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Wanshu Qiu - Viola


Actively devoted to promoting classical music to a wider audience, Wanshu regularly performs as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player. Her versatile repertoire ranges from baroque period to today.

Wanshu grew up in a non-musical household in Chengdu, China. Wanshu started showing her musical interests when she was seven. Her rapid growth in music gained her a place in The Affiliated Secondary School of Sichuan Conservatory of Music in 2011, where she started to play the viola.

Enrolled at Royal Northern College of Music in 2017 with scholarship, she studied viola with Susie Meszaros & Veit Hertenstein, where she finished her honors in 1st class. She was awarded full scholarship and bursaries from the Royal Academy of Music to continue her Master’s and Professional Diploma study with Jon Thorne. She was also granted support by British Council and Art Association of China for her study.

During her study, she has been invited to Encuentro de Música Santander, IMS Prussia Cove, Lucerne Festival, and Bowdoin Festival as Viola Fellow. She’s the selected soloist for the Manson Ensemble and London Contemporary Soloists.

Wanshu had the opportunity to led viola section under some world-class conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Mark Elder, Semyon Bychkov, Elim Chan, Jamie Martin, and Ludovic Morlot. She has appeared in Nash Ensemble, Aurora Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Manchester Collective, the Hallé and BBC Philharmonic. She was invited for interviews with BBC Radio 3 in 2021 and UKVI in 2022 for her exceptional works and discuss her inspiration in music.

As a passionate chamber musician, Wanshu is a member of a string quartet, piano quartet and clarinet trio. She has performed in chamber ensembles with world renewed musicians such as James Ehnes, Jack Liebeck, Zakhar Bron, Aviv Quartet, to name but a few. Her ensembles regularly received coaching from members of Elias Quartet, Chilingirian Quartet, Doric Quartet, Trio Gaspard. She’s the winner of the Harold Craxton Prize in 2022. As the current Fellows of the Open Academy/Wigmore Hall Learning Programme. She appears regularly on the Wigmore Hall stage with the Kyan Quartet.

Beyond working in the fields of classical music, Wanshu also participated in theater, jazz, and multimedia projects. Some highlights include her performances in Manchester International Festival and Melbourne Arts Festival with Maxine Peake, London Jazz Festival with Alice Zawadzki, and recent performance with VOCES8. Wanshu has also worked in cross-media project collaboration with dancers, producers around the world.

These performances have allowed Wanshu to develop her skills as a well-rounded musician. Her performances have been well-received by audiences, and critics alike. After her Wigmore Hall performance in a review at Planet Hugill, she was lauded for her exceptional performance.

“Despite her young age, brand new addition, Chinese Violist Wanshu Qiu, already has a considerable pedigree in chamber music performance in the UK, bringing a warm, full tone, committed rhythmical playing and theatrical poise to the middle lines of the quartet. Although this was her first appearance with the group, her ensemble coordination, was sensitive and flawlessly confident.”

In addition to her performing career, she also volunteers her time with various community outreach programs that promote music education and enrichment. Since her undergraduate study, Wanshu is a strong believer of the important role music plays in the community and outreach. She has performed regularly in Hospices during her study. Her performance experience including Christmas Concert Series in 12 Care homes, I See You Project - music performances in ICU hospital, concerts with homelessness charity Streetwise Opera. She also took placement in the charity organization- Music in Care Homes and Hospitals, volunteered for charity events such as So Many Beauties dementia friendly festival. She’s currently working with Open Academy and Wigmore Hall’s outreach project Music for Life.

Wanshu is grateful to be supported by Jargar Strings and Talent Unlimited.

submission March 2023