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Yuja Wang, 'You Come Here Often?'

When you're at Yuja Wang's level of virtuosity — not to mention celebrity — the composers come to you. The piano demigod's forthcoming album (releasing March 10) features a 40-minute piano concerto written for her by Louisville Orchestra music director Teddy Abrams, plus a rollicking four-minute piece for solo piano by another music director, Michael Tilson Thomas, longtime leader of the San Francisco Symphony.

MTT's piece is irresistible, opening with a catchy kind of cat-and-mouse motif that builds to a funky, rocking crescendo. From then on, the music alternates between more contemplative passages tinged with jazz and the motorized theme.

Never mind the cutesy wolf-whistle midway through (could have done without that, frankly), just let Wang's rock and roll performance bulldoze right over you. The last 30 seconds are a concussive tour de force, and more proof that she is among the most masterful pianists of her generation.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Tom Huizenga is a producer for NPR Music. He contributes a wide range of stories about classical music to NPR's news programs and is the classical music reviewer for All Things Considered. He appears regularly on NPR Music podcasts and founded NPR's classical music blog Deceptive Cadence in 2010.
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