Houston Matters

How immigrating to Houston helped Amy Yang rediscover the piano

Yang talks about growing up in the halls of the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston, where her father earned his doctorate, and about a piece her dad composed that she’ll perform June 20 at the Texas Music Festival.


Classical pianist Amy Yang, who grew up in Houston.


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Celebrated classical pianist Amy Yang will perform June 20 during the Texas Music Festival at the University of Houston. It’s a bit of a homecoming for Yang, who grew up here.

As a child, Yang and her mother immigrated to Houston to join her father, Hua Yang, who earned his doctorate in composition at the Moores School of Music at UH. And Yang basically grew up in the halls of that institution.

In the audio above, she tells Houston Matters host Craig Cohen she played piano when she was younger but stopped. It wasn’t until she sat in on a performance at UH that so moved her that she asked her father to begin studying piano again.

Today, Yang works at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia as the Associate Dean of Piano Studies and Artistic Initiatives.

In their conversation, Yang talks about how Houston shaped her growth as a musician, about Timothy Hester, the UH music professor who took time out of his busy schedule to teach her for years for free, and about the role her dad played in her interest and access to classical music and the piano.

Yang performs on June 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the Dudley Recital Hall on the UH campus. She’ll perform a program of music by Bach, Brahms, Schubert, Schumann, and a piece composed by her father.

The following day, Yang will conduct a master class with piano students.

Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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