Assistant Professor of the Practice of Piano
Praised as a "magnificent pianist” who "offers compelling insight" (Fanfare Magazine), Chinese-American pianist Susan Yang maintains a multifaceted career as a performer, pedagogue and advocate for diversity in the arts. A recent artist on the National Federation of Music Clubs roster, Yang captured first prize in the 2019 biennial NFMC Young Artist Competition. She has also been a prizewinner at the International Keyboard Odyssiad Competition, Naftzger Young Artist Competition, and New York Festival and Competition, among others.
As a concerto soloist, Yang has appeared with orchestras such as the Nashville Symphony, Delta Symphony and Ann Arbor Symphony. Her debut album, DOORWAYS: Half-Remembered Music, featuring miniature pairings that explore subtle connections across time and space, was released in 2019 on Blue Griffin Records. Equally accomplished in her research and scholarship, Yang is a recipient of the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Arts Scholar Award and the University of Michigan Rackham Graduate Fellowship.
As a pedagogue, Yang lectures and adjudicates regularly across the US. Her presentations have been featured at various institutions and music organizations. Recent and upcoming presentations include the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Oregon Music Teachers Association, The Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy, and the 2022 Music Teachers National Association Conference. Yang’s research interests include early methods of musicianship skills, applying the principles of Deliberate Practice in music performance, and diversifying the solo repertoire with historically excluded composers.
Passionate about addressing social issues through music, Yang is a co-founder and co-director of A Seat at the Piano (ASAP), a nonprofit organization dedicated to broadening public knowledge of marginalized composers and inspiring more thoughtful and inclusive programming. Yang frequently presents on topics such as incorporating social justice into the piano studio and revamping the teaching repertoire with undervalued works. Other projects she has initiated in the past include curating a recital program that celebrates women’s suffrage and teaching free lessons to low-income students.
Yang currently serves on the piano faculty at Vanderbilt University Blair School of Music. She holds a D.M.A. in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Michigan, M.M. in Piano Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and B.M. cum laude in Piano Performance from Vanderbilt University. Her primary teachers include Logan Skelton, Elisabeth Pridonoff and Amy Dorfman.