Julia Yang

Praised for “her sense of joyful virtuosity” as concerto soloist (South Florida Classical Review), Julia Yang is a courageous and soulful cellist, multi-faceted performer, and founding member of the “riveting” (Reading Eagle) and “impeccably elegant” Merz Trio (All About the Arts).

Yang’s Merz Trio are winners of the prestigious Naumburg Chamber Music Prize as well as first prize winners of the Concert Artists Guild, Fischoff and Chesapeake International Chamber Music competitions. The Trio presents innovative multidisciplinary concert experiences that interweave repertoire of the traditional piano trio genre with diverse art forms ranging from the visual arts, literature and dance to theatre and the culinary arts. With the Trio, Yang released a debut album “INK” (August 2021), described as “entrancing” (BBC), which brings together the words and music of Parisian composers and writers around 1914. 

On stage as soloist and chamber musician, Yang has been described as the “stunning find of the evening” (New York Classical Review) and has been noted for her “deep tone” and “precision” (South Florida Classical Review). Yang maintains an active concertizing solo and chamber schedule with recent and forthcoming recitals in Carnegie Hall, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Chamber Music Houston  and Amsterdam’s Het Concertgebouw. She has performed throughout the United States and internationally in Europe, Australia, Canada and Mexico and has been featured as a Young Artist in Residence on Performance Today with Fred Child, Top prizes at competitions include the Lennox International Competition and the Union League of Chicago’s Young Artist Competition. As concerto soloist, she has performed with the New World Symphony Orchestra, Central Florida Symphony Orchestra, and Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra.

Yang has collaborated with numerous artists including Jonathan Biss, Mitsuko Uchida, and Kim Kashkashian at festivals such as the Marlboro Music Festival, Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, Yellow Barn, Perlman Chamber Music Program, the Taos School of Music, Britten-Pears’ Young Artist Program, and Poland’s Krzyzowa-Music. Her solo and chamber music performances have been broadcast on national radio throughout the United States as well as in the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, and BBC Radio 3.

Recently appointed principal cellist of the Colorado Music Festival under Peter Oundjian, Yang holds extensive orchestral leadership experience and has toured as principal of the New World Symphony where she was a fellow for two seasons. In addition, she has performed as principal cellist under conductors such as Michael Tilson Thomas, Susanna Malkki, James Gaffigan, John Adams, and Leonard Slatkin and many others in halls including Carnegie Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, the Kennedy Center and Miami’s New World Center and Arsht Center.

As educator and pedagogue, Yang finds particular joy in working with the younger generation of musicians as a cello instructor and chamber music coach at the University of Pennsylvania and at the College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, MA), and regularly gives cello and chamber music masterclasses throughout the United States. While a fellow of Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect (2016-18), Yang worked with NYC public schools’ music programs and gave dozens of interactive performances for wide-ranging communities. Yang has held educational residencies as a guest artist for New England Conservatory’s Prep Division and as artist faculty at C’est Bon Chamber Music Camp, and has coached as a mentor at the Four Seasons Chamber Music Institute and as an Interactive Performance Coach at Carnegie Hall’s Audience Engagement Intensive. 

Yang holds degrees from Northwestern University and the New England Conservatory, studying with Hans Jørgen Jensen, Laurence Lesser and Yeesun Kim. Away from the cello, you’ll find her reading or checking out the local arts scene, enjoying the outdoors, or cooking and crafting cocktails.