Described by the critics as “a pianist of awesome gifts”, the Chinese pianist Di Xiao concluded a major international recital tour in 2009 representing the UK as part of the universally acclaimed 'Rising Stars' series. The tour included sell out concerts at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Vienna Konzerthaus, Salzburg Mozartium, Stockholm Konserthaus and Luxembourg Philharmonie. Following her Köln Philharmoie recital, played to an audience of over 1000, the press stated that “Di Xiao presents a demanding programme that takes your breath away.” As the tour progressed she went on to thrill audiences at Symphony Hall and Town Hall Birmingham, Brussels Bozar, Athens Megaron, Hamburg Laeiszhalle and Barcelona L'Auditori.
Di Xiao’s education included study at the Odessa Conservatoire, under the eminent Professors A. M. Bougaevski and G. V. Popova and the Central Conservatory of Music Beijing. She graduated from the latter with one of the highest marks in the history of the Conservatory. In 2005 she was awarded a full scholarship by Birmingham Conservatoire where she studied under Mark Racz, now Deputy Principle at The Royal Academy of Music London, and Professor Malcolm Wilson.
Di Xiao enjoyed success in competition from and early age wining the Most Outstanding Young Musician of Guangdong Province Award aged just 16. Since then she has won many national and international prizes including; the Ludlow Philharmonic Concerto Prize in 2005, the Birmingham Symphony Hall Prize in 2006, a Worshipful Company of Musicians Silver Medal in 2007 and, in the same year, first prize in the Brant International Piano Competition.
Di’s international career started at 17 when she played Chengzong Yin’s Yellow River Piano Concerto in Kuala Lumpur and Penang for the Malaysian Royal Family. Subsequently Di has been invited to perform as a soloist in many countries including Malaysia, Ukraine, Singapore, India, China and the UK. In the UK, her concert performances have received much acclaim. Her debut at Symphony Hall Birmingham in 2006 was described by the UK Chinese Times as “A stunning concert!” and an early performance of the Schumann Concerto prompted The Birmingham Post to say “In her graceful, dancing finale it was easy to imagine Clara Schumann at the keyboard.” Di has appeared in a number of important music festivals including Breman Musikfest (Germany), ISA music Festival (Vienna), New Generation Arts Festival (UK), Buxton Arts Festivals (UK) and Leamington Music Festival (UK). In October 2010, she will play for her home town’s inaugural Music Festival in GuangZhou, China.
In 2008 Di Xiao released her debut Album “Di Xiao Presents”. The album has been well received and broadcast on a number of stations including BBC Radio 3. Additionally, many of Di’s live performances were recorded and transmitted on radio stations across Europe.
Di’s repertoire reflects a broad spectrum of interests with a wide range of musical styles. She enjoys collaboration with other artists and has recently been working with Julian Lloyd Webber and EMI guitarist Xuefei Yang. Her range extends from the works of Mozart and Beethoven to Ravel, Prokofiev and Messiaen. She has a keen interest in Chinese classical folk music and contemporary piano works. Di Xiao forms a strong bond with audiences everywhere and exudes a special quality and integrity in her music making. She aspires to be an international ambassador for the piano, combining both Chinese and Western repertoire in the programming of her concerts, thereby creating a bridge between the two cultures.
The Birmingham Post described Di Xiao as “a pianist of awesome gifts …her imperious opening flourish [Schumann Concerto] announced a capacity for full, rich chording. But there was also flowing, rippling figuration as she revealed her instinctive grasp of this wonderful work. In her graceful, dancing finale it was easy to imagine Clara Schumann at the keyboard, Di Xiao’s profile and demeanour uncannily close to those of the great lady herself.”
Classical Pianist Di Xiao
European Concert Halls Organisation (ECHO) Rising Star 2008/9