HONG-MEI XIAO was the first-prize winner of the Geneva International Music Competition. Her extraordinary artistry and brilliant virtuoso technique have gained accolades from critics across the globe.
Winner of the coveted Patek Philippe Grand Prize, Ms. Xiao has established herself as a international performing artist in recitals and as soloist with orchestras. A seasoned performer, she has toured throughout Europe, North America, and the Far East, performing in major concert halls such as New York Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium, Alice Tully Hall, Berlin Philharmonie Hall, Geneva Victoria Hall, Zurich Tonhalle, Budapest State Opera House, Beijing National Concert Hall, Tokyo Suntory Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Center, Shanghai Concert Hall and Taipei National Concert Hall. She has appeared as soloist with renowned orchestras including L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, North German Radio Orchestra, Budapest Philharmonic, European Union Chamber Orchestra, Orchestergesellschaft Biel, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, Israel Ra'anana Symphony, Russian Philharmonic, Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México, Budapest Symphony Orchestra MAV, Japan Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony, and Taiwan Symphony.
Ms. Xiao held the honor of United States Artistic Ambassador during extensive concert tours of Europe. Her performances and interviews have been broadcast on television and radio throughout Europe, Asia and North America. Her concert recording of Frank Martin's Ballade for Viola and Orchestra has been heard on over five hundred radio stations worldwide. As a special guest soloist, Ms. Xiao was invited to give the premiere performance of Alfred Schnittke's Viola Concerto with L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in Geneva. The success of her performance was acclaimed by all three major newspapers in Geneva. The Geneva Tribune heralded her as the "ideal interpreter of the music". As a sought after chamber music performer, she has collaborated with internationally celebrated artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Joseph Silverstein and Cho-Liang Lin. Ms. Xiao was the featured artist for the Annual William Primrose Memorial Concert. She was also an adjudicator for the 2013 Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition in the United Kingdom.
Ms. Xiao is the featured soloist in the world premiere recording of the original and newly revised versions of the Bartok Viola Concerto. This recording with the Budapest Philharmonic received international critical acclaim since its release by Naxo. Her CD with the Budapest Symphony of Complete Works for Viola and Orchestra by Ernest Bloch, which features her own transcription of the Baal Shem Suite, was released in June of 2013 by Naxos. It has received the “Critic’s Choice Award” from American Record Guide, which praised her performance as “the solo playing is spectacular on all counts.” Ms. Xiao’s new CD of Works for Viola and Orchestra by English Composers, which was recorded in June of 2014 with the Budapest Symphony, will be release by Delos. The program includes Viola Concerto by William Walton (2002 edition), Suite for Viola and Orchestra by Ralph Vaughan Williams and Phantasy for Viola and Orchestra by Arnold Bax.
Born into a musical family in China, Ms. Xiao began her violin study with her father, Xiao Heng, a well-known composer. During the years of her musical training, she was frequently engaged in public performances in China. After graduating from the Shanghai Conservatory with highest honors, she was distinguished as the only musician in Asia to receive the Asian Cultural Council Award. She completed her musical training in the United States with violist John Graham and received her Master of Music degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Ms. Xiao is currently on the faculty at the University of Arizona School of Music. Previously she was a faculty member at the University of Michigan. She has also served as the principal violist of the Minnesota Orchestra, and has taught at the Eastman School of Music as a visiting professor.