Li-Wei Qin



Competition Winner

Born: February 16, 1976 (Shanghai, China)

Li-Wei Qin, a Chinese-Australian cellist, was the co-winner, along with Clancy Newman, of the 2001 International Naumburg Cello Competition, and the silver medalist at the 11th International Tchaikovsky competition in 1998.

Qin has collaborated with many of the world's leading orchestras: London Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonc, BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, NDR-Sinfonierorchester, China Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Sydney and Melbourne symphonies, as well as the Sinfonia Varsovia.

In recital and chamber music, Li-Wei is a regular guest at the Wigmore Hall and the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, New York. He has appeared at the BBC Proms, the Rheinghau, the City of London, the Schlewigs-Holstein, and the Mecklenburg Festivals. Li-Wei has collaborated with musicians such as Daniel Hope, Nabuko Imai, Misha Maisky, David Finckel, Wu Han, Vladimir Mendelssohn, and Peter Frankel, among many others.

Li-Wei’s recordings on Universal Music/Decca include the complete Beethoven cello sonatas, works by Rachmaninoff with pianist Albert Tiu, the Dvořàk Concerto with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and conductor Lan Shui, and the Elgar and Walton Concertos with the London Philharmonic. Most recently, courtesy of Universal Music, Li-Wei’s 2013 live concert with the Shanghai Symphony and Yu Long has been released on Sony Classical.

Born in Shanghai, Li-Wei started his cello studies with his father, Qin Qing, a former principal cellist of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, moving with his family at age 13 to Melbourne, Australia. Following a year of commerce studies at the University of Melbourne, he moved to England to study with Ralph Kirshbaum at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and with David Takeno at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

In 1993, Qin was named the ABC Performer of the Year. In 2001, he joined the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists scheme, and in 2002, he received the Young Australian of the Year Award.

Qin is based in Singapore where he teaches at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory. He also teaches at his alma mater, the RNCM, and is a guest professor at the Shanghai and Central Conservatory of Music in China.

Li-Wei plays a 1780 Joseph Guadagnini cello, generously loaned by Dr. and Mrs. Wilson Goh.

Excerpt from The New York Times review, February 14, 2002 (Li-Wei Qin's NY debut Naumburg concert)

Music Review , Young Cellist Puts Powers of Invention to the Test

"Li-wei Qin, a 23-year-old cellist who was born in Shanghai, grew up in Australia and now lives in London, was the winner of the Naumburg Competition last year, and as part of his prize he played a recital at Alice Tully Hall on Monday evening.

Mr. Qin has a great deal going for him, including a meltingly beautiful tone, flawlessly centered intonation and an ironclad technique. He is also an imaginative player when the music is sufficiently fresh and assertive.. Those qualities were in ample supply in Mr. Qin's performances of two unaccompanied works, one in each half of the program. The first was the Sonata for Solo Cello by Gyorgy Ligeti, which covers a broad range of expression in a comparatively short time, beginning with a gracefully conversational opening movement, giving way to a virtuosic finale, full of sharply contrasting dynamics and leaps around the fingerboard. Mr. Qin played with remarkable agility and without sacrificing the refinement of his sound, even in the wildest passages.

Much the same can be said of Mr. Qin's performance of the Kodaly Sonata for Solo Cello (Op. 8), a considerably more expansive work. Here Mr. Qin lifted the sonic veil a bit more, producing the sometimes biting tone that the work demands and showing a sense of drama and line that outpaced his considerable achievement along those lines in the finale of the Ligeti.

Mr. Qin and his pianist, Jeremy Young, opened the program with a lush account of a Boccherini Sonata in A. They also collaborated on a suave rendering of Beethoven's Sonata in D (Op. 102, No. 2) with an unusually spacious slow movement: Mr. Qin and Mr. Young clearly took to heart its tempo and character marking, Adagio con molto sentimento d'affetto. They closed the concert with Schumann's Adagio and Allegro (Op. 70). - Allan Kozinn


2001 Cello Competition

First Prize

Commissioned Works

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Naumburg Performances

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Recording Awards

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