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Carnegie Hall Releases Yuja Wang's Heartbeat Data from her Rachmaninoff Marathon

Wang discusses the relationship between her heartbeat data and the music during this 2.5-hour concert

 

In January 2023, pianist Yuja Wang completed an unprecedented Rachmaninoff marathon — in which she played all four Rachmaninoff concerti, as well as the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, in a single performance. She was joined by The Philadelphia Orchestra and conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Wang, Nézet-Séguin, members of the orchestra, and some concertgoers all wore heartbeat monitors for the duration of the performance, so that the data could be reviewed afterwards and compared with what was happening in the music.

Throughout the concert, Wang played more than 97,000 notes — equal to 621 pages of score and 2.5 hours of music. During the concert, she burned 2,427 calories, or the equivalent of 20,275 steps — while Nézet-Séguin managed 1,645 calories, or 15,079 steps.

You can hear Wang discussing the relationship between the music and her heart sensor data below.

 

Born into a musical family in Beijing, Yuja Wang studied with Gary Graffman at the Curtis Institute of Music. She came to prominence in 2007, after she stepped in for Martha Argerich as a soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Just two years later, she had signed an exclusive contract with the Deutsche Grammophon label.

Wang has given concerto appearances alongside conductors including Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Gustavo Dudamel, Lorin Maazel, Neville Marriner, Zubin Mehta, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Sir Antonio Pappano, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Yuri Temirkanov, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Pinchas Zukerman.

She was named Musical America’s Artist of the Year in 2017, and in 2021 received an Opus Klassik Award for her world-premiere recording of John Adams’ Must the Devil Have all the Good Tunes? with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel.

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