Jian Wang


Jian Wang began to study the cello with his father when he was four. While a student at the Shanghai Conservatoire, he was featured in the celebrated documentary film From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China.  Mr Stern's encouragement and support paved the way for him to go to the United States and in 1985 he entered the Yale School of Music under a special programme where he studied with the renowned cellist Aldo Parisot.  
Recent and future highlights include concerts with the Munich Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony and Swedish Chamber Orchestras. He has a regular relationship with the Hallé Orchestra with whom he has performed in the UK and China.  Jian Wang also performs with the Singapore Symphony and Hong Kong, Seoul and Osaka Philharmonic Orchestras.
Amongst his many high profile concerts in China, he has played for the President and opened the season for the China Philharmonic, Shanghai Symphony and Macau Symphony Orchestras.  He has also played with the China National Orchestra, Hangzhou Symphony and performed the complete Bach Cello Suites at the National Center for Performing Arts in Beijing, where he was Artist in Residence for the 2015/16 season.  Jian also has a close relationship with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra; he was their first ever Artist in Residence in 2012/13 and is now a member of the artistic committee for both the orchestra and concert hall.
Jian Wang’s first professional engagement was in 1986, at New York’s Carnegie Hall.  Since then he has embarked on an international career, early highlights including concerts with the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra/Claudio Abbado and with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Riccardo Chailly (in Amsterdam and on tour in China).  He has also performed with many of the world’s other leading symphony orchestras including New York Philharmonic, London Symphony, Zurich Tonhalle, NDR Hamburg, Stockholm Philharmonic, Santa Cecilia, Orchestre de Paris and NHK Symphony. Jian also enjoys collaborating with the Camerata Salzburg and the Mahler and Scottish Chamber Orchestras. These concerts have been with many of the greatest conductors, such as Chung, Dudamel, Dutoit, Elder, Eschenbach, Gilbert, Harding, Neeme Jarvi, Langrée, Morlot, Wigglesworth and Znaider.
Jian Wang has performed at many festivals throughout the world, as both soloist and chamber musician. These have included Verbier in Switzerland, Miyazaki in Japan, Aldeburgh in the UK and Tanglewood and Mostly Mozart in the USA.  In 2008 Jian made his debut at the BBC Proms performing three of Bach’s solo Cello Suites. 
He has an extensive discography with DGG, Reverie (arrangements for cello and guitar) and the Bach Cello Suites being his most recent releases.  Jian Wang has also recorded a Baroque Album with the Camerata Salzburg, the Brahms Double Concerto with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Claudio Abbado and Gil Shaham; the Haydn Concerti with the Gulbenkian Orchestra under Muhai Tang; Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time (with Chung, Shaham and Meyer) and Brahms, Mozart and Schumann chamber music with Pires and Dumay.  His most recent release is of the Elgar Concerto, recorded live with Sydney Symphony and Ashkenazy (Decca/ABC Classics). His instrument is graciously loaned to him by the family of the late Mr. Sau-Wing Lam.
July 2016:  This biography must not be edited without the permission of Askonas Holt Ltd

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News & Features


BLOCH Schelomo

BOCCHERINI Concerto No 9 in B flat major

BRAHMS Concerto for violin and cello Op 102 in A minor

TAN DUN Crouching Tiger Concerto

DVORAK Concerto for cello and orchestra

ELGAR Concerto for cello and orchestra

FAURE Élégie

HAYDN Concerto in D Major

HAYDN Concerto in C Major

HERSANT Concerto No 2  for cello and orchestra

KABALEVSKI Concerto in G minor

LALO Concerto for cello and orchestra

MIASKOVSKY Cello Concerto

MONN Cello Concerto in G minor

PROKOFIEV Sinfonia Concertante

CHEN QIGANG Cello Concerto 'Reflet d'un temps disparu'

SAINT-SAENS Concerto for cello and orchestra No 1 in A minor

SAINT-SAENS Poet and Muse Double Concerto

SCHUMANN Concerto for cello and orchestra

SHOSTAKOVICH Cello Concerto No 1 in E flat major, Op. 107

STRAUSS Don Quixote

TCHAIKOVSKY Variations on a Rococo theme

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Media Player


  • Interview for ICON



Cadogan Hall, London

BRITTEN Four Sea Interludes Op 33a
YE XIAOGANG Guangdong Music Suite, Op.51(GSO commission, 2005)
--- Interval ---
ZHAO LIN Duo for cello, sheng and orchestra (GSO co-commission, 2011)         
STRAVINSKY Firebird Suite (1919 version) 

Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra
Long Yu - Conductor
Jian Wang - Cello
Lei Jia - Sheng 

The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

BRITTEN Four Sea Interludes Op 33a
YE XIAOGANG Guangdong Music Suite, Op.51(GSO commission, 2005)
--- Interval ---
ZHAO LIN Duo for cello, sheng and orchestra (GSO co-commission, 2011)         
STRAVINSKY Firebird Suite (1919 version) 

Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra
Jing Huan - Conductor
Jian Wang - Cello
Lei Jia - Sheng 

Symphony Hall, Birmingham

BRITTEN Four Sea Interludes Op 33a
YE XIAOGANG Guangdong Music Suite, Op.51(GSO commission, 2005)
--- Interval ---
ZHAO LIN Duo for cello, sheng and orchestra (GSO co-commission, 2011)         
STRAVINSKY Firebird Suite (1919 version) 

Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra
Long Yu - Conductor
Jian Wang - Cello
Lei Jia - Sheng 

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Recital with Sunwook Kim

Jian Wang and Sunwook Kim will be performing the following programme in 2016/17:
BACH Cello Suite No 3
SCHNITTKE Cello Sonata No 1

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Cello Concerto No. 1 in C

With Jing Wang and the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

"Cellist Jian Wang seemed to win the hearts of the audience as he dug into Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1 in C. Although Haydn’s music is modestly conceived, he can penetrate dark psychological realms, and this performance captured that element. Wang differentiated the ranges of the cello with rare poetry, with a gruff, earthy bass, a bold, ringing tenor and a fluting soprano." Alexis Alrich, South China Morning Post, 04 April 2016

Concert 12 November 2015

With The Hallé at Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

"Following this was Saint-Saen’s ‘Cello Concerto No.1’ featuring the solo cello of Jian Wang. Wang’s presence was immediately felt, despite his small stature, with amazingly intricate, technically expert playing. This initial surprise was then surpassed with the depth of feeling in the second subject, showcasing Wang’s true range, from melodically animated to emotionally resonant. This continued on into Dvorak’s ‘Silent Woods,’ which served as another showcase of Jian Wang’s expert solo playing, and Nicholas Collon’s control over the orchestra with a constantly appropriate balance." Matthew Brew, The Mancunion, 23 November 2015

Concert 19 February 2015

With the Los Angeles Philharmonic/Xian Zhang

Jian probed deeply. He did not romanticize Tchaikovsky [Roccoco Variations], yet he was not cool either. He has handsome tone, and his focus was on a richness of sound that drew you into not the cello but Tchaikovsky.

Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times
Cellist Jian Wang tackled the Tchaikovsky in the program, Variations on a Rococo Theme, with expert balance and a deeply warm tone. The Examiner, 23 February 2015

Concert 7 December

With the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra/Hubert Soudant

on this occasion he transfixed the audience with the mesmerising clarity of his playing, giving a fully absorbing account and rising effortlessly to all the technically demanding passage work...Wang explored the subtleties of the exquisite rubato material with an increasing and intoxicating meditative calm. The Bangkok Post

Concert 25 April 2014

NDR Hamburg

Messiaen's last student Qigang Chen's piece 'Reflet d'un temps' is almost a cello concerto and circles around an ancient Chinese folk tune, played here by Jian Wang. It sang in a transfiguring way- a highly virtuosic, orchestral silk painting.

Hamburger Abendblatt

Concert 01 February 2014

New York Philharmonic Orchestra

"Jian Wang played with an impressive blend of charm, elegance and bravura in Tchaikovsky’s “Rococo Variations” for Cello and Orchestra."  New York Times 02 Feb 2014

Concert 10 January 2014

San Antonio Symphony Orchestra

"As outstanding as Wang played throughout the 1895 concerto (Dvorak's Cello Concerto), his best moment came with the heartbreaking final theme, a personal tribute by Dvorák to the loss of his beloved sister-in-law, Josefina Kaunitzova." www.mysanantonio.com 11 January 2014

Concert 01 July 2013

Bernadette Harvey

"Brahms's second cello sonata is a work of bold contrasts and drama. Wang and Harvey delivered an impassioned performance. Interpretatively, they balanced reflection with muscular strength. Sustaining excellent dynamic and tempo control, their sensitive cantabile phrasing and resonant sonorities realised the former while incisive rhythms and forceful attack achieved the latter."
The Australian 04 July 2013



BBC Symphony Orchestra/Dausgaard, Barbican

"he [Thomas Dausgaard] and Jian Wang, a cellist with the biggest yet most streamlined sound I’ve ever heard, made total sense of the only overblown monster on the programme, Bloch’s "Hebraic Rhapsody" Schelomo...That was thanks partly to Wang  as cultured chameleon, his drawing us in to growly interior monologues and his ability to ride even the densest textures. But it was equally a partnership with an orchestra on razor-sharp form. The Arts Desk, 23 February 2013


Cello Concerto

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra/Langrée, Hamer Hall Melbourne

"Wang's opening statement heralded an interpretation featuring moments of passionate eloquence and charm...beautiful intonation, phrasing and warm tone throughout the instrument's range delivered a moving adagio." The Saturday Age (Australia), 22 September 2012.


Elgar Cello Concerto

Sydney Symphony Orchestra/Ashkenazy

"a marvelloulsy sympathetic live performance of Elgar's Cello Concerto featuring the golden-toned Chinese virtuoso Jian Wang. Not only is he wholly attuned to the idiom, his gorgeously supple and consistently touching contribution has both innate good taste and notable depth of feeling to commend it." Gramophone Magazine, June 2012


Concert: June 2011

Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

"Shostakovach's Cello Concerto No. 1 in E Flat Major was played with great pluck (no pun intended) and vigour by Chinese cellist virtuoso Jian Wang. He gave the forbidding opening a run for its money, scraping away at his instrument and giving his vibrato extra tension." Winnipeg Free Press, 20 June 2011


Concert: May 2011

Sejong Chamber Hall/Tony Han & Kang Dong-Suk

"The cellist has a flair for captivating crowds. He gave a breathtaking rendition of Brahms’ Piano Trio No. 1, Saturday at Sejong Chamber Hall, opposite pianist Tony Han and violinist Kang Dong-suk. It was a chamber performance to remember, one that articulated a pure, electrifying Romanticism through a dynamic yet harmonious interplay." The Korean Times, 24 May 2011


Concert: March 2011

Cincinatti Symphony Orchestra/Louis Langrée

"The Schumann Concerto for Cello and Orchestra requires virtuosity and poetry from the cellist. From the first measures, guest soloist Jian Wang demonstrated dazzling technique and a soulful, singing tone.  This concerto exploits the full range of the cello, plunging from stratospheric high notes to the lowest tones on the instrument. Wang is able to make his cello sing ever so sweetly, but when required, he can produce a torrent of florid notes." Cincinnati.com, 11 March 2011


Concert: December 2010

Scottish Chamber Orchestra

"But the performance of the night belonged to the amazing Chinese cellist Jian Wang, whose passionate and endlessly soulful playing of Saint-Saens’ First Cello Concerto was a powerful argument for the stature of a much-dismissed piece by a much-maligned composer." The Herald, 20 December 2010


Concert: April 2010

Sydney Symphony Orchestra

"It was a huge pleasure to welcome back cellist Jian Wang in Lalo's relatively rarely heard Cello Concerto in D minor. What makes Wang's playing so memorable is the fierce intensity with which he grasps, shapes and projects ideas."

Sydney Morning Herald, 16 April 2010



The Baroque Album

Boccherini: Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra No 9 in B flat major
Couperin: Pièces en concert
Frescobaldi: Toccata
Monn: Concerto for Violoncello, Strings and Harpsichord in G minor
Camerata Salzburg

Deutsche Grammophon