Superstar Chinese violinist Xiao Liu flexes his muscles on Niccolò Paganini’s flashy first violin concerto, a pyrotechnic display of violin wizardry, at Heroes on Sept. 28.
As one of China’s most renown emerging violinists, Xiao Liu became the youngest violin professor at Central Conservatory of Music, the country’s top music academy, at just 24 years old. Two years later, Xiao took gold at the prestigious First CCTV Violin TV Competition, cementing his star status in China.
When he was 17, Xiao won the champion of the First “MIDO” International Violin Competition. Later that year, he won the grand prize in other three competitions including the Sumner Redstone prize and National Outstanding Music Achievement Award. He studied under internationally renowned violinist Midori and Professor Lin Yaoji. After earning a master’s degree from the Central Conservatory of Music, Xiao furthered his studies at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris and the Thornton School of Music in the University of Southern California.
As a soloist, he has performed on concert stages around the world. He has traveled extensively throughout China holding recitals and masterclasses, always to enthusiastic audiences.
He has worked with many renowned orchestras and conductors including Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Colombia National Symphony Orchestra, Bogota Philharmonic Orchestra, Beijing Symphony Orchestra, Okko Kamu, Irwin Hoffman, Alejandro Posada, Steve Davis, Zhu Hui, Tan Lihua, Zhang Guoyong, Hu Yongyan, Fan Tao and Zhang Yi.
In recent years, Xaio’s distinctive interpretations of modern musical works have received the attention of many international contemporary composers. Master composers such as Du Mingxin, Xiaogang Ye, Tan Dun, Chen Yi and Huang Anlun seek Xaio out to debut their new works at home and abroad.
In 2006, he performed in the Palais des Nations, United Nations European Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, for an audience of thousands including ambassadors from more than 190 countries. His playing was hailed by many, including UN Under-Secretary-General Mr. Sha Zukang.
At the 30th Anniversary Celebration Festival of the famous Japanese Chaconne Violin Company, he was invited to try out many valuable Stradivarius violins and was awarded the use of the Guarneri del Gesù violin at his solo concerts.
French State TV once recorded a documentary feature film of Xiao’s performance in France and broadcast it to the whole country. Colombian State TV has shown a live performance of his to the nation. Xiao has also been interviewed by the well known Beijing TV program Love Music.
During his visit to China, the well-known violinist Gidon Kremer listened to his performance and said: “Your outstanding performance not only delights and surprises me but also wins the love of the audience, which I can tell from their thunderous applause!”
Another well-known violinist, Pinchas Zukerman calls Xiao “Mr. Paganini.”
The Japanese media comments that “such an outstanding young man with great ambition should be a shining example for the Japanese youth to follow.”
Xiao Liu performs on a Joseph Gagliano violin made in Napoli, Italy in 1774.
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