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Ning Feng

Violinist Ning Feng has flourishing careers in both the West and his native China. He is also an important educator, active in both spheres. Ning Feng (Feng Ning in the Chinese naming system) was born in Chengdu, China, in 1982. His father loved the violin but had never had the chance to study the instrument. Feng took up the violin as a toddler, but a teacher told him that he had no chance to succeed because his little finger was unusually short. After some months, his family decided to ignore the advice and enrolled him for studies with Hu Weimin at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music. Making rapid progress, he was sent to London to study with Hu Kun (Hu Weimin's son) at the Royal Academy of Music. Further instruction came in Berlin from Antje Weithaas at the Hochschule für Musik "Hanns Eisler." He has continued to make Berlin his home. Feng's early career was propelled by prizes at the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition in 2000, the International Paganini Violin Competition (a first prize) in 2006, and the Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition in Hannover, Germany. Since then, he has appeared with top orchestras in many countries. In particular, his engagements have been marked by ongoing associations with specific ensembles; these include the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra under conductor Jaap van Zweden, with which he toured Europe, Asia, and Australia; the Budapest Festival Orchestra under Iván Fischer, with which he has also performed several times in Budapest; and with the Berlin Konzerthaus Orchester and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Feng founded the Dragon Quartet in 2012 and has also performed chamber music with pianist Igor Levit and cellist Daniel Müller-Schott, among others. Quite popular in his native country, Feng served as an artist-in-residence with the Shanghai Symphony in the 2020-2021 season and also toured China, performing Beethoven violin sonatas in 14 cities. Feng records for the Channel Classics label, making his first albums, including Hello Mr. Paganini (2008) for its Channel of China imprint. He has recorded mostly late Romantic and early 20th century concerto repertory but also issued a recording of Bach's sonatas and partitas for solo violin in 2018. In 2021, Feng's Paganini: 24 Caprices + 1 appeared on Channel Classics. He teaches violin at the Hochschule für Musik "Hanns Eisler" and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, U.K., and has served as a guest professor at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing.
© James Manheim /TiVo
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