Wei Wu, sheng virtuoso, was born in China and studied the sheng (Chinese mouth organ) at the Shanghai Music Conservatory. In 1995 he a DAAD scholarship and studied at the Hanns Eisler Music Academy in Berlin, where he is now based. Since 2013 he has been a Professor at Shanghai Music Conservatory. As a sheng soloist, he has helped to develop the ancient instrument into an innovative force in contemporary music through the creation of new techniques, the expansion of its repertoire, and through integrating different styles and genres.
In addition to many prestigious national and international competitions for traditional Chinese music, he won the Musica Vitale Competition, Germany, in 1996 and 2002; the Global Root German world music prize in 2004; the Herald Angels Award by Edinburgh International Festival in 2011; the German Record Critics’ award for the CD AsianArt Ensemble in 2012. He recorded a sheng concerto with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra under Myung-Whun Chung on the Deutsche Grammophon label CD Unsuk Chin: 3 Concertos, which won a 2015 International Classical Music Award and a 2015 BBC Music Magazine Award, and was nominated for a 2015 German Gramophone Award 2015. He received a German Music Criticism Award in 2015 for the CD John Cage Two3, the“best Soloist of Classic Chinese Music Award in 2017; the Austrian Publicity Award 2017 for the Simeon Pironkoff CD Skin.Double; and won a 2017 Australia Art Music Award for Liza Lim’s CD How Forests Think and Liza Lim’s Tree of Codes.
As a soloist he has appeared with many leading orchestras and ensembles, including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Kent Nagano, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra under Gustavo Dudamel, Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra and Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra under Myung-Whun Chung, BBC Symphony Orchestra under Ilan Volkov, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Markus Stenz, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra under Jaap van Zweden, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and the Gulbenkian Orchestra under Susanna Mälkki, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra under Matthias Pintscher, Norwegian Radio Orchestra under Eugene Tzigane, Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra under Baldur Brönnimann, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra under Marin Alsop, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra under Christian Vásquez, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra under Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Netherland Radio Philharmonic under Edo de Waart, Polish National Radio Orchestra under Alexander Liebreich, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra under Jakub Hrusa, Tiroler Symphony Orchestrer Innsbruck and Taiwan Philharmonic Orchestra under Wen-pin Chien, Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra under Muhai Tang, Macau Symphony Orchestra under Jia Lü, German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra Saarbrücken under Lan Shui, Hartford Symphony Orchestra USA under Carolin Kuan, China NCPA Orchestra under Claus Peter Flor, Luebeck Philharmonic Orchestra and Tonkünstler-Orchester under Xincao Li, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra under Soo-Yeou, German NDR Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Concerthall Orchestra under Peter Rendel, Munich Symphony Orchestra, Albany Symphony Orchestra New York, Belgium Symphony Orchestra Valaanderen, Taipei Chinese Orchestra, the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, Westfalen New Philharmonic Orchestra, Pannonische Philharmonic Orchestra Austria, Metropole Orchestra Holland, Brandenburg Symphony Orchestra, New Brandenburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Ensemble Modern, Nieuw Ensemble Holland, Elision Ensemble Australian, Atlas Ensemble Holland, St. Lawrence Quartet, German Barock Ensemble Lautten Compagney, Chamber Ensemble of the German Symphony Orchestra Berlin, Luxembourg Sinfonietta, AsianArt Ensemble, and many more.
He has appeared at many of the world’s prestigious festivals and venues, such as BBC Proms, Paris autumn festival, the Berliner Festspiele, the Munich Bienale, the Edinburgh international festival, Musica Nova Helsinki, the Donaueschingen Musik Tage, Warsaw Autumn, Gaudeamus Music Week, the Maerz Musik Festival Berlin, the Musica Viva Munich, the Dresdener Festspiele, the Warsaw Autumn, the Musica Nova Helsinki, the Suntory music Festival Tokyo, the Bartók Festival Hungarian, the Achipel Festival Geneve, the Turku Music Festvial Finland, the Grafenegg Festival Austria, Merano Music Festival Italy, the Cologne Triennal, the Holland Festival, Festival les Musiques Marseille etc., venues: Berliner Philharmonie, Royal Albrecht Hall, Walt Disney Hall, Suntory Hall Tokyo, Théâtre du Châtelet Paris, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Berlin Konzerthaus, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the User Hall Edinburgh, and the Théâtre du Châtelet Paris etc.
His international engagements include appearances throughout the USA, Europe, Russia and the Middle and Far East, and he has given the world premieres of more than 300 works, including more than 20 concertos for Sheng and Orchestra, by composers including John Cage, Unsuk Chin, Jukka Tiensuu, Toshio Hosokawa, Enjott Schneider, Joerg Widmann, Liza Lim, Guus Janssen, Tan Dun, Chen Qigang, Guo Weijing, and Ruo Huang.
He is also a prolific composer for sheng. He has received various composition commissions, such as the foundation Royaumont, Musica Viva Munich, the Hanse Culture Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation New York/Italy, and the ultural foundation Sachsen.
With “his extraordinary virtuosity” (the Guardian) his performance was a highlight of the BBC Proms in Royal Albert Hall in 2014. CDs and DVDs published by Deutsche Grammophon, Sony, Harmonia Mundi, Wergo etc.