LIPF 2018 Guest artists
Evgeny Brakhman & NAtalia Grines
Famous Russian pianists Natalia Grines and Evgeny Brakhman professionally grew up in Nizhny Novgorod. Here they played their first duo concert at the age of 8. Natalia and Evgeny both graduated from Nizhny Novgorod State Glinka conservatoire. At the meantime they are piano and chamber music professors and concert artists. In 2017 they were in tour in Taiwan, performing Poulenc concerto for two pianos with Taiwan Soloists Symphony Orchestra in major halls, including the best hall of Taiwan – Taipei National Concert Hall.
Evgeny Brakhman performs a lot as a recital player. His recent awards in Verona, Cleveland, Tbilisi, Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans competitions soon brought him to famous stages and orchestras. So he performed at Severance Hall in Cleveland, Teatre de la Ville in Paris, Grand Hall of Tbilisi Conservatoire, Municipal Theatre in Rio de Janeiro, Romanian Atheneum in Bucharest; and joined the Cleveland Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, Georgian National Orchestra, Rishon Lezion Symphony Orchestra, Taiwan Soloists Symphony Orchestra and Brazilian Symphony Orchestra. His recognition came in 1999, when he was announced as first prize winner of Dino Ciani international piano competition at La Scala in Milan. The jury was presided by Ricardo Muti and included Martha Argerich and Michel Beroff among others. Afterwards he played recitals at La Scala, Milan; Tonhalle, Zurich; Konzerthaus, Vienna; attended most prestigious festivals in Europe – La Roque d’Antheron in France, Settimane Musicali di Stresa, Bolzano and Cervo festivals in Italy, Sakharov festival in Russia, Martha Argerich project in Lugano, Switzerland. In 2002 EMI Classics realized his first CD, under the title “Martha Argerich Presents Evgeny Brakhman”. This CD, consisted of sonatas by Mozart, Beethoven and Liszt, was immediately awarded by Diapason d’Or. In 2003 EMI realized his second CD, a live recording from Lugano festival. At present Evgeny Brakhman is a prizewinner of more than 10 international piano competitions worldwide. A recital player, performed in more than 20 countries.
Natalia Grines plays in many different chamber ensembles. Her chamber partners are violinistsSergei Ostrovsky, Alena Baeva, Daniel Lozacovitj, Vladimir Ivanov, Ilya Gaisin, Elena Korzhenevich; violist Daniil Grishin; violoncellistsEvgeny Rumyantsev, Anastasya Kobeikina; clarinetists Igor Fedorov and Valentin Urupin; pianists Alexei Lubimov, Igor Zhukov, Evgeny Brakhman and others. She performed on tours in different cities of Russia, including concerts at Grand Hall of Moscow Conservatory and Bolshoi Theatre, and abroad (Italy, Spain, Austria, Bosnia, USA, Taiwan, South Africa). In 2016 she took part in Solsona Music Festival and Academy (Spain), where she performed in more than 10 concerts in two weeks with different programs. Performing in piano duo with her sister Olga Grines, she got special awards named after Tatiana Gaidamovich at the Taneev international chamber music competition. The duo Grines took part in many major festivals in Russia, including Moscow and Saint Petersburg conservatoires. Natalia was awarded a diploma of the best accompanist of the XIII Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow.
Born in China, Sa grew up in an artistic family. Her mother is a ballet dancer and her father was a French horn player who died of cancer when Sa was young. She received her first violin lesson from her father at the age of 6 and started her piano lessons with Prof. Dan Zhaoyi at age of 9. Both her parents dedicated themselves to Sa's piano education. Her mother took her weekly by overnight train from Chongqing to the Chengdu Conservatory for piano lessons. She appeared as the youngest contestant at the age of 16 at the 12th Leeds International Piano Competition and won the fourth prize. The year after, she received a full scholarship to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Prof. Joan Havill in London and received her master's degree in Performance. In 2000, she placed Fourth and the Best Polonaise Performance Award at the 14th International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw and received the Crystal Award at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in the year of 2005. Sa graduated from Arie Vardi’s Solo Class at the Hannover Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Germany in 2007, received PhD in Performance.
Over the past decade, Chen Sa has established herself as one of the most charismatic pianists of her generation. She earned critical acclaims at the International Chopin Piano Competition in 2000 and the Twelfth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2005 which began her professional performing career, bringing her evocative performances to audience around the world.
In recent years, Sa has performed with many prestigious orchestras, some of which are: the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, WDR Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, NHK Symphony Orchestra, China Philharmonic Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, and with renowned conductors including Sir Simon Rattle, Myung-Whun Chung, Semyon Bychkov, Fabio Luisi, Vasily Petrenko, Long Yu among many others.
As an enthusiastic chamber musician, Sa frequently collaborates with many great musicians. She appeared with Gidon Kremer and Natalie Gutman on many tours and music festivals including the prestigious Schleswig Holstein Festival, the Rurl Piano Festival in Germany, the Lockenhaus Music Festival in Austria and the Aix-en-Provence Festival in France.
Sa is a Steinway Artist. She has been nominated for the esteemed Tokyo series “The 100 Greatest Pianists” and as the cover artist of the launching issue of Gramophone magazine Chinese edition. In 2009 Sa was named by the French magazine “L’OFFICIEL” as one of the “Top ten Chinese Artists” . In 2010, the Polish Government honored the Chopin Art Passport to Sa, appreciating her unique interpretation and achievement in Chopin’s music.
Aside from her performance schedule, Sa engages herself in charity work too. In 2007, she was invited by the World Bank and the Norwegian government to premiere the multimedia piano concerto Green Call with the China National Symphony Orchestra in Beijing as part of the environmental protection educational program. She also visits and performs for the students who almost lost their ability to hear at local Special schools in China and in 2015, she gave performance in Washington as part of the “Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day” event.
In the 2015/16 season, Sa will maintain an intensive schedule，including a 22 recital tour in Germany, a 10 recital tour in China, concerto performances with the San Francisco Symphony, debut recital at the Prague Spring Festival, recital at Sala Verdi in Milan and chamber performances at the Bad Kissingen Festival in Germany and the Le French May festival in Hong Kong.
Called the “Van Cliburn of today” by the BBC, pianist Alexander Kobrin has placed himself at the forefront of today's performing musicians. His prize winning performances have been praised for their brilliant technique, musicality, and emotional engagement with the audience. The New York Times has written that Mr. Kobrin was a “fastidious guide” to Schumann’s “otherworldly visions, pointing out hunters, flowers, haunted corners and friendly bowers, all captured in richly characterized vignettes.” “This was a performance that will be revered and remembered as a landmark of the regeneration of exceptional classical music in Central New York.”-critic wrote after Mr. Kobrin’s performance of Second Piano Concerto by Johannes Brahms with Syracuse Symphony in Syracuse,NY.
In 2005, Mr. Kobrin was awarded the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Gold Medal at the Twelfth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, TX. His numerous successes in competitions also include top prizes at the Busoni International Piano Competition (First Prize), Hamamatsu International Piano Competition (Top Prize), Scottish International Piano Competition in Glasgow (First Prize)
Mr. Kobrin has performed with many of the world’s great orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic, Russian National Orchestra, Belgrade Philharmonic, English Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Verdi, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Moscow Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, Berliner Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta, Swedish Radio Symphony, Birmingham Symphony, Warsaw Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. He has collaborated with such conductors as Mikhail Pletnev, Mikhail Jurovsky, Mark Elder, Vassiliy Sinaisky, James Conlon, Claus Peter Flor, Alexander Lazarev, Vassiliy Petrenko and Yuri Bashmet.
He has appeared in recital at major halls worldwide, including the Avery Fisher Hall in New York, the Kennedy Centre in Washington, Albert Hall and Wigmore Hall in London, Louvre Auditorium,Salle Gaveau and Salle Cortot in Paris, Munich Herkulesaal and Berliner Filarmonia Hall in Germany, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire, Sheung Wan Civic Centre in Hong Kong, as well as Sala Verdi in Milan and many others. Other past performances have included recitals at Bass Hall for the Cliburn Series, the Washington Performing Arts Society, La Roque d'Antheron, the Ravinia Festival, the Beethoven Easter Festival, Busoni Festival , the renowned Klavier-Festival Ruhr, the Festival Musique dans le Grésivaudan ,the International Keyboard Institute & Festival, annual concert tours in Japan, China and Taiwan.
Though widely acclaimed as a performer, Mr. Kobrin’s teaching has been an inspiration to many students through his passion for music. From 2003 to 2010 he served on the faculty of the Russian State Gnessin’s Academy of Music. In 2010 Alexander Kobrin was named the L. Rexford Distinguished Chair in Piano at the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University, and since 2013 concurrently has been a member of the celebrated Artist Faculty of New York University’s Steinhardt School. In July 2017, Mr.Kobrin will join the faculty of the renowned Eastman School of Music in Rochster,NY. Mr. Kobrin has also given masterclasses in Europe and Asia, the International Piano Series and at the Conservatories of Japan and China.
Mr. Kobrin has been a jury member for many international piano competitions, including the Busoni International Piano Competition in Bolzano,"Prix Animato" in Paris, the Blüthner International Piano Competition in Vienna, E-Competition in Fairbanks, AK and the Neuhaus International Piano Festival in Moscow.
Mr. Kobrin has released recordings on the Harmonia Mundi, Quartz, and Centaur labels, covering a wide swath of the piano literature. His Schumann album,released on Centaur Records has been included into top-5 albums of the year in 2015 by Fanfare Magazine. Gramophone Magazine raved about his Cliburn Competition release on Harmonia Mundi, writing that “in [Rachmaninoff’s] Second Sonata (played in the 1931 revision), despite fire-storms of virtuosity, there is always room for everything to tell and Kobrin achieves a hypnotic sense of the music’s dark necromancy.”
Mr. Kobrin was born in 1980 in Moscow. At the age of five, he was enrolled in the world-famous Gnessin Special School of Music after which he attended the prestigious Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatoire. His teachers have included renowned professors Tatiana Zelikman and Lev Naumov.
Marco & Raffaele Terlizzi
"The Terlizzi brothers manifest a poetic sensitive nature, a strong temperament and a enchanting capacity of communicating”... these are the words of the famous violinist and conductor Vladimir Spivakov, who, in 2009, invites the TERLIZZI DUO to perform in Moscow, at the “International House of Music”, of which he is President, and awarding them the Diploma of Honour of the “Spivakov International Charity Foundation”.
The DUO TERLIZZI attended many Chamber Music “Master classes” with Duo F. Gulli – E. Cavallo, Duo P. Amoyal – P. Gililov, P. Roczek, A. Delle Vigne, A. Lysy, Ph. Hirshhorn, H. Meyer (LaSalle Quartet), A. Schiff, V. Spivakov and Y. Menuhin at important music institutions including the “Mozarteum” - SommerAkademie in Salzburg, the “Konservatorium für Musik” in Luzern and in Bern, the “Academie de Musique” in Lausanne, the “Ecole Nationale de Musique” in Colmar, the “Muraltengut” in Zürich and the “Conservatoire Royale de Musique” in Bruxelles.
The Duo has held many successful concerts, including several Festivals, in Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovenija, Croatia, Bulgaria, Russia, Lithuania, Estonia, Chile, Argentina, China and Japan, playing at the Auditorium of “Bellas Artes” Museum, at the Conservatorio Nacional Superior “L. Buchardo” and at the “Colón Theatre”(Salon Dorado) in Buenos Aires, at the ”National Philarmonie” in Vilnius, at the “Antico Teatro di Marcello”, at the “Villa Torlonia” and at the “Sala Bandini” in Rome, at the “Event Hall” in Kyoto, at the Auditorium of the “Instituto Cultural de Providencia” in Santiago de Chile, at the “St. Merry” Church in Paris, at the “Villa Medicea di Careggi” in Florence, at the “White Hall” and at the “Niguliste Museum” in Tallin, at the “Wiener Saal-MOZARTEUM” in Salzburg , at the “Villa Rufolo” in Ravello, at the “Aula Magna” of the Comahue University in Neuquen, at the “Marrucino” Theatre in Chieti, at the “Notre-Dame au Sablon” Church in Bruxelles, at the “Jubel Hall” in Osaka, at the “Palazzo Albrizzi” in Venice, at the “Teather am Ring” in Saarlouis, at the Theatre of the “Fundacion Astengo” (MOZARTEUM Argentino) in Rosario, at the “Great Concert Hall” of “Sichuan Music Conservatory” of Chengdu, at the “National Palace of Culture” and at the “Bulgaria Chamber Music Hall” in Sofia, at the “Roerichs International Centre”, “Colonnade Hall of Arkhangelskoe” and at the “International House of Music” in Moscow, at the “Jaani Kirik Hall” and at the “Philarmonie” in St. Petersburg, at the Auditorium “YCIS” in Hong Kong, at the “Tiara Concert Hall” in Tokyo and, moreover, in Wien, Budapest, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Antwerpen,
Luzern, Lausanne, Yantai, Madrid, Barcelona, Cordoba, Salta, Bahia Blanca, La Plata, Pärnu, Rijeka, and in almost all over Italy. It has won various prizes in Chamber Music Competition: the silver plate at the National Competition in Naples, 1994; the gold medal at the National Competition in Morbegno, 1995; the third prize and the “Haydn special Award” at the “Ibla Grand Prize” lnternational Competition, 1995; the second prize at the International Competition in Acqui Terme, 1995; the second prize at “Riviera del Conero” International Competition in Ancona, 1996; the first place at the European Competition in Moncalieri, 1997 and the first prize at “Villa Medicea” International Competition in Prato, 1997. The DUO has been awarded, at the “La Sapienza” University in Rome, the International Prize “Foyer des Artistes – 2000” (recognized by the Italian Council of Ministers Presidency) : Gold Medal for Merit of Culture, Art and Science; the “Santa Cecilia” Prize, and the “Sicilia – Il Paladino” International Prize.
Marco and Raffaele Terlizzi gave Masterclasses in China, Japan, USA, Russia, Slovenja, Slovakja, Spain, Netherland, and Italy, where, they both are professors at the “V. Bellini” Conservatory in Catania.
Recognized as the world’s premier pipa virtuoso and leading ambassador of Chinese music, Wu Man has carved out a career as a soloist, educator and composer giving her lute-like instrument—which has a history of over 2,000 years in China—a new role in both traditional and contemporary music. Through numerous concert tours Wu Man has premiered hundreds of new works for the pipa, while spearheading multimedia projects to both preserve and create awareness of China’s ancient musical traditions. Her adventurous spirit and virtuosity have led to collaborations across artistic disciplines allowing Wu Man to reach wider audiences as she works to break through cultural and musical borders. Wu Man’s efforts were recognized when she was named Musical America’s 2013 Instrumentalist of the Year, marking the first time this prestigious award has been bestowed on a player of a non-Western instrument.
Having been brought up in the Pudong School of pipa playing, one of the most prestigious classical styles of Imperial China, Wu Man is now recognized as an outstanding exponent of the traditional repertoire as well as a leading interpreter of contemporary pipa music by today’s most prominent composers such as Tan Dun, Philip Glass, the late Lou Harrison, Terry Riley, Bright Sheng, Chen Yi and many others. She has been featured on PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and in 2011 she was the first Chinese musician featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series. She was awarded The Bunting Fellowship at Harvard University in 1998, and was the first Chinese traditional musician to receive The United States Artist Fellowship in 2008. She is also the first artist from China to perform at the White House. In 2015, Wu Man was appointed Visiting Professor of three major Chinese conservatories: the Shanghai Conservatory, her alma mater the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, and the Zhejiang Conservatory in her hometown. As part of the residency, Wu Man gives lectures as well as coach students and lead masterclasses.
During the 2016-17 season, Wu Man performs the world premiere of a new pipa concerto by Canadian composer Vincent Ho with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra conducted by Long Yu; Tan Dun’s pipa concerto with the Reno Chamber Orchestra, NCPA Orchestra and Sinfonieorchester Aachen; and Chen Qigang’s Iris Devoilee for singers and Chinese instruments with the Stuttgart Philharmonic. She is joined by the Shanghai Quartet for the New York premiere of Zhao Jiping’s multimedia work Red Lantern, on a program that includes music by Bright Sheng, Ye Xiaogang, and Zhou Long, presented by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; and returns to Wigmore Hall, where she made her recital debut in 2014, to perform with frequent collaborator singer Sanubar Tursen in Basel Rajoub’s Soriano Project that celebrates the musical heritage of diverse artists as part of the Aga Khan Music Initiative. Wu Man also reprises her projects “Wu Man and Friends” and “Borderlands” in Singapore, Beijing and Calgary and tours Europe with The Knights.
Wu Man has performed as soloist with many of the world’s major orchestras, including the Austrian ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Moscow Soloists, Nashville Symphony, German NDR and RSO Radio Symphony Orchestras, New Music Group, New York Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony Orchestra and the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra. Her touring has taken her to the major music halls of the world including Carnegie Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Great Hall in Moscow, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Opera Bastille, Royal Albert and Royal Festival Halls in London and the Theatre de la Ville in Paris. She has performed at many international festivals including the Auckland Arts Festival, Bang on a Can Festival, BBC Proms, Festival d’Automne in Paris, Festival de Radio France et Montpellier, Hong Kong Arts Festival, La Jolla Summerfest, Lincoln Center Festival, Luminato, Mozart Festival in Vienna, NextWave!/BAM, Ravinia Festival, Silk Road Festival, Sydney Festival, Tanglewood, Wien Modern, WOMAD Festival, and the Yatsugatake Kogen Festival in Japan. Wu Man continually collaborates with some of the most distinguished musicians and conductors performing today, such as Yuri Bashmet, Dennis Russell Davies, Christoph Eschenbach, Gunther Herbig, Cho-Liang Lin, Yo-Yo Ma, David Robertson, Esa-Pekka Salonen and David Zinman.
Among her most fruitful collaborations is with Kronos Quartet, with whom Wu Man began collaborating in the early 1990s. They premiered their first project together, Tan Dun’s Ghost Opera,at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1995. The work was recorded and released on Nonesuch in 1997. That same year, Nonesuch released Kronos Quartet’s Early Music, which featured Wu Man on zhong ruan and da ruan (string instruments related to pipa) in John Dowland’s Lachrymæ Antiquæ. In 2005, Nonesuch released You’ve Stolen My Heart, an homage to the composer of classic Bollywood songs, Rahul Dev Burman, featuring the Quartet, Wu Man, singer Asha Bhosle and tabla player Zakir Hussain. The recording was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album. A recent project with Kronos is A Chinese Home, a multimedia work conceived by Wu Man, Kronos Quartet’s David Harrington, and theater director Chen Shi-Zheng, which received its premiere at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall in 2009. She participated in the Quartet’s 40th Anniversary celebration concerts at Cal Performances in Berkeley, CA and at Carnegie Hall, and was Artist-in-Residence with the Quartet in February 2016.
As a principal musician in Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project, Wu Man has performed throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia with the Silk Road Ensemble. She is a featured artist in the documentary The Music Of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble, as well as on the film’s 2017 Grammy Award-winning companion recording, Sing Me Home, which includes Wu Man’s original composition Green (Vincent’s Tune) performed with the vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth. She has recorded six albums with the group: Silk Road Journeys: When Strangers Meet (2002), Silk Road Journeys: Beyond the Horizon (2005), New Impossibilities (2007), the CD/DVD A Playlist Without Borders/Live from Tanglewood (2013) and Sing Me Home (2106) on Sony Classical, as well as Off the Map (2009) on World Village. Her recent performances with SRE include a 2016 tour to summer festivals such as Tanglewood, Wolf Trap, Blossom, Ravinia and Hollywood Bowl, SRE performances with Mark Morris Dance in Berkeley and Seattle, and a tour of Asia.
Adamant that the pipa does not become marginalized as only appropriate for Chinese music, Wu Man strives to develop a place for the pipa in all art forms. Projects she has initiated have resulted in the pipa finding a place in new solo and quartet works, concertos, opera, chamber, electronic, and jazz music as well as in theater productions, film, dance and collaborations with visual artists including calligraphers and painters. Wu Man’s role has developed beyond pipa performance to encompass singing, dancing, composing and curating new works. She has premiered works by Chinese composers including Zhao Jiping, Tan Dun, Bright Sheng, and Chen Yi. Other notable projects include Orion: China, co-written with Philip Glass for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens and recorded the following year; and Blue and Green, an original composition that she premiered with The Knights. Recent projects have seen Wu Man rediscover, embrace and showcase the musical traditions of her homeland, projects she has dubbed “Wu Man’s Return to the East.” In 2009 Wu Man was asked to curate two concerts at Carnegie Hall as part of the “Ancient Paths, Modern Voices” festival celebrating Chinese culture. Wu Man and the artists she brought to New York from rural China for the festival also took part in two free neighborhood concerts and a concert presented by the Orange County Performing Arts Society in Costa Mesa. In August 2012 Wu Man released a documentary DVD titled Discovering a Musical Heartland: Wu Man’s Return to China as part of her ongoing “Return to the East” project. In the film, Wu Man travels to little-explored regions of China to uncover ancient musical traditions that have rarely been documented before.
Wu Man boasts a discography of over 40 albums including the Grammy Award-winning Sing Me Home with the Silk Road Ensemble on Sony, the Grammy Award-nominated Our World in Song, featuring familiar folk songs from around the world arranged by Wu Man with Hawaiian instrumentalist Daniel Ho and Cuban percussionist Luis Conte, and Elegant Pipa Classics, which combines traditional pipa repertoire with modern compositions, both released by Wind Music. Traditions and Transformations: Sounds of Silk Road Chicago features her Grammy Award–nominated performance of Lou Harrison’s Pipa Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as well as a Grammy-nominated recording of Tan Dun’s Pipa Concerto with Yuri Bashmet and the Moscow Soloists on Onyx Classics. In May 2012, Wu Man released her Independent Music Award–nominated CD/DVD Borderlands, which traces the history of the pipa in China. It is the final installment of the acclaimed ten-volume “Music of Central Asia” ethnographic series produced by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife and Culture Heritage. In Wu Man and Friends, released on Traditional Crossroads in 2005, Wu Man blends Chinese, Ukrainian, Ugandan, and Appalachian traditional music, performing alongside musicians from these regions.Her solo recordings include Pipa: From a Distance, released on Naxos World Music in 2003, and Immeasurable Light, released on Traditional Crossroads in 2010.
Born in Hangzhou, China, Wu Man studied with Lin Shicheng, Kuang Yuzhong, Chen Zemin, and Liu Dehai at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, where she became the first recipient of a master's degree in pipa. Accepted into the conservatory at age 13, Wu Man’s audition was covered by national newspapers and she was hailed as a child prodigy, becoming a nationally recognized role model for young pipa players. She subsequently received first prize in the First National Music Performance Competition among many other awards, and she participated in many premieres of works by a new generation of Chinese composers. Wu Man’s first exposure to western classical music came in 1979 when she saw Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony Orchestra performing in Beijing. In 1980 she participated in an open master class with violinist Isaac Stern and in 1985 she made her first visit to the United States as a member of the China Youth Arts Troupe. Wu Man moved to the U.S. in 1990 and currently resides with her husband and son in California.
The SHanghai Quartet
Renowned for its passionate musicality, impressive technique and multicultural innovations, the Shanghai Quartet has become one of the world’s foremost chamber ensembles. Its elegant style melds the delicacy of Eastern music with the emotional breadth of Western repertoire, allowing it to traverse musical genres including traditional Chinese folk music, masterpieces of Western music and cutting-edge contemporary works.
Formed at the Shanghai Conservatory in 1983, the Quartet has worked with the world’s most distinguished artists and regularly tours the major music centers of Europe, North America and Asia. Recent festival performances range from the International Music Festivals of Seoul and Beijing to the Festival Pablo Casals in France, Beethoven Festival in Poland, Yerevan Festival in Armenia and Cartagena International Music Festival in Colombia, as well as numerous concerts in all regions of North America. The Quartet has appeared at Carnegie Hall in chamber performances and with orchestra; in 2006 they gave the premiere of Takuma Itoh’s Concerto for Quartet and Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Among innumerable collaborations with noted artists, they have performed with the Tokyo, Juilliard and Guarneri Quartets, cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Lynn Harrell, pianists Menahem Pressler, Yuja Wang, Peter Serkin and Jean-Yves Thibaudet, pipa virtuosa Wu Man and the male vocal ensemble Chanticleer. The Shanghai Quartet has been regular performers at many of North America’s leading chamber music festivals, including the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Chamberfest Ottawa and Maverick Concerts where they recently made their 24th consecutive annual appearance.
The Quartet has a long history of championing new music and juxtaposing traditions of Eastern and Western music. The Quartet’s 30th Anniversary season brought five new commissions; Bullycide, for piano, string quartet and bass by David Del Tredici; Fantasie, a piano quintet by Australian composer Carl Vine; a concerto for string quartet and symphony orchestra by Jeajoon Ryu; Verge Quartet by Lei Liang and Scherzo by Robert Aldridge, commissioned by Yu Long and the Beijing Music Festival. Their 25th anniversary season featured Penderecki’s String Quartet No. 3: Leaves From an Unwritten Diary, Chen Yi’s From the Path of Beauty, String Quartet No. 2 by Vivian Fung and jazz pianist Dick Hyman’s String Quartet. The Penderecki premiered at a special 75th birthday concert in Poland honoring the composer ,followed by U.S. premieres at Peak Performances, Montclair State University and the Modlin Center, University of Richmond and numerous performances worldwide. It was featured at the the composer’s 80th Birthday celebration in November 2013. Chen Yi’s From the Path of Beauty, co-commissioned with Chanticleer, premiered in San Francisco, followed by performances at Tanglewood and Ravinia, Beijing and Shanghai. Other important commissions and premieres include works by Bright Sheng, Lowell Lieberman, Sebastian Currier, Marc Neikrug and Zhou Long. Bright Sheng’s Dance Capriccio had its premiere in spring 2012 with pianist Peter Serkin. Dan Welcher’s Museon Polemos for double quartet premiered in September 2012 with the Miro Quartet at the University of Texas at Austin. The tradition will continue in 2014-15 with Du Yun’s Tattooed in Snow and in 2015-16 with the premiere of a quintet for string quartet and pipa by Zhao Ji-Ping, China’s most renowned film composer (Raise the Red Lantern, Farewell, My Concubine…) with Wu Man.
The Shanghai Quartet has an extensive discography of more than 30 recordings, ranging from the Schumann and Dvorak piano quintets with Rudolf Buchbinder to Zhou Long’s Poems from Tangfor string quartet and orchestra with the Singapore Symphony (BIS). Delos released the Quartet’s most popular disc, Chinasong: a collection of Chinese folk songs arranged by Yi-Wen Jiang reflecting on his childhood memories of the Cultural Revolution in China. In 2009 Camerata released the Quartet’s recordings of the complete Beethoven String Quartets, a seven-disc project.
A diverse and interesting array of media projects include a cameo appearance playing Bartok’s String Quartet No. 4 in Woody Allen’s film Melinda and Melinda to PBS television’s Great Performancesseries. Violinist Weigang Li appeared in the documentary From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China, and the family of cellist Nicholas Tzavaras was the subject of the film Music of the Heart, starring Meryl Streep.
The Shanghai Quartet currently serves as Quartet-in-Residence at the John J. Cali School of Music, Montclair State University, New Jersey, Ensemble-in-Residence with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and visiting guest professors of the Shanghai Conservatory and the Central Conservatory in Beijing. They are proudly sponsored by Thomastik-Infeld Strings.
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