Wu Wei is considered to be the world’s leading avant-garde player of the sheng, or Chinese mouth organ. After studying sheng—a 4000-year-old Chinese folk instrument—as a Master’s student at the renowned music conservatory of Shanghai and working as a soloist for the traditional Chinese Orchestra of Shanghai, he was awarded a DAAD scholarship in 1995 to study at the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music in Berlin. He has lived in Berlin ever since.
Besides winning many prestigious national and international competitions for traditional Chinese music, he won the first prize in the German music competition “Musica Vitale” in 1996 and 2002 and won the German folk prize Global Root in 2004 for extraordinary achievement as an international musician on the German music scene.
Wu Wei is world-renowned for his abilities in wide range of musical styles, including modern and improvised music, jazz-influenced music, new music, and minimalist music, all of which he performs on a modern descant sheng of 37 pipes. He has also discovered hidden sounds on the instrument with which he has fashioned sound-worlds especially for the new-music idiom, but always using his own expression and coloring, thus creating new dimensions for traditional Chinese instrumental music.
With his background in Chinese classical music and his extraordinary musical creativity and vitality, Wu Wei has participated in a number of interdisciplinary projects, such as November Land: Music and Literature, with the renowned German writer and Nobel Laureate Günter Grass and Michael Lentz; contemporary opera with Qu xiaosong, Guo Wenjing and Wang Lin; contemporary dance with Geraldo Si of Brazil, Barbara Sarreau of Germany, Miho Iwata of Japan, and I-Fen Lin of Taiwan; musical theater with Jörg Widmann; and music painting with Jean-Jacques Lemetre of Théâtre du Soleil in Paris.
Wu Wei draws inspiration from a wide range of collaborators. He is the first musician to bring the 37-pipe sheng to the international stage. Since 1993, he has appeared as sheng soloist with many internationally renowned orchestras and ensembles, including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Kent Nagano, the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel, the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra under Jaap van Zweeden, the Albany Symphony Orchestra under David Alan Miller, the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra under Kazuyoshi Akiyama, the Symfonieorkest Valaanderen of Belgium under Jonas Alber, the Munich Symphony under Heiko Matthias Foester, the Luebecker Philharmonic under Xincao Li, the Taipei Philharmonic under Martin Fischer-Dieskau, the Westfalen New Philharmonic under Samuel Bachli, the Pannonische Philharmonic Orchestra of Austria, the Brandenburg Symphony Orchestra under Renchang Fu, and the Metropole Orchestra Holland under Jurjen Hempel, where he performed the first concerto ever written for sheng and jazz orchestra, composed by Guus Janssen. In all, he has played the world premieres of more than 140 compositions, including 10 concertos for sheng and orchestra. Among the composers whose work he has premiered are John Cage, Unsuk Chin, Toshio Hosokawa, Enjott Schneider, Joerg Widmann, Tan Dun, Qigang Chen, Guo Wenjing, Keeyoug Chong, and Ruo Huang.
Wu Wei appears in the following:
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Yunnan Province lies in the Southwest of China. It is widely known for its magnificent landscapes and enchanting natural scenery. This piece is called Impression of Yunnan