Yuja Wang, a 29-year-old Chinese pianist, is taking over the internet this week with her dazzling rendition of Mozart’s Turkish March.
Though her performance with the Berlin Philharmonic took place last May, a clip uploaded to Facebook this week has given Wang a massive new audience, notching 20 million views before it was taken down from the social network. The original clip (below) posted by the Berlin Philharmonic after the concert was viewed more than 63,000 times. The viral performance, an encore with the orchestra, was particularly notable because of her “jazzy” interpretation of the song.
The Turkish March has proven to be a hit for Wang before. A video shared on July 22 featuring a younger, more casual Wang practicing the tune generated 3.5 million views.
Both her Chinese and overseas fans were captive by her performance. “My god, that is unbelievable, I couldn’t look away,” commented Twitter user Deepa Unni. Many were amazed at the speed of her fingers. “I feel like my hands are twitching when watching this..It’s like the limit of human beings’ hands,” one commenter on Weibo said. Another suggested (links in Chinese) “someone should light a match over the piano’s strings and see if they will catch on fire.”
Known for her “incomparable musicality” and fashion choices on stage (she played at the Hollywood Bowl several years ago in a short skirt and high heels), Wang, a Grammy-nominated artist, was born in Beijing and studied at Canada’s Mount Royal University at the age of 14. In 2015, the Los Angeles Times described a performance of her as one that “would have made both [Russian composer, conductor, and pianist Sergei] Prokofiev and even the fabled [Russian-American pianist and composer Vladimir] Horowitz jealous.”