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How art deepens diplomacy – Pauline Yang

Pauline Yang is a United States Arts envoy.  She began her piano studies and won her first international competition at the age of five and…

Pauline Yang is a United States Arts envoy.  She began her piano studies and won her first international competition at the age of five and seven respectively in Washington, DC. In March of 1998, Yang made her Philadelphia Orchestra debut as well as solo recital debut at the age of eleven at Carnegie Hall. In the same year,  she entered The Juilliard School, where she won both the Pre-College’s concerto and scholarship competitions in her first year. Yang, who is on a visit to Nigeria shares her views with Daily Trust on Sunday on the relationship between art and diplomacy and how Nigerian artists could carve a niche for themselves at the global level.

By Taiwo Adeniyi & Aishah Saleeman  

You started playing  piano at five. What spurred  your  choice of the instrument? 

I wasn’t one of the extraordinary performer  in that line because of the community where I grew up in New Jersey, pretty much, every Asian-American child was learning the piano. The only other choice of the instrument would have been the violin. It was by fact that everyone was learning it. So, it was a given to do so as well. What was not a given was that I had such a phenomenal first teacher who built a great foundation for me ‘pianistically,’ and technically and above all,  my interest and passion for piano and music and that for me was key. 

How would you rate Nigerian arts? 

It’s exciting to hear and see what comes out of Nigeria, especially from what I hear in Lagos. I feel that there is a drive and a desire for Nigerians, especially the youth to want to do more in art and culture and to promote the Nigerian

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