"Ya-ou Xie understands how to create a magical, beguiling aura…" commented the French magazine "Lettre du Musicien" about the pianism of Ya-ou Xie.
Born in southwestern China, the pianist has performed before international audiences at the Berlin Philharmonie, the Konzerthaus Berlin, both Cité de la Musique and Salle Cortot in Paris, the Hong Kong Art Center, the Beijing Concert Hall, the Shanghai Concert Hall, and the Vienna Konzerthaus. As a soloist she has appeared with grand orchestras, including the China National Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra Taiwan, the Sinfonie Orchester Berlin, the New Philharmonic Orchestra Westfalen, and the National Orchestra Lille under conductors such as Victor Yampolski, Lutz Köhler, Madame Zheng Xiaoying, Michael Helmrath, Victor Puhl, and Li Xincao. She is a guest performer at numerous festivals, such as Gaudeamus Music Week in Amsterdam, MaerzMusik Berlin, the Beijing New Music Festival, the Centre Acanthes in Metz, and Festival de Sceaux in France .
As the winner of important prizes at the Orléans Concours XXème Siècle, Concours Olivier Messiaen, Concorso Premio Jaén, the International Piano Competition Lake Como, and the Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt, she received accolades for her interpretations of works by Franz Liszt, Claude Debussy, Arnold Schönberg, George Crumb, and Luciano Berio.
Her teachers were Wan Ing Ong (Stuttgart), Hans Leygraf (Berlin), Pascal Devoyon (Berlin), Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Paris), Claude Helffer (Paris), Zhao Pingguo (Beijing), Li Mingqiang, and Lin Eryao (Shanghai). With a scholarship from the prestigious International Piano Academy Lake Como, she has studied intensively with great musicians such as Dmitri Bashkirov, Boris Berman, Leon Fleisher, Alicia de Larrocha, and William Grant Naboré among others. Additionally, Ya-ou Xie studied conducting in Shanghai with Xiaotong Huang. She is co-founder and conductor of the ensemble "Berlin PianoPercussion".
A longside classical literature, both Chinese and Western contemporary music occupy an important place in Ms. Xie's repertoire. She has worked with composers such as George Crumb, Qigang Chen, Xiaogang Ye, Xiaoyong Chen, Helmut Lachenmann and has given frequently premieres in many countries. Her recordings and live appearances have been broadcasted by several radio stations including Deutschland Radio, China Central TV, Radio 4 Hong Kong, Radio3 Brussels and Südwestdeutsche Rundfunk. Her latest CD features compositions by Debussy, Schoenberg, Schulhoff, and Messiaen.
Claude Helffer said about her:
Xie Ya-ou has this rare talent of being able to adapt herself to the different style of each composer, regardless of époque or culture, from Bach or Mozart to Messiaen or Berio.
I haven't talked about her phenomenal technique, because, as soon as she starts to play, one forgets all about it. I would like to say, that I've rarely met a young interpreter who has such a perfect equilibrium between an undisputable technique and a richness of sensibility allowing her to make the most different styles her own.
Helmut Lachenmann: "Wunderbar ... mit höchstem professionellem Einsatz. Ich habe totales Vertrauen in die pianistische und gestalterische Qualität dieser Künstlerin."
(Wonderful ... with the highest professionalism… I have complete confidence in this young artist's pianistic and musical quality).
„Pianista de una sensibilidad especial“
(A pianist of p particular sensibility.)
Diario Jaén, Spain , 22/03/02
"...much sensibility…, musicality and technical brilliance…, Xie hit the different musical styles and forms to the point“
Stuttgarter Zeitung, 31/08/99
"What a strong personality…Brilliance through a performance of pliability and precision…. Xie Ya-ou understood how to create a magical and hallucinating acoustical climate…unveiled an interpretation of expressive romantic clarity as well as a real sense of chamber musician."
Lettre du Musicien, Frankreich, April 2004
"Her technique revealed a confident and effective expressivity that leaves nobody indifferent. Her palette of nuance is endlessly amazing, from the most subtle to the imperceptible."
Resmusica, Frankreich, 24/05/2005
“Beautiful, her interpretative imagination, above all in those pieces that are congenial to her, as Le baiser de l'Enfant Jésus by Messiaen, where she evoked a mysticism filled with participative joy."
La Provincia, Italien, 16/05/2005
„Her nuance is so variable… Long breath and depth…“
Piano Artistry, China , April 1997