Yuja Wang was born in Beijing, China, on February 10, 1987. She began piano lessons at six and had later studies at Beijing's Central Conservatory of Music. She was a prizewinner in the Sendai International Music Competition in 2001. That same year she moved to Calgary, Canada, for studies at the Mount Royal College Conservatory.
Wang won the 2002 Aspen Music Festival Concerto Competition, after which she relocated to the U.S. for studies at the Curtis Institute under Gary Graffman
. Her European debut was in Zurich, Switzerland, in 2003, when she performed the Beethoven
Fourth with the Tonhalle Orchestra
under David Zinman
In February 2005, Wang launched her career as a "fill-in" when she substituted for Radu Lupu
in Ottawa, Canada, for another performance of the Beethoven
Fourth. In 2006 Wang was the recipient of the Gilmore Young Artist Award. Wang graduated from Curtis Institute in 2008, and went on that summer to give acclaimed performances of the Liszt
B minor Sonata, Brahms
Horn Trio, and Prokofiev
First Piano Concerto at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. The following year she was invited by Claudio Abbado
to play the Prokofiev
Third Piano Concerto at the Lucerne Festival. That acclaimed performance was issued on a EuroArts
DVD in 2010.