The pianist Cathy Yang has lived and studied music in China, Canada, Germany, and the United States. Currently, she is pursuing a Docterate of Musical Arts degree in Keyboard Collaborative Arts at the University of Southern California – Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles, USA. She holds Bachelor and Master degrees in Piano Performance from the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln in Cologne, Germany. Having spent substantial time in each of those countries, she received an eclectic musical education, and her musical style is characterized by a synthesis of a rich variety of musical, cultural and pedagogical impulses.

During her formative years in Canada, Cathy received prizes at many regional festivals in Ontario and in the nation-wide Canadian Music Competition. In 2006, she won a double first prize at the solo and concerto competition at Ithaca College in Ithaca, USA. In the same year, she was invited by the Vladimir Spivakov International Foundation as one of two representatives from Canada to participate in the music festival Moscow Meets Friends. In 2010, Cathy won the third prize in her age category at the International Piano Competition Vila de Capdepera in Spain. She received the first place in the Virtuosic Artist group at Concours International de Concertos IAPMT in Azusa, USA, in 2023.

Together with two vocalists, Cathy founded the Aix Alma Trio and toured Germany twice with unique and engaging programs. She is also the curator and producer of “Fables”, a concert program combining Impressionistic and video game music. With her piano duo partner, Benyamin Nuss, Cathy brought “Fables” to Toronto and to Boston, USA, where the duo performed at an Artist Residency at Wellesley College. In the summer of 2022, Cathy was a Collaborative Piano Fellow at the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival and worked as the Assistant Music Director for “Hair”. Recently in 2023, she was the music director of Thornton Chamber Opera’s production of Cendrillon by Pauline Viardot. While in Germany, she was invited multiple times by the Collegium Musicum orchestra of the RWTH Aachen to perform as the soloist. She also performed as a soloist with orchestra in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

Cathy received vital musical impulses from Kevin Fitz-Gerald, Ilja Schep, and Zhaoyi Dan. Further enriching her musical perspectives are masterclasses in Europe with Dmitri Bashkirov, Andrzej Jasiński, Jacques Rouvier, Matti Raekallio, Eugen Indjic, Dan Thai Son, and Bernadene Blaha.

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Aix Alma Trio

Maria Park, Alice Lackner and Cathy Yang met each other in Aachen during their musical studies at the University of Music and Dance Cologne. Out of pure joy of music they started playing and singing together, but this soon turned into a professional collaboration.

The three young artists have a profound desire with their music: they want to share the joy of classical music with people of all generations and cultures. On the one hand, integrating easy-going and popular melodies into their concert programs will motivate the younger generation to go to concerts. On the other hand, the experienced concertgoer will not be disappointed because of the intellectual depth innate to the program and the pieces.

Another important concern of the three artists is the live interaction with the audience at a concert: to truly engage the interest and attention of the listener, the programm is set in a story line that is accompanied by theatrical and scenic action. Through this interaction, interest and attention will be awoken and engaged – to the amusement of the experienced and the curious.

The Aix Alma Trio has a cultural cross-over aspect, which lies in the three artists itself: Cathy Yang was born in China and grew up in Canada, Alice Lackner is born and raised in Munich, Germany, and Maria Park is grew up in Ostfriesland, Germany, with Korean roots.

The influences of each cultural background are present in each individual artistic personality and the ensemble obtains through this diversity a certain flexibility and versatility in their music-making. Finally, it comes down to this – the Aix Alma Trio would like to send out a message through their music and their artistic ventures: people of different origins and races will find no borders in art; instead, there is only the possibilty of growing beyond their own individual borders, if only they would communicate with each other and work together.

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