Leading Chinese-Australian cellist, Li-Wei Qin was born in Shanghai and moved to Australia at the age of 13. He accepted scholarships to study with Ralph Kirshbaum at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester and with David Takeno at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. He was invited to join the BBC ‘New Generations’ scheme in 2001 and in 2002, Li-Wei received the Young Australian of the Year Award. He was has enjoyed great success, winning the Silver Medal at the 11th Tchaikovsky International Competition and First Prize in New York’s prestigious 2001 Naumburg Competition.
Li-Wei Qin has appeared all over the world as a soloist and as a chamber musician. Highlights in recent seasons include debuts with the London Symphony, Russian Philharmonic and Brussels Chamber Orchestras. Return visits to the Finnish Radio Orchestra, China Philharmonic, Sydney, West Australian and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras. Li-Wei has also performed with all the BBC Symphony Orchestras, Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, NDR Philharmonic Orchestra Hamburg, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, La Verdi Orchestra Milan, ORF Vienna Radio Orchestra , Prague Symphony, Osaka Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and China Philharmonic, among many others.
He has collaborated with leading conductors including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Andrew Davis, Marek Janowski, Jaap Van Zweden, Gianandrea Noseda, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Hans Graf, Yu Long, Lü Jia, Tan Dun, the late Machello Viotti, the late Jiri Belohlavek and the late Lord Menuhin. Li-Wei has also appeared with chamber orchestras such as the Kremerata Baltika, Sinfonia Vasovia, the Munich, the Manchester, the Zurich and the Australian Chamber Orchestras.
In recital and chamber music, Li-Wei is a regular guest at the Wigmore Hall in London and for New York’s Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society. Two times soloist at the BBC Proms in London’s Royal Albert Hall, he has also performed at the Rheinghau, the City of London, the Schleswig-Holstein and the Mecklenburg Festivals. Li-Wei has collaborated with musicians such as Daniel Hope, Nabuko Imai, Misha Maisky, David Finckel, Wu Han, Vladimir Mendelssohn and Peter Frankel among many others. Other major invitations included appearances at both the 2008 Beijing Olympics (New Zealand Symphony), 2012 London Olympics and the Davos World Economics Forum (Basel Symphony Orchestra) and at the Opening Ceremony of the 2017 Fortune Global Forum, China.
Li-Wei’s recordings on Universal Music/Decca include Beethoven: The Cello Sonatas, Rachmaninov: Works for Cello and Piano with pianist Albert Tiu, Dvořàk’s Cello Concerto with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and conductor Lan Shui, and Elgar, Britten and Walton’s concerti with the London Philharmonic and conductor Zhang Li for which he earned praise as “A superbly stylish, raptly intuitive performer” (Gramophone Magazine, 2015). Most recently, courtesy of Universal Music, Li-Wei’s 2013 live concert with the Shanghai Symphony and Maestro Yu Long has been released on Sony Classical.
Prior to teaching at the YST Conservatory, Li-Wei was a professor of cello at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester. He is also a guest professor at Shanghai and Central Conservatory of Music in China.
Li-Wei plays a 1780 Joseph Guadagnini cello, generously loaned by Dr and Mrs Wilson Goh.