The Strad: Shanghai Quartet – May 2019 Cover

The Strad

Keep an eye out for the Shanghai Quartet on the cover of the May 2019 issue. What a celebration of their 35th anniversary this season!

The issue is available for purchase online here.


‘When we formed the Shanghai Quartet in 1983 chamber music in China was almost non-existent,’ says the ensemble’s first violinist Weigang Li. ‘Western music had been introduced to the country in the 1920s and 30s, and the first generation of classical musicians included my grandfather, a violinist, who played in a quartet with Yo-Yo Ma’s father (also a violinist) before the latter moved to Paris. But most Chinese musicians, even by the 1980s, simply weren’t aware of the scope and depth of this fantastic repertoire.’

Li is speaking to me at the 2018 Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition, where he is serving as a jury member. His fellow quartet members are here too, providing the professional element for the chamber music round. The significance of the Stern name is not lost on Li, who in 1979, at the age of 15, was featured in the Oscar-winning documentary From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China.

Read more here.