HANZHI WANG accordion and STEVEN BANKS saxophone with XAK BJERKEN piano

Sat, Feb 25, 2023 7:30 PM

Smith Theatre | Horowitz Center HCC

Performance Information

Candlelight’s multi-decade partnership with the New York-based Young Concert Artists (YCA) Competition has showcased Candlelight's commitment to featuring diverse young musical stars as their careers take flight. Praised for her captivating stage presence and technically masterful performances, Hanzhi Wang wowed local audiences in her 2019 Candlelight debut and is the first accordionist in history to win First Prize at the YCA Competition. Likewise, saxophonist Steven Banks is YCA’s first ever First Prize winner on his instrument. Banks is also recognized for his moving compositions, his glowing mahogany tone, and a blossoming collaboration with the Cleveland Orchestra. Joined by pianist Xak Bjerken, these two dazzling young virtuosi will weave a unique sonic tapestry that expands the boundaries of chamber music and leaves you wanting more.

The Program

Handel: Recorder Sonata in G minor, HWV 360 Penderecki: Three miniatures Bach: Selections from Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 Lohse: Autumn Rain & Winter's Tale Maikusiak: The Elements Piazzolla: Milonga Del Angel Lennon: Distances Within Me Steven Banks: Come As You Are

About The Artists

Hanzhi Wang
Hanzhi Wang
Accordion

Praised for her captivating stage presence and performances that are technically and musically masterful, the groundbreaking young musician Hanzhi Wang is the first accordionist to win a place on the roster of Young Concert Artists in its 58-year history, and her hour-long interview and performance on the 2,145th episode of New York WQXR’s Young Artists Showcase marked the first appearance of a solo accordionist on the program. In 2018, Musical America named Hanzhi Wang “New Artist of the Month…

Steven Banks
Steven Banks
Saxophone

Recognized for his “glowing mahogany tone” (Seen and Heard International) and “breathtaking” (Classical Voice of NC) performances, American classical saxophonist Steven Banks “(b. 1993) is at the forefront of musicians of his generation in his display of the highest level of both artistry and pedagogy.” (Taimur Sullivan, Professor of Saxophone, Northwestern University) Steven Banks is the first saxophonist to earn a place on the Young Concert Artists roster in its 59-year history, capturing…

Xak Bjerken
Xak Bjerken
Piano

Pianist Xak Bjerken has appeared with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Spoleto Festival Orchestra, Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, the Schoenberg Ensemble, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Disney Hall. He has performed at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Glinka Hall in St Petersburg, the Konzerthaus in Berlin, and for many years performed throughout the US as a member of the Los Angeles Piano Quartet. He has performed with the Cuarteto Casals, the Prazak, Chiaroscuro, New Zealand, and Miami…

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