Di Xiao on the Brant International Piano Competition

Preliminary rounds of this year’s Brant International Piano Competition take place this weekend, ahead of next week’s Final at Town Hall – that will see three of the brightest young UK-based pianists compete for a first prize of £3000, plus a number of recital opportunities.

On the judging panel for this year’s competition is pianist Di Xiao – herself a winner in 2007. In this post, she talks about what how the Brant competition has impacted her career…

I feel honoured to be on the jury of the 2014 Brant International Piano Competition. I won the first prize back in 2007, and have no doubt that winning the competition has been a spring board for my career, and I have come a long way since then. Following the competition, I was selected as the UK representative on the 2008-2009 European Concert Halls Organisation (ECHO) Rising Stars Tour. I have performed in the most incredible venues across Europe, and both of my albums have been played on radio stations around the world, including on Classic FM and BBC Radio 3 & 4. My story from the East to West was even filmed as a documentary for both Guangdong TV and TV Phoenix, China. During a recent tour in China I was awarded an honorary professorship by ShanXi University, one of the country’s most prestigious, and on top of all that, I am looking forward to the release of my third album later this year.

Di Xiao after winning the
Brant Piano Competition
in 2007

I am extremely grateful for support Town Hall & Symphony Hall has given me – the opportunities they create for young musicians are tremendous. I would never have got to where I am without their help, and as a result of that I now want to give something back and help more aspiring young musicians to reach their dreams. I currently give workshops in schools and universities, introducing young people to classical music, and from 14th July I will host a three week course (the International Piano Academy) in Birmingham, welcoming young pianists from across the world.

Birmingham is an international city and is full of energy and dynamics – I believe that classical music should take an important role in that. Britain has a proud history of creativity, which the world treasures and looks up to, and Brummies should be proud to have two fantastic concert halls. I urge people from the city, and further afield, to join us at the Brant Final on 5 July to witness some of the sparkling young talent that this country has to offer.

The 2014 Brant International Piano Competition Final takes place on Saturday 5 July, 7pm, at Town Hall Birmingham. For full details, and to book tickets, visit theevent page

For more information on the 2014 Brant International Piano Competition, read ourpress release