In conversation with Hairu Wang, soloist with Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra
On Friday 21 October, Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra & Chorus take the Stoller Hall stage again with an exciting programme of incredible music. Hairu Wang will join the orchestra to perform Shostakovich’s powerful Cello Concerto no.1. We caught up with Hairu and asked her a few questions about herself and her upcoming concerto performance…
Tell us about your background before starting at Chetham’s
I grew up in Beijing, China and started to learning the piano when I was 6. Piano was my principal study for 5 years and then I started cello at the age of 11. In 2019, I was admitted to the Central Conservatory Of Music middle school, Beijing, gaining first place in cello and also winning the 26th Salzburg International Music Competition. I joined Chetham’s School of Music for Sixth Form in 2021.
What first inspired you to play the cello?
I was exposed to classical music at a very young age, as my mother used to play Bach, Chopin and Dvorak on the CD player every day. I clearly remember that when I first hearing Dvorak Cello Concerto in B Minor I was fascinated by the deep sound of the cello. Since then, I have had the idea of learning the cello and now it has become the thing that I’m most eager to explore as a career.
How are you feeling about your upcoming performance with Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra?
I am very excited; it is a great challenge and honour, as this is going to be my first time playing with an orchestra.
Why did you choose to perform the Shostakovich concerto?
I chose it because this is a very challenging piece; it is one of the most difficult cello concertos, and it has certain requirements for the cellist’s technical level. Most of the pieces that I have learned before were from the Classical period, so performing this concerto is definitely going to be a very special experience for me.
What would you tell the audience to expect in the upcoming concert?
The core of Shostakovich Cello Concerto no.1 is a sense of struggle against war that permeates everywhere. However, it does not only exist in Shostakovich’s era. I hope this piece will bring the audience to reflect on the war and pray for world peace.
What are you hoping to do next year, after leaving Chetham’s?
I am applying for conservatoire study at the moment because I hope to continue to study of music after leaving Chetham’s. I want to use my time at conservatoire to fulfil my musical potential and to become the best musician I can be.
What is your favourite thing about studying at Chetham’s?
Chetham’s has provided me with invaluable teaching and great performance opportunities. Studying with my cello teacher, Mr. Jones, and my piano accompanist, Miss. Webster, is an amazing experience for me. I also especially enjoy playing in different ensembles – it has helped my ensemble skills and given me greater confidence when I go on stage.