“Steinway has been my spiritual companion from my earliest days.”
A brilliant musician, J.Y. Song brings a unique personality and background to her career as a pianist. Born in Taiwan and raised in Switzerland and the United States, Song has combined her cross-cultural perspectives with a voracious curiosity that spans multiple disciplines: music, science, and entrepreneurship. Since her Lincoln Center recital debut, she has been noted for her varied programming and idiosyncratic musical tastes, and has developed a reputation as a skilled, inspiring pedagogue. In exploring entrepreneurial opportunities in music, she recently founded an online education platform, tonerow.com, bringing together world-class music faculty and talent across the globe.
Critic Harris Goldsmith commented on her “truly astounding technical and imaginative resources,” and described her performances as “tigerishly intense” and “exquisite.” Numerous awards include the Pro Musicis International Award, the $25,000 Christel Award from the American Pianists Association, the Sudler Prize for outstanding achievement in the arts from Stanford University, and the Petschek Award, Juilliard’s highest honor awarded to a pianist. J.Y. Song has appeared in concert at Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, and at the Mostly Mozart Festival in Avery Fisher Hall; at the Théâtre de l’Athénée and Salle Cortot in Paris; at the National Gallery and Kennedy Center; and at Taipei National Concert Hall. She performed the Mexican premiere of Clara Schumann’s piano concerto on four days’ notice.
Song’s recordings have received rave reviews. Her recording of Debussy Etudes was distinguished with a Diapason d’Or and designated a “Desert Island Selection” by Gramophone’s International Piano Quarterly. In addition to providing insightful reinterpretations of traditional repertoire, J.Y. Song has been an advocate of new music, recording works by Ezequiel Viñao and Jiang Wen Ye. This last recording inspired the celebrated director Hou Hsiao-Hsien in making his film Café Lumière, which was nominated for a Lion d’Or at the Venice Film Festival.
She has served for eight years as artistic director of the EAMA and Classics Abroad piano programs at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris. She has taught piano at Oberlin Conservatory and given master classes in France, Taiwan, and the United States, including the Chautauqua Institute. She studied at the Conservatoire de Genève and the Conservatoire de Lausanne with Alexei Golovin, Edouardo Vercelli, and Jean-François Antonioli, and at The Juilliard School with Jerome Lowenthal. Currently J.Y. Song is on the piano faculty of Mannes School of Music and teaches Leadership & Innovation at The Juilliard School.