“Her Albeniz was richly coloured, her Rachmaninov majestic, and her Schumann encore had a dreamy lyricism. If I'd listened blind, I'd have said it was a male Western virtuoso.”
The Independent, Dec 2006
Selected as the classical music bright young star for 2007 by the Independent Newspaper, Wu Qian was born in Shanghai in 1984 and began her training at the Shanghai Conservatoire of Music. At the age of thirteen she was invited on a full scholarship to study at the Menuhin School with Irina Zaritskaya, and she then went on to study with Professor Christopher Elton at the Royal Academy of Music where she also received a full scholarship. She will be completing her Masters Degree in 2009. Qian has also participated in Master classes given by renowned musicians such as Andras Schiff, Murray Perahia, Stephen Kovacevich, Charles Rosen, Leon Fleisher, Mstislav Rostropovich, Stephen Hough and Alexander Satz.
Qian has been awarded numerous awards and prizes including the Boise Foundation scholarship and has been supported by the Musicians’ Benevolent Fund, Hattori Foundation, The Martin Scholarship fund and the Tillett Trust Young artist scheme.
While still only 15, Qian performed Mozart’s Piano Concerto in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London and later at the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad, Switzerland. As the recipient of the Sydney Perry Award from the Martin Musical Foundation, Qian performed the Saint-Säens Piano Concerto No 2 with the Philharmonia Orchestra in St John’s, Smith Square, London in 2000. In the same year Qian won the Tunbridge Wells International Young Artists Competition, which led to her debut recital in the Purcell Room. In 2001, she was selected to play in the Park Lane Group series where her ambitious programme included Elliot Carter’s Night Fantasies, two Ligeti Etudes and the world premiere of Toccata by Malcolm Singer. Broadcast on BBC Radio 3, this recital drew enthusiastic reviews from five national newspapers. In 2002 Qian gave recitals in the Royal Festival Hall, in Hanover and Amsterdam and in the Steinway Halls of Hamburg and New York where her performance was recorded by Japanese National Television for broadcast throughout Asia.
In the following years, Qian’s career has blossomed. She made her debut at the Wigmore Hall and performed at the International Music Festival in Koblenz. Qian was invited to return to Koblenz, whilst her other engagements have included Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto in St John’s, Smith Square, a recital in the South Bank Centre’s Fresh series for Young Artists, her debut in the City Hall, Hong Kong, a concert at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, and return visits to the Purcell Room and the Wigmore Hall.
In December 2006, she was selected by the Independent Newspaper as a rising star for 2007 and since has appeared in many articles, radio and television programs including being interviewed and also performing on BBC TV 4 and BBC TV World.
Over the last two seasons, Qian has appeared at the Harrogate, Grassington, Norfolk and Norwich, and the London Chopin Festivals and in numerous venues across the UK including the Fairfield Halls, Blackheath Halls, and a fifth appearance at the Wigmore Hall. She was also invited to the prestigious Messiaen Festival in London where she performed “Un vitrail et des oiseaux” with Pierre-Andre Valade and the Royal Academy of Music’s Manson Ensemble. Her International engagements have included return visits to Koblenz and appearances at the Santander Festival and the Yale Summer Music Festival. In 2008, Qian appeared at the Hong Kong Cultural Arts Festival and she will be returning for further concerts in China in the coming year.
Qian’s debut recording of works by Schumann, Liszt and the young composer Alexander Prior has been released in April 2009 on the Dal Segno label.