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Head of Cello Studies at Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music impresses once again with latest album

24 November 2010

BRILLIANT CELLIST: Asst Prof Qin Li-Wei, Head of Cello Studies at the NUS Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music

For his latest album “Beethoven - The Cello Sonatas”, Asst Prof Qin Li-Wei, Head of Cello Studies at the NUS Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (YSTCM) was nominated for this year’s prestigious Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Awards in the Best Classical Album category. The Awards recognise excellence and innovation across all genres of Australian music. Since Yo-Yo Ma, one of the most famous cellists of our time, Asst Prof Qin is the first Chinese cellist to record the complete sonatas under a major label.

Asst Prof Qin explained that this CD produced under the Decca label differed from the seven other CDs which he had made earlier. “Since I teach so many students, it is good for them to familiarise themselves with the repertoire and use the CD as a reference,” said Asst Prof Qin. He added that he wanted to take up the challenge of completing the Cello Sonatas, the first of which he first learnt at the age of nine. For this CD, he collaborated with Asst Prof Albert Tiu, who is also from the NUS YSTCM, as there is a heavy piano component in the sonatas.

Born in Shanghai, Asst Prof Qin moved to Australia at the age of 13. Over the years, he has garnered a number of accolades which include the 11th Tchaikovsky International Competition where he was awarded the Silver Medal (1998), First Prize in the prestigious Naumburg Competition in New York (2001) and Young Australian of the Year Award (2002). He has recorded for Decca, EMI Classics (Asia), ABC Classics and Channel Classics.

In addition, he has performed at numerous international events and worked with many well-known orchestras. Most recently, Asst Prof Qin enjoyed successful collaborations with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony, Osaka Philharmonic, China Philharmonic, Norrkopings Symfoniorchester, Santa Fe Symphony and with conductors such as Vassily Sinaisky, Carlo Rizzi, Marcello Viotti and the late Lord Menuhin.