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Zijin Wang | Wordless Word: Music Starts When Language Ends | Graduating Student Recital

Thursday, April 18, 2024   |   3:00 pm 3:30 pm

Free – $20.00
Longy’s performance are free and open to the public, but please register in advance.

All Longy students present full recitals as part of their education and ongoing evolution as artists. They are charged with thinking critically about what stories they tell, whose voices to amplify, and who’s in the room for their event while also considering how to use performance spaces in innovative ways and how to truly engage audiences and create interactive music experiences.

Zijin Wang is a student of Gila Goldstein.

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Program Notes

Music and words have been deeply intertwined since the dawn of music history. This recital centers around the idea of music and literature, presenting how composers were inspired by literature and poetry and translated written language into musical language across eras.

Beginning with a Bach prelude and fugue, the well-tempered clavier serves as an introduction that symbolizes the start of the piano tuning system still used today.

Hans von Bulow’s analogy of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier as “The Old Testament” and Beethoven’s piano sonatas as “The New Testament” of music makes it a natural transition into Beethoven’s “Tempest Sonata.” Beethoven suggested interpreting it by reading Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” a play written in 1610.

The first Brahms ballade in D minor provides a smooth transition as the first half features minor keys, whereas the second half includes a mix of major and minor. The first ballade was inspired by a Scottish murder poem “Edward” which was approximately written at the same time as “The Tempest.”

The recital concludes with selections from Prokofiev’s Op. 75, a piano reduction from the ballet on Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet (1595).

All three literary works represent some of the most intense human emotions and challenges in life, such as love, death, relationships, fate, duality, loyalty, power, and remorse. This program showcases how literature from the 17th century finds expression in diverse musical styles spanning the 18th to the 20th century.


Pianist, harpsichordist, research psychologist, and multifaceted artist Zijin (Jin) Wang has been heard throughout China and the US performing music and exploring music inside the human mind. Her repertoire of classical music spans from late Renaissance to contemporary. Zijin’s biggest passion is to cultivate the beauty of music in varieties of periods and styles. She is also passionate about teaching. Her experience and strong education background in music and psychology will help her students to find their own unique ways to connect with not only the beautiful sound, but also the people and time behind.

Zijin has earned top prize at numerous competitions, including the first prize in the Artist of the Year competition and top prize in Best Bach Performance competition. Her recent performances includes recitals at Pickman Hall, Smith Recital Hall, Smith Memorial Room, Clark-Lindsey, and Steinway Hall in Wuhan. She regularly participates in master classes and music festivals, where she has studied with Ian Hobson, Barry Snyder, Natalya Antonova, Robert Shannon.

Zijin studied with pianist Hong Xu before coming to the US. She holds her BM in Piano Performance and BS in Intradisciplinary Psychology from University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign where she studied with William Heiles, Timothy Ehlen, and Charlotte Mattax Moersch. She is currently pursuing her MM degree at Longy School of Music of Bard College where she studies with Gila Goldstein.


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Thursday, April 18, 2024
3:00 pm 3:30 pm
Free – $20.00
Event Category:


Edward M. Pickman Concert Hall
Longy School of Music, 27 Garden Street
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States
Thanks to our partnership with the Massachusetts Cultural Council and their “Card to Culture” program, Longy School of Music of Bard College can offer free tickets to many of our diverse and innovative performance offerings. See the full list of participating “Card to Culture” organizations offering EBT, WIC, and ConnectorCare discounts.