As part of our China in New York festival, from Sunday, January 22 to Sunday, January 29, WQXR Host David Garland interviews a different Chinese-born musician, composer or conductor who has lived in the United States and has become prominent to New York City audiences.
Just shy of 31, Liang Wang is the youngest person to earn the principal oboist chair in the history of the New York Philharmonic. After having studied at the Beijing Central Conservatory, Idyllwild Arts Academy in California and at the Curtis Institute of Music, he climbed up the audition ladder, sitting in a few prominent US orchestral chairs along the way. By 2006, he earned his coveted spot with the New York Phil at just 26 years old.
You could say he has oboe sewn into his DNA. He learned how to play from his uncle, who at one time was a professional performer and now owns a shop dedicated to selling them in Beijing. Liang knew he wanted to play the oboe after hearing the score to Swan Lake as a young boy, imitating and perfecting his sounds and nuances.
Now that he lives in New York City, he says his playing has become more dynamic, and is as spicy as the Chinese food he likes to eat.