GRAMMY Award-winning artist and recipient of the 2018 Leonard Bernstein Award, Charles Yang has been described by The Boston Globe as one who "plays classical violin with the charisma of a rock star.” The Juilliard graduate began his violin studies with his mother, Sha Zhu, in Austin, Texas, and has since studied with world-renowned pedagogues Kurt Sassmanshaus, Paul Kantor, Brian Lewis, and Glenn Dicterow. He has performed as soloist with orchestras and in concert throughout the United States, Europe, Brazil, Russia, China, and Taiwan. On June 9th of 2005, the Mayor of Austin presented Yang with his own "Charles Yang Day.” In 2016, Yang joined the multi-genre string-band Time for Three as violinist and lead singer.
Not only confined to classical styles, Yang's improvisational crossover abilities as a violinist, electric violinist, and vocalist have led him to featured performances at festivals including The Aspen Music Festival, The Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, The Ravinia Festival, Caramoor, Interlochen, The YouTube Music Awards, TED, and Google Zeitgeist. He has performed at some of the world’s most celebrated venues such as Carnegie Hall, Musikverein, Lincoln Center, Konzerthaus Berlin, Rudolfinum, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Royal Danish Theatre, Joe’s Pub, ACL Live, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Forbidden City in Beijing, among many others. He has performed in the presence of two former US Presidents and the Queen of Denmark and has shared the stage in collaborations with artists including Peter Dugan, Michael Thurber and CDZA, Steve Miller, Jesse Colin Young, Joshua Bell, Jake Shimabukuro, Ray Benson, Savion Glover, Twyla Tharp, Misty Copeland, and Jon Batiste.
An adventurous composer, arranger, songwriter, and collaborator, Yang’s works have been featured in projects for Glamour and Pentagram. In 2021 he co-wrote the original score to Robin Wright’s 2021 feature film, Land. Time for Three’s album, “Letters for the Future” with Xian Zhang and The Philadelphia Orchestra featuring concertos written by Kevin Puts and Jennifer Higdon, won the 2023 GRAMMY award for “Best Classical Instrumental Solo.”
Yang’s career has been followed by various news media including The New York Times, The New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, The Financial Times, The Austin Chronicle, and The Strad. He is also featured in Nick Romeo's book, Driven as well as Discovery Channel's Curiosity.
Of note, The Texas Observer stated, “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.”
Charles Yang performs on the 1854 “ex-Soil” J.B. Vuillaume, as well as a 2017 Jeff Phillips.