China | Age 21
Yangrui Cai began his piano study at age 4, though none of his family had any music- or art-related background. When he was 15, a first-place finish in the national auditions earned him a spot in China’s Xinghai Conservatory of Music Middle School. Upon his graduation with distinction in July 2019, the Hunan native was admitted to several prestigious conservatories in United States with full scholarships. He is currently a third-year undergraduate student at Oberlin Conservatory, under the tutelage of 2001 Cliburn Gold Medalist Stanislav Ioudenitch.
Yangrui has taken top prizes in all major Chinese national competitions and went on to honors in international competitions, such as Sendai (Japan), USASU (USA), and Sydney (Australia). Concertizing from an early age, he has given solo recitals in China, Japan, Germany, Denmark, Italy, France, Canada, and the United States; and appeared as soloist with the Hong Kong Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, and Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra in China, Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra in Japan, and TIMM Ensemble in Italy.
An artist of varied interests—ranging from painting to cooking to drone flying—Yangrui’s commitment to music is distinct: “Since a young age, I found piano playing as the best way to express feelings that are difficult to convey. It is the purest means of communication.”
HOUGH Fanfare Toccata
LISZT “Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude” from Harmonies poétiques et religieuses
BRAHMS Variations on a Theme by Paganini, op. 35, Book I
FANNY MENDELSSOHN Easter Sonata in A Major
COUPERIN Le Tic-Toc-Choc ou Les Maillotins
STRAVINSKY Trois mouvements de Pétrouchka
Semifinal Round – recital
LISZT Transcendental Études
Semifinal Round – Mozart concerto
MOZART Piano Concerto No. 25 in C Major, K. 503
SAINT-SAËNS Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, op. 22
PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major, op. 26