"Cell phones got alerts that a performance by Chinese guzheng player Wu Fei was at capacity.” — Rolling Stone magazine, on Wu Fei’s sold out solo performance at Big Ears music festival, March 2017.
Wu Fei is a native of Beijing and a current Nashville resident, is a master of the guzheng, the ancient 21-string Chinese zither. She was trained as a Western classical composer, a vocalist, and plays beautifully in the guzheng's vernacular–a musical language which is at least 2,000 years old. She mixes her Western and Chinese traditional sensibilities with a contemporary idiosyncratic, experimental dialect nurtured by years spent at Mills College and immersed in the New York downtown improvisation scene which revolved around venues like The Stone, where Fei has frequently performed and curated.
Wu Fei composes for choir, string quartet, chamber ensemble, Balinese gamelan, and orchestra; her commissions range from a composition for Percussions Claviers de Lyon that premiered in the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing to live performances in Paris and Tokyo for luxury brand Hermès.
In addition to her own original compositions, Fei has collaborated with many artists of different disciplines and genres ranging, from Béla Fleck to avant garde composer John Zorn. She has taken her guzheng and music around the world and touring highlights include composition premiere at the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, the MoMA in New York City, North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands, Vossa Jazz Festival in Norway, Europalia in Belgium, and the Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, TN. Wu Fei was recently commissioned by Intersection Ensemble in Nashville, TN to create new classical work for guzheng, voice and western chamber ensemble which she titled If I Was A Batman Queen.
- DVD “Shan Qi” nominated for Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (Award of the German Record Critique), 2009.
- Composer Fellowship, the Sally & Don Lucas Artist Residency by Montalvo Arts Center, 2009
- “Yuan” Best Album of The Week – Alarm Magazine 11/25/2008
- Best World Music Artist 2008 – Westword
- Debut record “A Distant Youth” on World Music Chart Europe 2008
A listing of Wu Fei's commissioned works + compositions can be viewed on the Compositions page.