New music forces each musician to question his/her habits and invent new pathways to make sense of the unknown.
Focused on creating performances that are vibrant, multi-faceted sound worlds, violinist Szuhwa Wu has designed concerts that challenge and disturb, surprise and enthrall audiences. Noted for the “lightness, grace, and purity,”(New York Times) and the expressive authority and sensitivity of her playing, Ms. Wu in performance builds “a stimulating tension” (Neue Zuercher Zeitung) and holds her audiences in rapt concentration.
A consummate collaborator, Ms. Wu has partnered with Persian ney players, rock artists, and flamenco guitarists, as well as actors, poets and most frequently, live interactive technology. Her multi-disciplinary projects have included a performance based on the essays of Montaigne, a recital pairing traditional Chinese music with newly commissioned works, and a set of “Musical Promenades” in 6 architecturally significant sights, including Palladio’s Italian villas. She also toured Mali with an actor performing classical works with spoken word in village squares. Throughout, Ms. Wu challenges and expands listeners’ imaginations, inviting audiences to become immersed in new creative environments.
Ms. Wu’s performance credits range from New York’s Lincoln Center and Miller Theatre, to the Zurich Tonhalle, the Salzburg Mozarteum, and the National Theater of Taipei. She has also designed performances for the Centre Pompidou and the Musée de la vie romantique in Paris, and the “19” Center for Contemporary Arts in Montbéliard.
A founding member of Ensemble Fabrique Nomade, Ms. Wu works in intensive residencies with composers to develop technological possibilities and new works that provide audiences with altered experiential states—without resorting to drugs. Ms. Wu has premiered works by Tristan Murail, Karl Aage Rasmussen, Giacomo Platini, Dai Fujikura, and Lorenzo Bianchi.
Committed to community engagement and education programs, Ms. Wu offers creative workshops and performances. These provide participants with opportunities for personal invention through improvisation and composition. At the Conservatory of Besançon, she holds the position of professor of violin and chamber music.
Having earned undergraduate degrees from both Columbia University and The Juilliard School—in comparative literature and violin performance respectively—Ms. Wu continued at Juilliard for her master’s degree and earned an additional master’s in ethnomusicology at Harvard. For her post-graduate work, she studied in Switzerland at the Hochschule fur Musik in Zurich with Zakhar Bron and Nora Chastain.