On Feb. 14th, the Berliner Philharmoniker announced that Mei Diyang, the YAF-sponsored violist and currently principal violist of the Munich Philharmonic, has won the audition for the position of first principal viola of the Berliner Philharmoniker on Feb. 11th. There are three positions of principal violas at the Berliner Philharmoniker (two first principal violas and one vice principal viola), and the position Mei Diyang has gained is the first principal viola which has been vacant for more than two years. This is also the first time that a Chinese performer has been given a position with the Berliner Philharmoniker, a world-renowned orchestra with 140 years’ history, making another historical breakthrough for Chinese musicians.
Violist Mei Diyang
Mei Diyang has previously made a significant breakthrough in China’s viola history in the Munich ARD competition - dubbed ‘Oscar of the music circle’. In the 2018 Munich ARD International Music Competition, he won first prize in the viola category and all the six special prizes including the Audience Prize, etc., becoming the first Chinese top-prize winner in the competition’s history. ARD is considered the most authoritative and influential competition for the viola field. During the 70 years since the start of the competition, there have been only six violists who have won first prizes, all the other years with the first prize left vacant.
YAF's founder Mr. Yu Heng and Mei Diyang with Poggi 1963 viola at YAF
Since 2018, Mei Diyang has been sponsored by the Yu Art Foundation (YAF), receiving the Ansaldo Poggi 1963 viola on long-term loan, and has played with this viola in many solo concerts in and outside China. Mei Diyang’s debut solo album ‘Transforming Viola’ is recorded with YAF’s Poggi 1963 viola and released by Genuin in the fall of 2019. The album, including chaconnes by Bach, Britten and Ligeti and passacaglias by Biber and Hindemith, is highly appraised as ‘a program of great intrinsic luminosity’, ‘indicative of the mastery and artistic maturity of the multiple competition winner that he has so completely transformed some of the greatest, most profound works of literature’.
Mei Diyang's debut album 'Transforming Viola', recorded with YAF's Poggi viola
Congratulations to Mei Diyang!
Reference: wechat official account 'Berliner Philharmoniker' and 'Today Music', Berliner Philharmonike's official website, Mei Diyang's personal website