Born in Hangzhou, China, Wu Man is a pipa player and composer. Trained in Pudong-style pipa performance at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, she is known for playing in a broad range of musical styles and introducing the pipa and its Chinese heritage into Western genres. Wu Man moved to the US in 1990. She made her San Francisco Symphony debut in 1993.
Wu Man has performed and recorded extensively with Kronos Quartet and Silk Road Ensemble, and has premiered works by Philip Glass, Lou Harrison, Terry Riley, Bright Sheng, Tan Dun, Jiping Zhao, and Long Zhou, among others. She has recorded and appeared on more than forty albums, five of which have been nominated for Grammy awards. In 2013, she was named Instrumentalist of the Year by Musical America, becoming the first performer of a non-Western instrument to receive the award. She is the first artist from China to perform at the White House and was the first Chinese traditional musician to receive the United States Artist Fellowship in 2008.