Praised for “her sense of joyful virtuosity” as concerto soloist, Julia Yang is a dynamic and versatile performer and pedagogue, and founding member of the acclaimed Merz Trio.
Yang’s Merz Trio, lauded as “riveting” (Reading Eagle) and “artists in the deepest sense of the word” (CutCommon), 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. As cellist of the Trio, Yang maintains an active concertizing schedule including 2023 debut recitals at Carnegie Hall and Amsterdam’s Het Concertgebouw. 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). 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.
Yang also holds extensive orchestral experience having toured as principal cellist 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. Elise Frawley is a New York-based violist who performs and records classical, contemporary, and popular music. Her performances have taken her across the country and to concert venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Radio City Music Hall, The Beacon Theatre, New York’s Town Hall, SXSW, as well as downtown clubs and performance spaces. She has appeared on various major and independent label albums, as well as Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Live from Here, America’s Got Talent!, and the Amazon Prime Original Series Mozart in the Jungle.
As educator and pedagogue, Yang finds particular joy in working with the younger generation of musicians maintaining a cello studio at the College of the Holy Cross, and regularly giving 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.