Wu Man is a virtuoso of the pipa, a Chinese lute. She is of the Pudong school of playing and was a pupil of Lin Shicheng.Wu Man received the first Master's degree in the pipa, won the first National Academic Competition for Chinese Instruments, and received the City of Toronto Glenn Gould Protege Prize. She was chosen for this award by prize recipient Yo-Yo Ma, with whom she performed at the White House for Chinese and U.S. leaders. She has collaborated with the Kronos Quartet and the New York New Music Consort, and has given first performances of works by new Chinese composers. At the close of the '90s, Wu Man was residing in the U.S. She has performed on recordings for a number of labels, including Axiom, Tzadik, Columbia, Water Lily Acoustics, and Ellipsis. She has also led her own releases for Nimbus Records.
Artist Biography by Joslyn Layne - Source: allmusic
She studied at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, where her instructors included Lin Shicheng,Kuang Yuzhong, Chen Zemin, and Liu Dehai. She became the first recipient of a master’s degree in pipa and won the first prize in the 1989 National Music Performance Competition.
Although educated in China, Wu came to the United States in 1990 at the age of 25. She lived in Boston for many years and now lives in San Diego, California with her husband and son.
Wu performs with Chinese traditional music groups but is also known for her interpretation of contemporary compositions, as well as her work in jazz and cross-cultural music. Many composers (including Terry Riley,Philip Glass, Lou Harrison, Tan Dun, Bright Sheng, Chen Yi, Zhou Long, Gabriela Lena Frank, Bun-Ching Lam, and others) have composed new works for her.
Wu has performed and recorded with the Kronos Quartet, Henry Threadgill, and Yo-Yo Ma’s The Silk Road Ensemble. In 1999, she became the first Chinese musician to play at the White House. She played there, together with Yo-Yo Ma, in honor of Zhu Rongji, the prime minister of China. Also in 1999, Wu was chosen by Ma to receive the Glenn Gould Prize. The award consisted of a bronze statue of famous Canadian pianist Gould himself. Source: last.fm