DATE/TIME: Thursday, April 23, 2009, 7:30pm
EVENT: VCM Presents Six Strings – One Night Guitar Event: Xuefei Yang
VENUE: Metro Studio, 1411 Quadra at Johnson (Victoria Conservatory of Music)
TICKETS/ADMISSION: $15 / $10 @ VCM 250.386.5311 or McPherson box office 250.386.6121
The pioneering spirit of internationally acclaimed guitarist and EMI recording artist, Xuefei Yang, has been evident since childhood. The Beijing-born, London-based musician is the first :
• Guitarist to enter a music school in China
• Guitarist to graduate with a BA degree in guitar, in China
• Guitarist to receive an international scholarship from the Associated Board of The Royal Schools of Music, for her postgraduate study at Royal Academy of Music
• Chinese person to receive such a scholarship
• Person from mainland China to launch an international career as a guitarist
• Chinese guitarist to sign with a major record label (EMI).
Xuefei began playing the guitar at the age of seven, and took formal tuition at ten. Soon after, she made her first public appearance at the First China International Guitar Festival. She immediately gained such acclaim that the Spanish Ambassador in China presented her with a concert guitar. From the age of 13, Xuefei was educated at Beijing’s Central Conservatory of Music. At 14, she made her Madrid debut, which was attended by the composer Rodrigo.
In 1995 John Williams came to Beijing. He was so impressed with her playing that he gave two of his own Smallman guitars to the Central Conservatory of Music, in Beijing especially for her and other top students to play. During her school years, Xuefei played extensively in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Spain, and Australia and gave concert tours in Taiwan, Japan and Portugal. Throughout this period, she appeared on numerous radio and television broadcasts in China and abroad.
Xuefei came to the UK in 2000, when she was awarded a full scholarship to study in London at the Royal Academy of Music. The same year Xuefei won the Ivor Mairants International Guitar Competition in London. In 2002, she graduated with distinction, receiving a Dip RAM – the highest performance award conferred by the Royal Academy of Music. In addition she also won the Dorothy Grinstead Prize for a recital at Fairfield Hall, and received the Principal’s prize for exceptional all-round studentship.
After graduation, Xuefei remained based in UK to launch an international career, and has since given concerts in around 40 countries throughout Europe, Asia and the United States, at prestigious venues including : UK’s Royal Albert Hall, Germany’s Philharmonie in Berlin; Holland’s Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; Austria’s Concert Hall in Vienna; Spain’s National Auditorium in Madrid; Taipei’s National Concert Hall; Hong Kong’s City Hall and Cultural Cente; Singapore’s Esplanade; Korea’s Art Centre in Seoul; China’s Concert Hall in Beijing; USA’s Lincoln Centre in New York, Herbst Theatre in San Francisco.
In 2003 she performed in 54 concerts for the “Night of the Proms” Tour across Europe to an estimated audience of 800,000.
As soloist she has performed with many leading orchestras, including : English Chamber Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Northern Symphonia Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra,London Chamber Orchestra, Hungarian Symphony Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.
In 2005 Xuefei received the honour of being made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, for her outstanding achievements.
In 2005, Xuefei signed an exclusive international contract with EMI Classic. Her debut EMI album, “Romance de Amor,” was released in April 2006. In Hong Kong, the album was awarded a gold disk, and reached number two in the hit charts, remaining in the top ten for several months. It also reached number 3 in the iTunes Top Albums chart in the UK.
Her second EMI album, 40 Degrees North, featuring music from Spain and her homeland of China, was released in April 2008. It reached number 2
in the UK Amazon, Chamber Music and Instrumental chart.
Xuefei recorded two other albums prior to signing with EMI. The second of these recordings (Si Ji, meaning Four Seasons) was dedicated to Xuefei’s homeland of China. It featured many new Chinese inspired compositions, written specifically for Xuefei.