PROM 56: August 30
Xuefei Yang is acclaimed as one of the world’s finest classical guitarists. Hailed as a musical pioneer - her fascinating journey began after the Cultural Revolution, a period where Western musical instruments & music were banned. Xuefei was the first-ever guitarist in China to enter a music school, & became the first internationally recognised Chinese guitarist on the world stage. Her first public appearance was at the age of ten and received such acclaim that the Spanish Ambassador in China presented her with a concert guitar. Her debut in Madrid at the age of 14 was attended by the composer Joaquín Rodrigo and, when John Williams heard her play, he gave two of his own instruments to Beijing’s Central Conservatoire especially for her and other advanced students. Her international success has led her to be invited to play in more than 50 countries at numerous prestigious venues such as Wigmore Hall, all Southbank venues, and Royal Albert Hall in London, as well as the Philharmonie Berlin, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Konzerthaus Vienna, Auditorio Nacional de Espana, Barcelona Auditorium, Carnegie Hall & Lincoln Center New York. In Asia she has appeared at the National Concert Hall Taipei, Hong Kong City Hall & Cultural Center, Esplanade Singapore, Seoul Arts Centre and gave the first guitar recital and concerto in the Beijing National Center of Performing Arts. Xuefei has also been invited to perform at major music festivals such as BBC Proms, Edinburgh International Festival, Shanghai MISA Festival and the Beijing international Music Festival. The UK classical music magazine, Classic FM, named Xuefei as one of the 100 top classical musicians of our time. In recognition of her distinguished career, Xuefei was awarded ‘Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Music’ in June 2012. Xuefei continues to be ambassador & role model for guitar in China, & from 2015 she is honoured to be the artistic director of Changsha International Guitar Festival.