May 2018

Sean Yang; Photograph by Kathleen Munkel/ Nashville Symphony

As a musician, the vision is to perform on a prestigious stage among the best. In February, Sean Yang (11th grade, Houston High School, Germantown) captured the grand prize in Nashville Symphony’s prestigious 2018 Curb Concerto Competition. On May 15, he will perform at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville Symphony’s Side-by-Side with the Curb Youth Symphony.

An accomplished musician in piano and percussion, Yang is seven-time winner of the Tennessee Music Teachers Association’s state piano competition, 1st chair percussion in the 2017 All- State Band, and he captured two awards at the 2018 Emory University Young Artist Piano Competition.

Piano is his first love (“the music that spoke to me as a child” at age 4), but he also likes the structure, reason, and straightforwardness of percussion. “There are definitely cases where the piano is treated as a percussion instrument,” he explains. “I cannot express the appreciation and joy I have for the connections and relationships that both instruments have helped me create.”

Yang enjoys competitions and says they are the best way for young artists to gain exposure. “These competitions give us even more motivation to improve in multiple areas, and it closely replicates the thrill and excitement that can be felt during recital performances.” He hopes to pursue a career in medicine, but was recently reassured to meet a premed student at Emory who double majored in biology and piano along a premed track. “No amount of science or history could ever replace what I have gained from music,” he says. “A student’s education is not complete until he or she is given the opportunity to experience the endless wonders of music.”

Sean Yang, Luke Turner, Maggie Kasinger, Joshua Stanczak, Shawn Zheng

Note: Tickets to the May 15 Side-by-Side are free, but they must be reserved online at www.NashvilleSymphony.org/sidebyside.

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