“Mr. Yang is a true crossover artist, a pioneer who can hop between classical and popular music and bring fresh ideas to fans of both genres. Rather than maintaining an insular focus and simply assuming that an audience for classical music will always exist, he wants to actively create that audience, to persuade and seduce others into enjoying a type of music as passionately as he does.”
Grammy Award-winning violinist Charles Yang is the recipient of the 2018 Leonard Bernstein Award and has been described by the Boston Globe as a musician who “plays classical violin with the charisma of a rock star.” He has appeared at the festivals of Schleswig-Holstein, Aspen, Ravinia, Caramoor, and Interlochen and performed at Carnegie Hall, Musikverein, Lincoln Center, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Royal Danish Theatre, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Konzerthaus Berlin, Beijing’s Forbidden City, YouTube Music Awards, Google Zeitgeist, and Joe’s Pub in New York.
A compelling vocalist, crossover artist, and improviser, he is a member of Time for Three, an eclectic, free-wheeling string trio that locates itself at the busy intersection of Americana, modern pop, and classical music. In 2023, the group received a Grammy Award in the category of Best Classical Instrumental Solo for its recording of Letters for the Future, featuring the music of Kevin Puts and Jennifer Higdon with the Philadelphia Orchestra and conductor Xian Zhang.
Yang—an adventurous composer, arranger, songwriter, and collaborator—co-wrote the original score to Land, a 2021 film directed by Robin Wright. He has also collaborated onstage with artists such as Steve Miller, Savion Glover, Jon Batiste, Gaby Moreno, Joshua Bell, Michael Thurber, Peter Dugan, and Misty Copeland. In 2019, he premiered Kris Bowers’s concerto For a Younger Self at Walt Disney Hall.
A Juilliard graduate, he began his violin studies with his mother, Sha Zhu, in Austin, Texas, before working with Kurt Sassmanshaus, Paul Kantor, Brian Lewis, and Glenn Dicterow.
Charles performs on the 1852 “ex-Soil” J.B. Vuillaume.