine for music and culture lovers, and the Steinway & Sons record label. For more information, visit www.steinway.com.
Steinway & Sons