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Early years:Read More...
Yang began playing the guitar at the age of seven, and began formal tuition when she was ten, studying under the famous guitarist Chen Zhi, later Chairman of the China Classical Guitar Society. Her public debut was at the First China International Guitar Festival where she met immediate acclaim. At the same time, she was presented with her first foreign guitar (a "Pepe" children's guitar from Aria), by the celebrated Japanese guitar maker Masaru Kohno. She went on to win second prize at the Beijing Senior Guitar competition being the only child competitor, aged eleven.
As a school girl, Yang rapidly gained an international reputation, playing extensively in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Spain, and Australia, and giving concert tours in Taiwan, Japan and Portugal. At twelve years of age she played in Tokyo for the first time and was given a special award by the Guitar Alliance of Japan; this time Masaru Kohno took Yang to his studio and let her have her pick of his world-renowned concert guitars. She was to play this Kohno guitar made of cedar and jacaranda regularly over the next five years. When she debuted in Madrid at 14, the composer Joaquín Rodrigo was in the audience, and in 1995 after John Williams heard her play in Beijing he left his Smallman guitar for a friend to bring back for Yang after his concert in Hong Kong.
After completing her secondary schooling, Yang went on to complete her studies in Beijing, becoming the first guitarist to enter a music school in China, and obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree from the prestigious Central Conservatory of Music. She then become the first guitarist from China to study in the United Kingdom and the first guitarist ever to receive an international scholarship from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music for her postgraduate programme at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
She moved to London in 2000, studying under Michael Lewin, John Mills and Timothy Walker and further establishing her international career with many solo recitals and concert performances in the UK and Europe. She graduated with distinction in 2002, achieving a Recital Diploma and receiving the Royal Academy of Music Principal's prize for exceptional all-round studentship.
Xuefei Yang has won numerous prizes in music competitions including the Stotsenberg International Classical Guitar Competition, the San Francisco International Guitar Competition and the Young Concert Artist International competition in the United States, and the Darwin International Guitar Competition in Australia. She was awarded first prize in the Ivor Mairants Guitar Award by the City of London's Worshipful Company of Musicians, and won the Dorothy Grinstead Prize for a recital at Fairfield Hall, Croydon.
Yang has already given recitals or concerts in many countries, including the United Kingdom, the USA, Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland, Australia, China, Japan and Singapore. Concert appearances have included playing Rodrigo's "Fantasia para un Gentilhombre" with the BBC Concert Orchestra and "Concierto de Aranjuez" with the Royal Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra at Duke’s Hall. She has featured on radio as part of the BBC Proms London Composer Portrait series, and performed at 54 concerts for the "Night of the Proms Tour" in 2003/2004.
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