Korean-born pianist Joyce Yang, 26, always makes a splash when she visits Buffalo. And she has come here under some unusual circumstances.
Early in 2011, Yang had the unenviable challenge of filling in at the last minute when Chinese star Lang Lang canceled a high-profile appearance with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Her performance of Rachmaninoff won the audience's hearts. A few months later, she gave a recital on the prestigious Ramsi P. Tick Memorial Concert Series, where her Liszt and Schumann displayed subtlety and virtuosity.
Now, Yang is back with the BPO, this time in a planned engagement. Fresh from an appearance in Toronto's Roy Thomson Hall, she will be playing Beethoven's magnificent, extroverted "Emperor" Concerto.
The dual-personality program also includes music of George Gershwin. The Philharmonic will be playing "Catfish Row," music from "Porgy and Bess" and the overture to "Strike Up the Band." Beginning the concert is the Overture to "Gyul'sara" by Reinhold Gliere, the composer whose massive Third Symphony the BPO is playing in the spring in its return to Carnegie Hall.
The concert takes place at 8 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday in Kleinhans Music Hall. Admission is $32-$77; for more information, call 885-5000.