“Hekun Wu, a globe-trotter virtuoso, one of the most recognized Chinese musicians in the world” (Nice-Matin, France) -- Wu enjoys a versatile career as a concert cellist and conductor, capturing audiences with his exceptional tonal beauty and his “bold and very full of conviction… unusually supple and beautiful” interpretation (The Boston Globe). Festivals and concerts have brought him to major capitals including Paris, New York, Leipzig, Boston, Nice, and Shanghai. Wu has won the Shanghai Spring Music Festival Competition, leading to engagements with major orchestras in China including the Beijing Central Philharmonic Orchestra and Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. He premiered the Milhaud and Elgar cello concertos in China, as well as Penderecki’s Concerto Grosso with the composer on the podium. Wu held his Cello Concerti Concert in the Shanghai Grand Theatre as part of the new millennium celebrations. He made his European début in France with the Orchestre de Bordeaux-Aquitaine at the Maurice Ravel Festival. Equally at home on the podium, he has served as music director of the Salem Chamber Orchestra (OR) and resident conductor of the Icicle Creek Music Festival and Montecito Festival. He often appears as conductor-soloist, recently with orchestras in Shanghai, Xiamen, Chongqing, and Hangzhou, performing the Schumann concerto, Haydn concerto in D major and Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations.
Wu has recorded for the Albany, Bridge and CRC labels. His recording of the Bach Six Cello Solo Suites (MSR-Classics) won him critical acclaim, “Wu captures the essence of the dance in every one of the movements. He’s light on the bow and his phrasing traces arcs and pirouettes of the dancer in motion. I have no hesitation in according this release a very strong recommendation… I wouldn’t want to be without the versions by Queyras, Hekun Wu, Casals and János Starker” (Fanfare).
Presently Dr Wu is the Dean of School of Music at Soochow University in China; previously, he served on the faculty at Wellesley College, New England Conservatory, University of Delaware, and Willamette University. Born and educated in Shanghai and later at the Paris Conservatoire, he completed his graduate studies at Boston University and the University of Minnesota. He was a recipient of cello and conducting fellowships from the Aspen Music Festival. Wu studied with renowned artists Maurice Gendron, Paul Tortelier, Zara Nelsova, Tanya Remenikova, Leslie Parnas, and David Zinman.