Hailed as 'a pianist of awesome gifts' and once named among the ten most outstanding young Chinese pianists by the Pianist Magazine, Di has performed in over 20 countries and in many of the World's most prestigious venues. The piano has taken her from the post Cultural Revolution backstreets of southern China to the world stage. A performer, educator, author and director, Di is passionate about sharing her knowledge and love of music, creating innovative concert programmes that mix Western and Eastern musical fabrics. Didi takes her role as cultural ambassador very seriously and aspires to create a bridge between the two cultures.
Success came at an early age when she won the ‘Most Outstanding Young Musician of Guangdong Province’ award aged just 16. Since then she has won many national and international prizes including; the Ludlow Philharmonic Concerto Prize in 2005, the Birmingham Symphony Hall Prize in 2006, a Worshipful Company of Musicians Silver Medal in 2007 and, in the same year, first prize in the Brant International Piano Competition.
Di’s international career started at 17 when she played Chengzong Yin’s Yellow River Piano Concerto in Kuala Lumpur for the Malaysian Royal Family. Subsequently Di has been invited to perform as a soloist in many countries including Ukraine, Singapore, India, China and the UK. Her debut at Symphony Hall Birmingham in 2006 was described by the UK Chinese Times as “A stunning concert!” and an early performance of the Schumann Concerto prompted respected critic Christopher Morley to say “In her graceful, dancing finale it was easy to imagine Clara Schumann at the keyboard.”
In 2009 Di was selected as the UK’s representative to the acclaimed European Concert Halls Organisation (ECHO) Rising Stars concert series which took her to some of the world’s leading venues, including The Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Luxembourg Philharmonie, Hamburg Laeiszhalle, Barcelona L'Auditori and Vienna Konzerthaus, Following a Cologne Philharmonie recital, played to an audience of over 1000, the press stated “Di Xiao presents a demanding programme that takes your breath away.”
Di released her debut Album ‘Di Xiao Presents’ in 2008 which recorded at the Birmingham Symphony Hall. Her second ‘Journey’ was released in October 2011. Didi released a further 2 albums in 2017, the first a collaboration with Italian composer Andrea Granitzio and the second ‘Twilight’ which, included her own composition for the first time.
Many of Di’s performances and recordings have been broadcast on programmes including BBC Radio 3’s In Tune, BBC 4’s Women’s hour, Classic FM and Classical Time of Guangdong Radio station, China. In 2012 TV Phoenix made a documentary of her journey from East to West. In 2014 Di was made an Honorary Professor by ShanXi University (China). In 2015 she was awarded the Mulan Foundation Award for Contribution to Arts and, in the same year, was made Honorary Professor at Guangzhou Xinghai Conservatory. In 2017, Di was awarded a ‘Ten most outstanding Chinese in the UK’ by Big Ben Awards. In the same year, she became an honorary member of Birmingham Conservatoire and won the Birmingham City University Alumni of the Year (Excellence in arts).
Didi enjoys an extremely diverse career; she has led a Parliamentary Round Table debate on Culture and the Arts in the House of Commons and is a trustee of both the Henry Wood Accommodation Trust and the Birmingham International Piano Competition. She has published a number of articles in the Chinese Financial Times, Piano Art Magazine and UK Chinese Times. Her 2014 article “the Chinese piano ‘Great Leap’.” provoked much debate and is still frequently republished. In 2017 she was invite to write a regular column for ‘Olive Music’ the biggest Chinese online music platform which has over 300,000 subscribers.
Di Xiao collaborates widely and her repertoire reflects a broad spectrum of musical styles from Chinese folk music, through western classical to contemporary piano works. A profound understanding of her art and a deep belief in the universal language of music give a special quality and integrity to her work. Consequently, she builds a strong bond with audiences everywhere.Home