The Artist Diploma program of New England Conservatory is designed to offer a small number of especially gifted performers the opportunity to deepen and challenge their artistry, broaden their musical perspective, and explore areas of musical, personal, and professional growth, free from the typical responsibilities of academic and professional life.The two-year program distinguishes itself through a combination of mentorship, study, performance opportunities, and artist retreat, and takes advantage of the full breadth of educational and musical resources that NEC, and the extended NEC community, are uniquely able to provide. Tonight violinist Xiang Yu '12, '14 A.D., a student of Donald Weilerstein, presents the first of two Artist Diploma recitals with the pianist Mei Rui. His program includes touchstones of the violinist's art including the Bach Chaconne, Beethoven Kreutzer Sonata, and Sarasate Habanera.
Xiang Yu, Biography Winner of the prestigious Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition in 2010, violinist Xiang Yu is regarded as one of today’s most talented and creative young violinists.. His astonishing technique, distinctive sound, and exceptional musicality have won him consistent critical acclaim (the Strad, String magazine, Boston Globe,) and enthusiastic audience response worldwide for his solo recitals, orchestral engagements, and chamber music performances. In addition to winning the Menuhin Competition, including the Bach Prize and Audience prize, Xiang also won Second Prize in the Wieniawski International Violin Competition (2006) as the youngest prize winner; Third Prize in the Michael Hill International Violin Competition (2011); Second Prize and the Best Commissioned Work Prize in the 25th Irving M. Klein International String Competition;and First Prize and the Best Chamber Music Performance Prize of the Baden-Württemberg International Music Competition (2005). Last season, Xiang made his debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, captivating audiences with playing that combines passion and purity of interpretation. He also appeared as a soloist with the Auckland Symphony Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Munich Chamber Orchestra, Norwegian Broadcasting Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Young-Euro Classic Orchestra, and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. As an active recitalist, Xiang has performed more than 20 concerts in venues throughout the world, including Konzerthaus Berlin (Germany), Shanghai Grand Theatre, National Center For The Performing Arts (China), Wienawski Hall (Poland), the Grand Theatre of Calgary (Canada), Victoria Concert Hall (Singapore), Oslo Opera House & Troldsalen Bergen (Norway), Auckland Town Hall (New Zealand), Louvre Museum Auditorium (France), Bennett-Gordon Hall, Heinz Hall, and Jordan Hall (USA). Xiang is also an enthusiastic chamber musician. Since the age of fourteen, he has regularly performed in chamber music concerts in China with repertoire ranging from Joseph Haydn to Alfred Schnittke. His Xiang Quartet not only won the First Prize in the Bode Cup Chamber Music Competition, but also premiered many contemporary chamber music masterpieces in China, including Ullmann’s String Quartet No.3 and Hartmann’s String Quartet No.1. Xiang has been invited to numerous world-renowned summer festivals such as Kronberg Academy (Germany), Verbier Academy(Switzerland), Yellow Barn Festival(USA), Bergen Festival (Norway), Perlman Chamber Music Program (USA), Morningside Music Bridge(Canada), and the Steans Institute for Young Artists at the Ravinia Festival(USA). He has collaborated with such artists as Walter Levin, Zakhar Bron, Ana Chumachenco, Mihaela Martin, Pamela Frank, Ida Kavafian, Igor Ozim, Frans Helmerson, and Christian Tetzlaff. In 2012/13 season, Xiang will also be giving chamber music concert tours with Miriam Fried in New York, Chicago, New England, and Florida. Born in Inner Mongolia, Xiang moved to Shanghai at the age of 11 and received his early training from violinist Qing Zheng at the Shanghai Conservatory. A recipient of NEC's Irene M. Stare Scholarship in Violin, Xiang is a candidate for NEC’s Artist Diploma as the only instrumentalist in the prestigious program. He is studying with Donald Weilerstein and Kim Kashkashian.