Chi­nese pi­anist with ties to Paris, launches na­tional tour

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - 7 Life - By CHEN NAN Lune Clair de Lune Dreams of Love. Clair de Dream, Pav­il­ion My Mother­land, Yuan, The In­ter­rupted The Peony Con­tact the writer at chen­nan@ chi­

When he was 15 years old, Wu Muye stud­ied play­ing the pi­ano at Con­ser­va­toire Na­tional Su­perieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, the mu­sic school of the Paris Con­ser­va­tory, from where he grad­u­ated in 2009.

The pi­anist says the city brought him closer to the mu­sic of some of his fa­vorite com­posers, Fred­er­ick Chopin, Claude De­bussy and Franz Liszt, all of whom lived in the French cap­i­tal at some point in their lives.

Chopin ar­rived in Paris in 1831 and never re­turned to his home­land, Poland. In Paris, he forged a friend­ship with the Hun­gar­ian com­poser Liszt. The French com­poser De­bussy fre­quently played Chopin’s mu­sic dur­ing his stud­ies at the Paris Con­ser­va­tory, he says.

“And all of them de­vel­oped a close con­nec­tion with Paris, where I stayed for about 10 years,” says Wu, 32.

Now, he is con­duct­ing a na­tion­wide tour in­ter­pret­ing their mas­ter­pieces, in­clud­ing Chopin’s 24 pre­ludes, De­bussy’s and Liszt’s

Wu en­joyed strolling around Paris. He says the old build­ings, nar­row lanes, with their walls and street lights, made him feel con­nected to the com­posers, whose mu­sic he wants to play au­then­ti­cally.

“I have been to places where they lived. When I play their works, it feels like I am hav­ing a con­ver­sa­tion with them.”

The pi­anist re­called his years in Paris and sought to con­vey his feel­ings through his per­for­mance, when he played De­bussy’s

at the gala of the G20 Sum­mit, which was held in Hangzhou, Zhe­jiang prov­ince, last year.

Wu stud­ied with French pi­anist Jac­ques Rou­vier at the Paris mu­sic school.

“One of the most re­ward­ing parts of learn­ing with him was that he taught me lots of things, which I couldn’t have learned just from the score,” says Wu. “While keeping the tra­di­tion of Liszt’s mu­si­cal style, he also let me in­cor­po­rate my own un­der­stand­ing of the mu­sic.”

Dur­ing his on­go­ing tour, the pi­anist is also play­ing pieces that he adapted from pop­u­lar Chi­nese folk songs, such as and his own com­po­si­tion, which was in­spired by

a well-known Kunqu Opera piece based on the play

by Ming Dy­nasty (13681644) writer Tang Xianzu.

Born in Bei­jing in a fam­ily of mu­si­cians, Wu started learn­ing the pi­ano at age 4, giv­ing his first pub­lic per­for­mance in a pi­ano com­pe­ti­tion in Hong Kong at 5 and win­ning the first prize.

Like many promis­ing child pi­anists, he was en­rolled to study at the pri­mary and mid­dle schools af­fil­i­ated to the Cen­tral Con­ser­va­tory of Mu­sic in Bei­jing, where he re­ceived solid train­ing in tech­nique.

Grad­u­at­ing from the Paris Con­ser­va­toire with the high­est diploma, Per­fec­tion­nement Pi­ano, he was feted for his ex­cel­lent tech­nique and his ex­pres­sive play­ing.

He un­der­took his first tour in his home coun­try in 2009, and per­formed with China Na­tional Sym­phony Orches­tra in Paris in 2010.

In 2014, to mark the 50th an­niver­sary of the es­tab­lish­ment of diplo­matic re­la­tions be­tween China and France, Wu played Chopin’s Polon­aise in A-Flat Ma­jor, Op 53 at the open­ing gala held at the Grand Palais in Paris.

The same year, the pi­anist played in Bei­jing along with China Na­tional Sym­phony Orches­tra un­der the ba­ton of French con­duc­tor Michel Plas­son.

His lat­est tour com­menced in Bei­jing on Fri­day and will run through Novem­ber in cities, in­clud­ing Shang­hai, Guangzhou and Hangzhou.


Wu Muye is tour­ing the coun­try, play­ing mu­sic of Chopin and De­bussy, as well as his adap­ta­tion of Chi­nese folk songs.

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