Xuefei Yang

Xuefei Yang


“This was Bravura playing of the highest order.” Limelight Magazine

Born following the Cultural Revolution, an era where Western music and instruments were banned, the fascinating story of Fei’s rise to the world stage is that of a musical pioneer.

She was the first ever guitarist in China to enter a music school, and became the first to launch an international professional career. Her prodigious talent came to the attention of John Williams who donated two of his own guitars to her conservatorium. Since then, she has been impressing audiences around the globe with her exquisite sound and powerfully emotional performances of repertoire both old and new.

The guitar is a world traveller, with a versatility that can take it with ease from 18th-century Germany to the beaches of Brazil. The guitar was still being perfected when Bach wrote his suites for its cousin the lute, but naturally guitarists have adopted these Baroque masterpieces for themselves. From the guitar’s heyday, Granados’ Poetic Waltzes make the leap from virtuoso piano work to an even more dazzling guitar showcase in Fei’s arrangement, revealing perhaps that Granados had the elegant and mellow sound of the guitar in mind all along. The guitar also found an ideal home in the New World, becoming integral to the music of Brazil, as heard in Villa Lobos’ many folk-tinged guitar pieces, and of course the bossa nova of Jobim and company. Its rainbow of sonic colours, its expressive voice and its brilliant exponents have extended the guitar’s global reach to Asia and Australia. The guitar is an ongoing source of inspiration to composers, here represented by the celebrated Ross Edwards who has composed a new work especially for Fei – an exquisite next step in the guitar’s journey.

Marshall McGuire, Director of Artistic Planning on Xuefei Yang:

In 2014, Xuefei Yang played Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez with the MSO, and I found her performances to be so intimate, beautiful and compelling that it was agreed she must appear in this year’s Great Performers. The guitar has such a unique way of reaching out across styles and genres, and in her hands her instrument becomes a master story teller. Her virtuosity is astonishing, and her musicianship outstanding. We close a great season by bringing you one of the great guitarists of the world.

Presented by Melbourne Recital


From Bach to Brazil

J.S. Bach
Lute Suite BWV1006a

Enrique Granados (arr. Xuefei Yang)
Valses poéticos

Ross Edwards
Melbourne Arioso (world premiere)

Chinese Traditional (arr. Xuefei Yang)
Fisherman at Eventide

Heitor Villa-Lobos
From Suite populaire brésilienne: Mazurka-Chôro, Valsa-Chôro & Schottisch-Chôro (1948 version)

Dilermando Reis
Uma Valsa e Dois Amores
Eterna Saudade
Xodó de Baina

Antônio Carlos Jobim
Modinha e Luiza (arr. Raphael Rabello)
A Felicidade (arr.Roland Dyense)

Luiz Bonfá
Manhã de Carnival (arr. Baden Powell & Brian Hodel)

Garoto (Aníbal Augusto Sardinha)
Lamentos do Morro (arr. Raphael Rabello)


Join us for a pre-concert talk with Andrea Katz in Elisabeth Murdoch Hall from 6.45pm – 7.15pm.