Xuefei Yang

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Xuefei Yang (simplified Chinese: 杨雪霏; traditional Chinese: 楊雪霏; pinyin: Yáng Xuěfēi; born March 15, 1977) is a Chinese classical guitarist. Yang was born in Beijing in 1977, and began playing the guitar when she was seven. Three years later, she started studying under Chen Zhi, the Chairman of the China Classical Guitar Society. She made a public debut at the First China International Guitar Festival, where she met with an immediate acclaim. At her debut, one of the most respected luthiers, Masaru Kohno, presented her a guitar, Pepe by Aria; it was her first foreign-made guitar. The next achievement that she made was a second prize at the Beijing Senior Guitar competition; at that time, she was only eleven. As a schoolgirl, Yang rapidly achieved an international reputation, playing extensively in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Spain, and Australia, and giving concert tours in Taiwan, Japan and Portugal. At twelve, she played in Tokyo for the first time, and was given a special award by the Guitar Alliance of Japan. Masaru Kohno, this time, took Yang to his studio and asked her to take any guitar with her. She played the Kohno guitar, made of cedar and jacaranda, regularly over the next five years. During her Madrid debut at age 14, the composer Joaquín Rodrigo was among the audience; in 1995, after John Williams listened to her performance in Beijing, he was so impressed that he loaned two of his own Greg Smallman guitars to her conservatory, for her and other top students to play. 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 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. 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 U.S., 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. In January 2011 she appeared in Ireland for the first time, at the National Concert Hall in Dublin. In April 2013 she played at the Village Hall in Parbold. Si Ji (Four Seasons) contains a number of compositions by Chinese composers, some of which imitate the sounds of traditional Chinese musical instruments. Romance de Amor comprises primarily Spanish repertoire.