Jian Wang, the cellist from Shanghai, was born in 1968 to a musical family, and began studying the cello with his father at the age of four. At the age of nine he was enrolled in the Shanghai Conservatory, where he made rapid progress.
Wang first came to worldwide fame at the age of ten, thanks to Isaac Stern, who was in China making a documentary video "From Mao to Mozart." Stern discovered the young prodigy and featured him in the video. Even at that youthful age, Wang played with a beautiful, serious mastery of the instrument.
During the decade following Wang studied at Yale and also at Julliard. His chief Western teacher has been Aldo Parisot (who also taught the well-known Ralph Kirshbaum). Isaac Stern is also still very much his friend.
Wang is famous in China as well as in the West. At the age of eleven he performed the Saint-Saens Cello Concerto with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra; and at fourteen he was selected by China to go with a select group of Chinese musicians to perform for President Jimmy Carter at the White House. Wang performed with the Boston Symphony on its tour of China, and was declared by Seiji Ozawa to be a "world-class cellist." When the Central Philharmonic Orchestra of China made its first U.S. tour, it was Jian Wang who was chosen to be soloist, performing the Elgar Concerto at the Kennedy Center, and in major cities across the nation.
Wang has a CD out on the Delos label (DE 3097), in which he plays a recital, accompanied by Carol Rosenberger on the piano. On this CD he performs works by Chopin, Barber and Schumann. The Barber songs are unavailable on disk anywhere else, and are extremely beautiful, and well played. On the recording, Wang plays a David Wiebe cello, given to him by Aldo Parisot.