Pianist YIN Chengzong was born in Gulangyu Island, Xiamen. At nine years old, he held a recital. At 17 he won first prize in the Vienna World Youth Day Piano Competition; at 20 he won second prize for piano in the Moscow International Tchaikovsky Competition. In the 1960s, he entered the Leningrad Conservatory for advanced studies with pianist Professor Tatiana Kravchenko. After graduation, he returned home and worked for the Central Philharmonic Orchestra as principal pianist. In 1983, he gave his debut at Carnegie Hall, and so far has been present in this world-class music hall for eight times. He was named “most outstanding Chinese pianist” by the New York Times.
YIN is not only an interpreter of Western music, but also the composer and adapter of many famous piano pieces. Having performed Peking Opera and ancient Chinese music on the piano, and made contributions to the Piano Concerto Yellow River , he becomes a pianist known to many households. His recording of Piano Concerto Yellow River won the Golden Disk Awards, and is often played back in more than 50 countries. He, as well as NIE Er, XIAN Xinghai and MA Sichong, are among the only four Chinese musicians included in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.
YIN has visited five continents, and cooperated with well-known conductors and orchestras including Eugene Ormandy and Philadelphia Orchestra, Claudio Abbado and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Kirill Kondrashin and Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Malcolm Sargent and Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, etc. He gave performances in Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto, and at the Lincoln Centre. He has released over 30 recordings of different types of Chinese and foreign works. Many of his exclusive interviews were broadcast on CCTV and CBS Sunday Morning. He was a professor and resident artist at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Due to his unremitting efforts, the fourth International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians was held in Xiamen in 2002, and he served as chairman of the judging panel.
2010 was the year by which Mr. YIN Chengzong had been a stage performer for 60 years and 40 years had passed since the composition and premiere of the Yellow River Piano Concerto. In honour of this special year, Mr. YIN held a concert of concertos and solos, and gave a performance at the NCPA as a prelude to his forthcoming tour to North America and dozens of major cities of China. Meanwhile, he published three collector’s edition of CDs of music composed by Schubert, Beethoven, Chopin and Schuman.
During the Spring Festival of 2012, he performed the Yellow River Piano Concerto at the Golden Hall, extending it to the world as the main attraction of the CCTV Spring Festival Gala overseas. The same year, he recorded brand-new Piano Concerto Yellow River and piano accompaniment The Legend of the Red Lantern in collaboration with China Philharmonic Orchestra and YU Long, and produced albums of music composed by Mozart, Liszt and Brahms in New York. Moreover, he held 16 solo concerts at Poly Cinemas in Shenzhen, Wuhan and Chongqing.
In recent years, Mr. YIN has been invited to memorial galas, such as the one held (in Hong Kong) in celebration of the 10th anniversary of Hong Kong’s Return to China, at which he performed Piano Concerto Yellow River in collaboration with the China Philharmonic Orchestra. He cooperated with the China National Symphony Orchestra in performing at the NCPA New Year’s Concert (hosted by Phoenix TV), which was telecast globally. In 2013, he held an 8th special concert in Carnegie Hall in celebration of the 30th anniversary of his debut in this hall, and gave a world tour. In 2014, he cooperated with conductor Ashkenazy at the “Reunion” concert held by the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra in performing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, bringing down the house. 2015 marked the 70th year since the end of the Anti-Japanese War and 45 years had passed since the composition and premiere of the Piano Concerto Yellow River.
As an outstanding piano educator that has worked on piano education for over 50 years and with a strong sense of mission to promote future development of the piano, YIN Chengzong has found time in his busy schedule to give many lessons at the Central Philharmonic Orchestra and Central Conservatory of Music. He is a teacher at the Manhattan School of Music and Cleveland Institute of Music, where he has produced a large group of young pianists, such as famous pianist Lang Lang, Russian pianist Ilya Itin, who won gold award in the Leeds International Piano Competition, Taiwan pianist CHEN Yuxiang, who won first prize in the U.S. Pogorelich International Piano Competition and Chinese-American rising pianist Geroge Li, who won silver award in the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition recently.