Globe-trotting Chinese guitarist Xuefei Yang looking forward to North Wales festival debut


Robert Slater

EAST will meet West at a top North Wales music festival thanks to the delicate fingers of Chinese classical guitarist Xuefei Yang.

Yang, who prefers to be known in the UK as Fei, pronounced Fay, will be making debut at the North Wales International Music Festival at St Asaph Cathedral.

The event that will be held between September 20-27 is supported by the Welsh Arts Council.

Although she has performed extensively from the USA to Singapore, Fei says she continues to involve as a musician and has more to offer as she continues to develop.

And she says playing the guitar was her destiny despite its reputation, at the time she was when growing up in her home city of Beijing, of being an instrument for hooligans.

Fei, aged 37, said: “When I started playing, the guitar was little known in China as a serious instrument. None of the music conservatories in China had a guitar department and I was the very first to enter a conservatory to study guitar.

I started playing by chance. My parents wanted me to learn an instrument as I was a boisterous child and they thought it would calm me.

“The music teacher at my primary school suggested I join the guitar group she was starting in the school.

This was very probably the only school in China at that time to have a guitar group.

I really enjoyed playing in the group, and it soon became evident I had some natural affinity for the instrument as I learned at a faster rate than other students.”

She said: “I never realised I could have a career as a musician, but when I performed at my first guitar festival in China I met several foreign guitarists who told me I had the ability to become professional.This is when it really struck home that I could do this for a career.

Fei says she spends about half a year in the UK and the other six months travelling and performing although she tries to get home to China as often as she can.

She said: “I’m very fortunate to be able to travel the world and I have been to 50 countries so far. I'm too caught up in life at the present to have reflected much on missing China.”

North Wales International Music Festival’s Artistic Director Ann Atkinson  is delighted to be welcoming Xuefei Yang to St Asaph for the first time.

She said: “It is always a thrill to welcome hugely respected and talented musicians to the Festival. And they don’t come more talented nor respected on the international stage than Fei and I for one am very much looking forward to watching and listening to Fei’s performance."

Xuefei Yang will appear in concert at the North Wales International Music Festival on Wednesday, September 24 at 7.30pm.

For tickets call the Box Office on 01745 850197 or visit the Scala Cinema and Arts Centre at 47 High Street, Prestatyn, which is open Monday to Saturday between 10am and 9pm and on Sundays between 1.30m and 9pm.

For more information about the North Wales International Music Festival at

See full story in the Free Press

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