Associate Professor of Music
Wen-Lei Gu, Associate Professor of Music at Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton, Wisconsin, has won international acclaim as soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. Born into a musical family, she won first prizes in both violin and piano state competitions at age seven, and was the gold medalist in China’s Fourth National Violin Competition at age twelve. At age thirteen, she was the silver medalist in the prestigious Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition in England. Subsequently, she made her international debut the same year, 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.”
Since coming to America at age thirteen, Ms. Gu has won numerous prizes in national and international violin competitions. A recipient of the prestigious Presser Award from the Theodore Presser Foundation for outstanding achievement in music, she has performed frequently as guest soloist with orchestras and as recitalist at concert series throughout the world, including distinguished venues such as the Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Smetana Hall in Prague, La Sala Verdi in Milan, Beijing Concert Hall, Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The Frankfurter Neue Presse praised her playing as “a musical sensation -- top-notch musicianship and technical perfection!”
Ms. 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 the Midday Show, 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.
Dr. 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. Dr. Gu frequently adjudicates as a string judge in prominent national and international music competitions.
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