Jian Wang

Biography

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.   

During the 2013/14 season, Jian Wang’s concerto performances will include the New York Philharmonic, Toronto and Vancouver Symphony Orchestras (Tan Dun’s The Triple Resurrection).  He will also play with the NDR Hamburg and Montreal Symphony Orchestras and has recital and chamber concerts in Copenhagen and Hong Kong. In July 2013 he performed an extensive recital tour in Australia.

Last season, Jian Wang’s concerto performances included the Sydney Symphony Orchestra with Ashkenazy, BBC Symphony Orchestra with Dausgaard and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. 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. 

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 orchestras including Philadelphia, Boston, Cleveland and Chicago Symphony; London Symphony, Zurich Tonhalle, Stockholm Philharmonic, Santa Cecilia, Orchestre de Paris and NHK Symphony. Jian also enjoys collaborating with the Camerata Salzburg  and the Mahler, Swedish and Scottish Chamber Orchestras. These concerts have been with many of the greatest conductors, such as Chung, Dudamel, Dutoit, Eschenbach, Gilbert, Harding, Neeme Jarvi, Krivine, Langrée, Morlot and Wigglesworth. 

Jian Wang has also 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.


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Repertoire

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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Schedule

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Press

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

BLOCH

Schelomo

BBC Symphony Orchestra with Thomas Dausgaard, conductor. Barbican 22 February 2013.

"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

DVORAK

Cello Concerto

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra with Louis Langrée, conductor. Hamer Hall Melbourne, 20 September 2012.

"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.

Recording

Elgar Cello Concerto

With Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Vladimir 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

Shostakovich

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

Brahms

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

Schumann

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

Saint-Saëns

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

Lalo

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

Recordings

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