Derek appeared on Show 288, recorded in April 2014, at age 15. He also performed in the From the Top Band’s 2015 mashup cover of “Can’t Feel My Face | Where Are Ü Now”. He also served as emcee and pianist for From the Top’s first NPR Tiny Desk concert in 2018.
Derek Wang is a New York-based pianist and communicator who is guided by the value of committed listening across musical and social spaces. He received his Bachelor of Music degree at The Juilliard School and was awarded the Peter Mennin Prize for outstanding achievement and leadership in music upon graduation. He is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree at Juilliard, studying with Stephen Hough and Veda Kaplinsky as a Kovner Fellowship recipient. In the summer of 2019, Derek began a fellowship position as pianist of the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble at the Aspen Music Festival and School, enjoying duo collaborations with guest artists Vijay Iyer, pianist and composer, and Robert McDuffie, violinist, in addition to chamber music with members of the festival’s artist-faculty, premieres of works by the festival’s composition fellows, and weekly performances under the baton of Timothy Weiss. Most recently, he launched American Stories with violinist Sophia Stoyanovich, a podcast series that celebrates American concert music as a mirror to stories of the people living in the country today, with a first episode featuring conversation with healthcare workers on the front lines of COVID-19. Derek has performed in the Great Hall of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the rotunda of the Guggenheim Museum, Lehrman Hall at the Morgan Library and Museum, and the West Gallery of the Frick Collection.
Derek Wang first appeared on a national broadcast of NPR’s From the Top in 2013 (Show #288: Tacoma, WA) and has also been involved with the From the Top organization in community outreach performances at schools in Tacoma and at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Derek is entering his third year of undergraduate study with Veda Kaplinsky at The Juilliard School, where he is a proud recipient of a Kovner Fellowship.
Derek’s wide-ranging activities at Juilliard have emphasized collaboration as well as contemporary music. In his freshman year, Derek performed as soloist in John Adams’ Grand Pianola Music with the AXIOM ensemble, accompanied Beethoven and Schubert songs in recital on fortepiano, and premiered a work for solo piano by classmate Tengku Irfan at the Morgan Library as part of Juilliard PianoScope. As a sophomore, Derek played Mozart’s A minor Rondo in a masterclass for Murray Perahia, performed Jacob Druckman’s The Seven Deadly Sins for solo piano on an AXIOM ensemble program, and collaborated with dancer Taylor LaBruzzo to perform “Danse Sacrale” from Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, in a transcription for piano solo, for a Juilliard In Focus event. As a Gluck Community Service Fellow, Derek performs twelve interdisciplinary concert programs a year at healthcare facilities throughout New York City.
Derek has enjoyed an ongoing multimedia collaboration between animation and music, playing the Chopin études live as a synchronized soundtrack to screenings of the short film collection Magic Piano and The Chopin Shorts, produced by Academy Award winner Hugh Welchman. These performances have been presented as family concerts at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the Dallas Opera House, the E-G conference in California, the La Ciudad de Las Ideas conference in Mexico, and on two tours of China that reached a total of nine cities.
Derek is a longtime student at the Aspen Music Festival and School in Colorado, where he has studied in the David Finckel and Wu Han Chamber Music Studio, participated in the Weilerstein Piano and Strings Workshop, and performed Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with Aspen’s Fourth of July Concert Band. Before entering Juilliard’s College Division, Derek graduated as a commencement award winner from its Pre-College program, where he won its piano concerto competition in 2015, playing Prokofiev’s Third. Derek grew up near Boston and graduated cum laude from The Rivers School in Weston, MA.
Program bio from Show 288:
Derek Wang (piano), 15, is from Needham, Massachusetts, and is a student at The Rivers School in Weston, Massachusetts. On weekends, he travels to New York City, where he studies with Matti Raekallio atÊJuilliard Pre-College. There, he also participates in chamber music and chorus, as well as participating in chamber music at The Rivers School. He was a winner at the 2013 Rosalyn Tureck Bach Competition and has attended the Aspen Summer Music Festival since 2011. He enjoys bringing music to unconventional venues and has performed for school children in New York and Chicago. He also enjoys anything having to do with cars, especially formula one racing.