The SAMIT event group returns with a new edition of the VIP Classical concert and this time the young Chinese pianist Jingge Yan, who was named the first “Beethoven Ambassador” by the city of Bonn, will perform in Dubai on October 22.

Famous for his intellectual depth and the expressive vitality of his piano performances, Jingge Yan has also won multiple international awards and is an active soloist who performs regularly in major cities around the world.

City Times spoke with the pianist to learn more about his relationship with music and expectations for his upcoming recital in Dubai.

What does music mean to you?

For me, music is a “material” to record and express feelings such as joy, pain, excitement, anger, confusion and especially longing for love, peace or God. Thanks to music I can capture feelings recorded with great precision by composers from different cultures, who have been dead for decades and who spoke different languages. While playing music, I translate to the audience the feelings recorded by the composer, along with a combination of my own feelings in the present moment. That’s why music is magical to me: it overcomes the limitations of time and life and goes beyond the limits of language and culture.

As the first Chinese pianist in history to perform and record all of Beethoven’s sonatas, what captivates you about Beethoven’s music and how is it different from other scores?

Beethoven’s music has a very special fundamental value: no matter how much one has to fight in his life or for his beliefs, the ending of his musical works is always full of hope and uplifting power. This is probably the reason why Beethoven’s music never lost its popularity in the last two hundred years of human history, especially in our era, while diseases and wars are so threatening to the world that we need his music and the spiritual power behind his music.

How did you get to pick up the piano?

My father loves music but he couldn’t learn piano during the cultural revolution in China. I learned the piano to fulfill his musical dream. I had a difficult childhood studying piano in China because my piano teachers yelled at me very often in classes and I hated routine practice and dreaded going to class every weekend. It was when I went to Oberlin College to begin my undergraduate studies that I was first inspired and encouraged to play the piano.

Have you composed any original scores? If so, can you talk about it? If not, how difficult is it to compose an original?

I take my piano performance of the works of history’s music giants as my own “composition,” because performing music composed decades or centuries ago on a modern instrument requires tremendous intellectual work and experiments. This is another way of composing and I find it more interesting than writing completely new works or creating new genres.

What can attendees expect to see at your next performance at the VIP classical concert series organized by SAMIT Event Group in Dubai?

SAMIT event group is an innovative organization that asked me to combine performance and speaking in my concert. I love this idea within the VIP classical concert series and will offer a vivid recital backed by an interesting background of music from various composers.

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