Twenty-Year Old Piano Prodigy Ran Jia makes her Vancouver Debut with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

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Twenty-year-old wunderkind Ran Jia took her homeland China by storm, performing from the age of seven – now, she sets her sights on North America. The VSO is honoured to present her Vancouver debut in an all-Mozart series finale in the Bach & Beyond and Beltone Symphony Sundays series packages. She will perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 12, while Maestro Bramwell Tovey leads the orchestra in Mozart’s Paris and Linz symphonies.

Ran JiaPianist Ran Jia has been hailed as “China’s new champion” and a “piano poet.” The daughter of Professor Daqun Jia, Dean of the Graduate Study Programs at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and one of China’s leading composers, she began studying the piano at age 3 and immediately showed extraordinary natural abilities. Her professional career skyrocketed when she was the only concert pianist invited to perform at Thelonious Monk’s 90th birthday in New York. The winner of numerous accolades the world over, she now studies with Gary Graffman at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

This concert celebrates the music of history’s greatest musical genius, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Symphony No.31, better known as the “Paris” Symphony, is one of Mozart’s most famous symphonies. Longing to escape from the tyrannical, unappreciative grip of his employer, the Archbishop of Salzburg, in September 1777 Mozart and his mother set out to find him a new job. They arrived in Paris and over the next six months, Wolfgang and his music drew an indifferent response. To make matters worse, his mother died in July. One of the few bright spots of the Parisian period was his association with the Concert spiritual, a series of public musical events managed by Jean Le Gros. This impresario commissioned several works from Mozart including Symphony No.31 which was positively received by Parisian audiences.

Mozart composed Symphony No.36 in the autumn of 1783. After an emotionally strained visit with his family in Salzburg, he and his wife Constanze stopped in the city of Linz during their return journey to Vienna. They enjoyed the hospitality of Count Thun, a music-loving nobleman whose wealth allowed him the luxury of his own orchestra. As a gesture of gratitude to his host, Mozart composed this work for him. Written in just four days, it has been known as the Linz Symphony ever since.

Mozart launched his life as a freelance artist in Vienna in May 1781. Since he was best known there as a pianist, he composed numerous piano works, including Piano Concerto No.12 in A Major, to play at his own subscription concerts. Despite the modest nature and scoring of this concerto, it stands out in Mozart’s early works for that instrument.


Bach & Beyond and Beltone Symphony Sundays Series:

Music of the Master: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Friday & Saturday, May 15 & 16, 8pm, Chan Centre
Sunday, May 17, 2pm, Orpheum Theatre

Bramwell Tovey, conductor
Ran Jia, piano

Mozart – Symphony No. 31, Paris
Mozart – Piano Concerto No. 12
Mozart – Symphony No. 36, Linz

Tickets $35 to $59 (Student, Senior and Subscriber discounts available). Tickets available through VSO Customer Service at 604.876.3434 and online at

Chan Centre performance tickets also available at the Chan Centre Box Office, or Ticketmaster Charge-by-Phone, 604.280.3311.

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