Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

Pianist among Birmingham City University’s Alumni of the Year

2:52, 2nd January 2018

Di Xiao (肖荻), a classical piano soloist from China, has been named as one of Birmingham City University’s Alumni of the Year.

She will receive her award on 9 January in Symphony Hall, Birmingham, in the presence of hundreds of graduands and their families.

Xiao, who studied for an advanced postgraduate diploma at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, has maintained her links with the institution as a piano tutor.

She began her musical studies at the junior Conservatoire in Guangzhou, continuing at the Odessa Conservatoire, Ukraine and the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing before coming to Birmingham.

On completing her studies at Birmingham City University, she was selected as the UK’s European Concert Halls Organisation (ECHO) Raising Star for 2008/09 season.

Now based in the UK, Xiao continues to play for audiences across the world, performing regularly in Europe and Asia, and has released four albums. She aims to become an international ambassador for the piano, combining Chinese and Western repertoire and creating a bridge between the two cultures.

Xiao, who described her time in Birmingham as ‘the turning point in my life’, said she felt ‘very honoured indeed’.

‘I arrived as a student over a decade ago and now, as an Honorary Member of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, I am part of this big family and I will endeavour to share its positive spirit with as many people and students as I can because I know that, apart from the amazing facilities that we now have, it’s always the people that make a place special. I shall never take this responsibility lightly.’

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