Biography

Sheng

The artistry of sheng virtuoso WU WEI reaches far beyond the traditional boundaries of his more than 3,000-year-old Chinese instrument and brings it well into the twenty-first century. The sheng, a mouth organ formed out of a bundle of bamboo reeds and cased in a metal bowl, sounds as the singing phoenix from a Chinese legend: silvery and fleeting as the wind. Wu Wei’s radiant and transparent tone—as well as the infinite possibilities offered by his instrument in terms of melody, harmony, rhythm, and polyphony—have led him to collaborate with many artists, composers, and ensembles.

In the last decade, he has performed with the Berlin, New York, Seoul, Helsinki, and Los Angeles philharmonics; BBC Symphony; Frankfurt Radio Symphony; Holland Baroque; and Ensemble intercontemporain. He makes his San Francisco Symphony debut at these performances. Wu Wei is regularly invited by international festivals including the BBC Proms, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Edinburgh International Festival, Suntory Hall Summer Festival, Dresdener Musikfestspiele, Festival Achtbrücken Köln, Grafenegg Festival, and Lincoln Center Festival. With violist Martin Stegner and bassist Janne Saksala, both members of the Berlin Philharmonic, he founded the Wu Wei Trio, which appears each season in the Chamber Music Hall of the Berlin Philharmonie. As a founder of the Berlin-based Ensemble Asianart, he shares transcultural programs with instrumentalists from all around the world.