Marc Yu was quite used to listening to Beethoven CD's even before he was born for, during her
pregnancy, his mother would play Beethoven's symphonies on the off chance he might be
listening. Perhaps he was, for the infant, from the beginning, would stop crying upon hearing
Beethoven. Later, in his car seat, it was noticed that he would always make rhythmic sounds
during certain passages of the music. He knew and anticipated these passages.
At three, upon his first encounter with a piano, he picked out a tune and lessons soon followed
with Pamela Lam. Marc became the national winner in the 2003 auditions of the National Guild of
Piano Teachers, a feat which he repeated the following year. He participated in the Classical
Music Festival held by the Music Teachers' Association of California and passed statewide
Certificate of Merit music exams in both piano and cello, which he also performed at the festival
to outstanding reviews. In the same year he began cello lessons with Jennifer Goss and won
third place at the Los Angeles Cello Society Competition for the 16-year-old-and-under category.
Five days after his sixth birthday, in January 2005, Marc was selected to perform at the master
class of the prestigious Virginia Waring International Piano Competition, a world-class event for
young pianists that takes place every four years. Shortly thereafter, he began studying under Dr.
Stephen Cook as a scholarship student at the Colburn School of Performing Arts in Los Angeles,
The Davidson Institute for Talent Development soon took note and awarded Marc their 2005
Fellowship---their youngest recipient to date. Marc was flown to Washington D.C. to accept the
prestigious honor in the Library of Congress where he delivered a heartfelt (and humorous)
speech in support of classical music.
By the end of that year, six-year-old Marc was a seasoned professional featured in numerous
recitals, benefits, and master classes. June 2005 saw his orchestral debut with the Capistrano
Valley Symphony conducted by Carlo Spiga. Two months later, he made his television debut on
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, making a second appearance the following November playing
the cello. Appearances quickly followed with Oprah and Ellen DeGeneres (he has been a guest
on The Ellen Show four times). At Steinway Piano's invitation, Marc performed on legendary
virtuoso Vladimir Horowitz' piano to inaugurate the Steinway Historical Piano Tour.
In June 2007, Marc performed Schubert's challenging four-hand duet, the Fantasie in F Minor
with his idol, internationally renowned piano virtuoso Lang Lang in Las Vegas, Nevada. Later
that year, after performing in music festivals in San Remo; Genoa, Italy; and on Berlin, Germany
television; Marc toured Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan as a performer to promote "My
Brilliant Brain" (U.S. title: "Brain Child"), a BBC National Geographic documentary featuring Marc.
February 2008 saw Marc performing solo in tribute to Lang Lang at the Grammy Awards Salute to
Classical Music. He was an invited speaker and performer the following Spring in Dubai, at the
World Summit Meeting; and in June, he performed at a benefit to aid the victims of the May 2008
Sichuan, China earthquake held at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. While there, he
also played for China's Vice-Premier Wang Qishan and members of the U.S. Cabinet at the U.S. –
China Strategic Economic Dialogue.
On August 31, 2008, Marc again performed the Schubert Fantasie with Lang Lang, this time to a
sold out crowd in London's Royal Albert Hall. Marc and Lang Lang will perform together again in
2009, at Vienna's Musikverein and at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Following an orchestral performance recently in Mobile, Alabama, one reviewer wrote "To the
uninitiated, a pianist of Yu's age presuming to play so subtle and complex a work might seem a
novelty. Marc Yu banished such thoughts with a passion and technical proficiency that belie his
Marc is a piano student of Dr. Aleksei Takenouchi, and is learning orchestra conducting with Dr.
Jeffrey Bernstein of Occidental College in Los Angeles, California.
Marc Yu is a seven year old like no other. While his friends are putting on their pyjamas to get ready for bed, Marc gets dressed for a classical concert, but not to watch, he's going to play. Marc can play more than forty classical pieces from memory.
What is it that makes gifted children so special? Do they just work harder than others or are they born with brilliant brains?
Marc has been invited to play an audition for Vassily Sinaisky, a world-famous conductor, at the LA Philharmonic. Maestro Sinaisky has seen talent come and go, getting the man's ear for ten minutes is a rare privilege for anyone, let alone a little boy.
Professor Ellen Winner, a developmental psychologist, has spent the last fifteen years studying gifted children. When she asks Chloe, Marc's mother, when she discovered his musical talent, she is told t6hat Marc had been at a birthday party when he heard "Mary Had a Little Lamb". He came home and played it on the piano. He was two years old and had never had a piano lesson.
To say that Marc Yu has a propensity for music is a massive
understatement. His whole world revolves around it. He practices for
up to eight hours a day, seven days a week and says he loves every
minute of it. What started as a propensity has now grown into an
obsession. Marc reaches a landmark in his young life. A little over eight
years old and his fingers are finally long enough to span eight keys
on a piano. Bernstein: "He's passed this milestone of playing
an octave, which for an adult is a trivial task, but for Marc it has
been a goal for a long time". Now the world of grown-up music
beckons, but as he gets older he will have to meet quite different
Lang Lang is is one of the biggest stars in classical music today. He started playing the piano, in China, when he was three years old. Now, he fills concert halls all over the world. Lang Lang is the man Marc wants to be when he grows up. Marc is very fortunate, he has been invited to meet with his hero, he has been invited backstage for an audience with Lang Lang. They've met several time before and Marc almost dares to call Lang Lang a friend.
Lang Lang is determined to support Marc in any way he can. Today he has something very special to tell him; he would like Marc to play Carnegie Hall with him in 2009.
At just eight years old, Marc Yu has already left an indelible mark in the world of classical music as its newest young prodigy. He started piano lessons at age 3, and has gone on to perform at some of the most prestigious venues in the U.S. including the Hollywood Bowl, Disney Hall, and Town Hall in New York City. He has been a soloist with six orchestras, and has also performed on the Jay Leno, Oprah Winfrey, and Ellen DeGeneres shows. Marc was featured in the recent National Geographic documentary entitled “My Brilliant Brain,” which poses questions about the origins of genius. Marc’s performance schedule continues to fill up, and includes his upcoming Carnegie Hall debut.
With Lang Lang at the Proms in London - 2008
At Proms - part 2
Chopin Nocturne in C # Minor
In Sept 2008, Marc Yu and his mom travels to Paris after the Royal Albert Hall performance. During their vacation, they took the Eurostar train to Paris and found the place where Chopin was buried. They stood by his grave to give respect to this great composer.
Playing with the trout
Flight of the BumbleBee by Marc Yu the pianist
Marc Yu plays Ravel piano concerto in G II Adagio
Marc Yu Davidson Fellowship Reception Speech
Marc Yu October 2008 interview
Marc Yu on LA Morning Show
9 years-old Marc performed the Beethoven Piano Concerto No 1 with the California Philharmonic on Feb 16 2008 at the Ambassador auditorium.
Marc, at 7, was featured on the Ellen DeGeneres show. He played a contemporary piece whose composer was not yet decomposing. He told his jokes and was being that adorable boy, as always.
Marc Yu Beethoven Piano Concerto No 1 part 2
Lang Lang and Marc Yu in London, part 1 of 3
Lang Lang and Marc Yu in London, part 2 of 3
Marc Yu and Lang Lang from London, part 3 of 3