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Xuefei Yang

Xuefei YangGuitar star, the first Chinese-trained virtuoso soloist on that instrument.

Born: Born: March 15, 1977

Career highlights

  • 1991: Her debut concert in Mardrid is attended by none other than Joaquin Rodrigo, composer of Concierto de Aranjuez. He is duly impressed.
  • 2000: She moves to London to attend graduate school at the Royal Academy of Music.
  • 2002: She begins full-time concertizing. In 2003, she performs in the “Night of the Proms” Tour.
  • 2005: She signs on with EMI Recordings.

Fun Facts

  • Xuefei Yang performs "Un Sueno en la Floresta" by Barrios
    Pioneer: She is honest, in interviews, about how difficult it was for her as an adolescent playing an instrument that had no profile or familiarity to most Chinese. A turning point came when the Australian virtuoso John Williams heard her in 1995. He offered her a helping hand and subsequently sent her two of his own guitars. Of course, after winning the Guitar Alliance of Japan's competition in Tokyo, at age 12, she had also been presented with a guitar, this one handmade by the famous Japanese luthier Masaru Kohno.
  • Regular girl: In her downtime, “Fei” (her English moniker) likes to shop, read, see movies, or listen to music. She has a thing for golden retrievers but is afraid her travel schedule won't let her own one. She says she has wide tastes in music – everything from Edith Piaf, Charlie Parker, and the Beatles to Portuguese fado and the Buena Vista Social Club album to Silvius Leopold Weiss, a contemporary of Bach and a great lute player.

SFCV Articles Featuring Xuefei Yang

August 30, 2011

Frets Fantastic: Seven Guitarists Highlight Autumn

The first Chinese classical guitarist to launch an international career, Xuefei Yang was so accomplished as a teen that John Williams gave two of his own Smallman guitars to the Beijing Conservatory so she would have excellent instruments to play. Now in her 30s and a ravishing interpreter of traditional guitar repertoire, she has also made brilliant arrangements of Chinese music and has collaborated with many contemporary composers to create works on Chinese themes.

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