Associate Professor of Music
Wen-Lei Gu, Associate Professor of Music at Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton, Wisconsin, has performed actively throughout North America, Europe, and the Far East as soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. A winner of numerous awards, she was the gold medalist of the Heida Hermanns International String Competition and China’s Fourth National Violin Competition, the silver medalist in the Yehudi Menuhin International Competition and the Ima Hogg Young Artist Competition, As a soloist, Gu has performed in such distinguished venues as the Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Smetana Hall in Prague, La Sala Verdi in Milan, the Beijing Concert Hall, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Born into a musical family, Gu started to play the piano and the violin at a young age. She made her international debut at the age of thirteen, performing the Saint–Saëns Violin Concerto in B minor in England with Yehudi Menuhin at the baton. Menuhin said of her playing: “sounds like a poem, looks like a painting.” A recipient of the prestigious Presser Award from the Theodore Presser Foundation for outstanding achievement in music, Gu has performed frequently as guest soloist with orchestras and at concert series throughout the world.
Dr. Gu's performance highlights have included performing at the Bach Festival at Carnegie Hall commemorating the 250th Anniversary of Johann Sebastian Bach’s death, appearing at the Kennedy Center for the Millennium Concert Series, performing the Wieniawski Concerto No. 2 with the Houston Symphony to an audience of five thousand, and recital for the Myra Hess Concert Series in Chicago. She was the guest soloist with the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra and China Beijing Philharmonic on their critically acclaimed concert tours of Europe. Her recent concert engagements have included recital tours in the Far East and Israel, live recital broadcasts on Wisconsin Public Radio’s Sunday Afternoon Live from the Chazen and Chicago WFMT Radio’s Live from WFMT, concerto appearances with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Pan Asia Symphony, the Harper Symphony, the Elkhart Symphony, the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra, the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra, and the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra.
Gu holds the Bachelor of Music degree from the Juilliard School, and the Master of Music from the Mannes College of Music in New York. She received her Doctor of Music in Violin Performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she was the concerto competition winner and concertmaster. Her teachers include Yao-Ji Lin, Bin Chao, Dorothy Delay, Sally Thomas, Ida Kavafian, Paul Biss, and Miriam Fried. In addition, she has studied chamber music with Felix Galimir, Menaham Pressler, and Janos Starker. She frequently adjudicates as string judge in regional, state, and national music competitions. Her students have won top prizes in the Neale Silva Young Artists Competition and the WMTA State Young Artists Competitions.
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