Wu Fei is a classically trained composer, singer and master of the guzheng, the 21-string Chinese zither. She has performed around the world at venues including the Forbidden City, New York’s MoMA, Paris’ Quai Branly Museum, the North Sea Jazz Festival, Vossa Jazz, the Europalia Festival and the Big Ears Festival in Tennessee.
She plays in the guzheng’s vernacular – a musical language at least 2,500 years old – mixing Western classical and Chinese traditions with a contemporary, idiosyncratic sound. Wu composes for choir, string quartet, chamber ensemble, Balinese gamelan and orchestra. Her chamber orchestral work “Hello Gold Mountain,” inspired by the stories of Jewish refugees who fled to Shanghai from Europe in World War II, earned a MAP Fund award.
Wu has collaborated with artists from different disciplines and genres, including Emmy-winning directors Pierce Freelon and Jon Halperin, Grammy-winning musicians Béla Fleck, Abigail Washburn and Billy Martin (Medeski-Martin-Wood) and composers John Zorn and Fred Frith. She has released two solo recordings and two collaborative albums – one with classical guitarist Gyan Riley and the other with singer-songwriter Abigail Washburn.
Wu studied at the China Conservatory of Music and Mills College. A native of Beijing, she currently lives in Nashville.