Wu Man


Wu Man Photo credit: Kuandl Studio

Recognized as the world’s premier pipa virtuoso Wu Man has carved out a career as a soloist, educator, and composer giving her lute-like instrument—which has a history of over 2,000 years in China—a new role in both traditional and contemporary music. She has premiered hundreds of new works for the pipa, while spearheading multimedia projects to both preserve and create awareness of China’s ancient musical traditions. Her efforts were recognized when she was named Musical America’s 2013 Instrumentalist of the Year, marking the first time this prestigious award has been bestowed on a player of a non-Western instrument. Highlights of her 2016-17 season include the world premiere of a new pipa concerto by Vincent Ho with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and performances of Tan Dun’s Pipa Concerto with the NCPA Orchestra, Reno Chamber Orchestra, and Sinfonieorchester Aachen. She also returns to Wigmore Hall to perform with frequent collaborator singer Sanubar Tursen, and tours Europe as soloist with The Knights. Her discography of more than 40 albums includes the Grammy Award-winning Sing Me Home, a companion album to the documentary The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, in which Wu Man also is a featured artist. Born in Hangzhou, China, Wu Man studied with Lin Shicheng, Kuang Yuzhong, Chen Zemin, and Liu Dehai at the Central Conservatory of Music, where she became the first recipient of a master's degree in pipa. She moved to the U.S. in 1990 and currently resides with her husband and son in California.