Since arriving in the United States in 1987, Chinese-born Qiang Tu has established himself as a multifaceted artist much in demand. He won the San Angelo, Texas, Symphony Young Artist Competition in 1987, and the Grand Prize in the Downey Symphony Young Artist Competition of Los Angeles the following year. In 1994, he served as Principal Cellist of the Princeton Chamber Symphony. Mr. Tu joined the New York Philharmonic in November 1995. After making his solo debut at age 13 in Beijing, Mr. Tu began a two-year engagement as soloist with one of China’s major symphony orchestras. At age 17, he was awarded England’s Menuhin Prize as a member of the China Youth String Quartet, and was later selected by the Chinese government to study in the Sydney Conservatory. In that capacity, he toured the country giving chamber-music and solo recitals, including a concert broadcast live from the Sydney Opera House. The culmination of his Australian tenure came when he won Sydney’s Parlings Award for Music. Returning to Beijing, he was appointed, at age 20, Associate Professor of Cello at the Central Conservatory. Concurrently, he became Principal Cellist of the China Youth Symphony and concertized with the orchestra in Switzerland, West Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, and Great Britain. His solo album, Meditation, was distributed by the China Record Company.
In the United States, Mr. Tu has appeared in Chicago, St. Louis, New York, and other major cities. Early on, he gave a solo recital to benefit the Princeton Chamber Symphony and also performed the Dvořák Cello Concerto with the Greater Princeton Symphony. Additional performances included the Elgar and Walton cello concertos with the Princeton Chamber Symphony. He also performed in recital with pianist Helen Huang to benefit the New Jersey Chinese community.
Mr. Tu’s appearances also include six recitals in Taiwan, including one at the National Concert Hall in Taipei, in addition to recitals in Japan, Hawaii, and at Weill Recital Hall in New York. His extensive chamber music appearances have included performances with the group, Elysium, at Weill Recital Hall; in Hawaii; and at the Hellenic-American Cultural Association of Colorado. He has performed at chamber music festivals in Maine, played cello works and chamber music in Korea, and has appeared with Lukas Foss in chamber works at Weill Recital Hall and at the Stephanie H. Weill Center for the Performing Arts in Wisconsin. Mr. Tu has performed on a live broadcast on WNYC, and appears frequently with the New York Philharmonic Ensembles chamber music series at Merkin Concert Hall.
Mr. Tu earned his bachelor of arts from China’s Central Conservatory. In 1990, he received his master’s degree from Rutgers University, where he studied with Bernard Greenhouse. He is an alumnus of the Music Academy of the West, now a partner in the New York Philharmonic Global Academy. Other past teachers include Zara Nelsova, Geoffrey Rutkowski, Lois Simpson, Paul Tortelier, and Zeguang Tu.
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