Issued: 18 July 2008


Event Info

Chinese pianist Di Xiao is to embark on a prestigious 11-date recital tour of the greatest concert halls in Europe, starting at Town Hall Birmingham on Sunday 26 October. The former Birmingham Conservatoire student is the UK?s representative for the 2008/09 ECHO (European Concert Hall Organisation) Rising Stars series which offers highly talented young musicians the opportunity to perform in Europe?s leading concert venues.

The Rising Stars scheme was inaugurated in 1996 and principal participating halls include the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam; Philharmonie Cologne; Cité de le Musique, Paris; Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Vienna and Town Hall & Symphony Hall, Birmingham. Participating venues nominate a Rising Star – a musician who they believe to be on the brink of an international career – to undertake a recital tour of selected member concert halls.

Former Rising Stars include violinists Janine Jansen and Priya Mitchell, cellists Daniel Muller-Schott and Quirine Viersen, the Belcea and Tempera quartets, bass-baritone Jonathan Lemalu and organist David Briggs.

A founding member of ECHO, Director of Town Hall & Symphony Hall, Andrew Jowett says the importance of the scheme cannot be over-estimated, ?You need only look at some of the former Rising Stars – Janine Jansen, Jonathan Lemalu and the Belcea Quartet for instance – who have become virtually household names. Just imagine how valuable it is for these young people to gain artistic experience on the most important concert platforms, adding those names to their CVs, and having the chance to meet international concert promoters all in the space of a single season.?

Town Hall & Symphony Hall named former Birmingham Conservatoire student Chinese pianist Di Xiao as the UK?s 2008/09 season Rising Star. Di Xiao completed an Advanced Postgraduate Diploma (Professional Performance) in 2006 winning all the major prizes. Professor Racz, the Conservatoire?s Vice-Principal, said, ?Didi is one of the very finest young musicians we have had at the Conservatoire in recent years, and we are delighted that she has been chosen for this very prestigious scheme.?

Di Xiao?s first recital of her ECHO Rising Stars tour is on Sunday 26 October, 11am at Town Hall Birmingham. Tickets available from www.thsh.co.uk or Town Hall & Symphony Hall Box Office on 0121 780 3333.



Note to Editors

Di Xiao?s Rising Stars tour dates
26 Oct – Town Hall Birmingham (Sunday Morning Coffee Concert, ECHO Presents the Rising Stars. Programme includes Sonatas by Mozart and Beethoven)
10 Dec – Athens Megaron
15 Dec – Luxembourg Philharmonie
17 Dec – Hamburg Laeiszhalle
25 Feb – Barcelona L?Auditori
8 Mar – Brussels Palais des Beaux Arts
11 Mar – Amsterdam Concertgebouw
24 Mar – Salzburg Wiener Saal
25 Mar – Vienna Konzerthaus
27 Mar – Stockholm Konserthuset
29 Mar – Cologne Philharmonie

Rising Star dates at Town Hall (except where stated)
26 Oct – Di Xiao (piano), nominated by Town Hall & Symphony Hall, Birmingham
23 Nov – Andreas Brantelid (cello) with Bengt Forsberg (piano), nominated by Konserthuset Stockholm
Jan (date tbc) – Quintet Aquilon, nominated by Cité de la musique, Paris
8 Feb – Minetti Quartet, nominated by Konzerthaus and Musikverein Vienna
17 Apr – Matthias Schriefl & Shreefpunk (jazz ensemble), nominated by Cologne Philharmonie [venue: Symphony Hall as part of Rush Hour Blues series]
26 Apr – Hendrickje van Kerckhove (soprano) with Inge Spinette (piano), nominated by Societé Philharmonique Bruxelles and by Concertgebouw Amsterdam

Di Xiao Biography
Di Xiao was born in 1980 and began her musical studies at the age of four. Two years later she won a major prize in the Pearl River Children?s Piano Competition. Before enrolling at Birmingham Conservatoire on a full scholarship, her education included studies with Professors AM Bougaevski and GV Popova at Guangzhou Conservatoire?s associated secondary music school, plus further study at the Odessa Conservatoire (Ukraine) and the Central Conservatory of Music (Beijing). Graduating from the Central Conservatory with one of the highest final recital marks in its history, she then chose to complete her training at Birmingham Conservatoire on the prestigious Advanced Postgraduate Diploma (Professional Performance) course, which she completed with Distinction. In addition to various Conservatoire prizes – including the Symphony Hall Recital Prize – Di won first prize at the 2007 Brant International Piano Competition, and has been awarded the Silver Medal of the Worshipful Company of Musicians.

Town Hall and Symphony Hall are managed together by Performances Birmingham Limited, a registered charity. Between them, the two halls present an exciting and varied programme of over 600 concerts and events a year, designed to appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds. Over 500,000 people visit Town Hall and Symphony Hall annually, and a thriving education/community department reaches a further 20,000 people of all ages.

Town Hall Birmingham re-opened in October 2007 following a £35m renovation funded by Birmingham City Council (£18.3m), Heritage Lottery Fund (£13.7m), European Regional Development Fund (£3m).