Special to The Explorer

Joyce Yang, a silver medalist at the 2005 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, performs Edvard Grieg's "Concerto for Piano," one of the most popular of all piano concerti, with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra this Thursday and Friday, Jan. 14 and 15, and Sunday, Jan. 17.

Yang joins the TSO and George Hanson, music director and conductor, in the program "Nordic Favorites."

The Thursday and Friday shows begin at 8 p.m., the Sunday show at 2 p.m. at the Tucson Music Hall.

This weekend's program opens with Wilhelm Stenhammar's "Excelsior!" and concludes with "Symphony No. 2" by Jean Sibelius. Hanson gives a pre-concert talk at 7 p.m. before the Thursday and Friday performances.

In June 2005, Yang came to international attention when she became the silver medalist of the 12th Van Cliburn International Competition. As the youngest contestant, Yang swept two additional awards as an all-around winner. Since her "spectacular" finish, Yang "has become a household name in various high-profile venues, such as Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center," a release said.

In November 2006, Yang made her celebrated New York Philharmonic debut with Lorin Maazel at Avery Fisher Hall and performed on their Asian tour, making a triumphant return to her hometown in South Korea. She returned to Avery Fisher Hall in September 2008 for the opening night of the Leonard Bernstein Festival at the special request of Lorin Maazel in his final season as music director. The New York Times called Yang's rendition of Bernstein's "Age of Anxiety" a "knock-out."

The Nordic Favorites Classic Series program is sponsored by Steinway Piano Gallery. The media partner is Classical KUAT FM/Arizona Public Media.

Joyce Yang and the TSO

Thursday and Friday, Jan. 14-15, 8 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 17, 2 p.m.

The Tucson Music Hall

Tickets, $20 to $72, are available online at www.tucsonsymphony.org; at the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Box Office located at 2175 N. Sixth Avenue, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; or by phone at 882-8585.

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