MEI Diyang, a rising star prodigy as of viola performing, is the first principal violist principal violist of the Berliner Philharmoniker (as well as the first Chinese musician who has been given a position with the Berliner Philharmoniker), and previously the principal violist of the Munich Philharmonic. One of the violas he has played with is an Ansaldo Poggi 1963 viola sponsored on long-term loan by the Yu Art Foundation (YAF) since 2018. 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.
Mei Diyang, as a Chinese violist, has made significant breakthroughs in China’s viola history, including his brilliant success at the 2018 Munich ARD International Music Competition, winning first prize in the viola category, the Audience Prize and several special prizes. ARD is considered the most authoritative and influential competition in the viola field, and Mei Diyang is the first Chinese top-prize winner in the competition’s history. He was also awarded first prizes at the 52nd International Instrumental Competition for Viola in Markneukirchen (2017), at the International Max Rostal Music Competition for Viola in Berlin (2015), at the Kulturkreis Gasteig Musikpreis for Strings in Munich (2015), at the IVC Young Artist Competition in Rochester (2012), at the 19th International Johannes Brahms Viola Competition in Austria (2012) and at the 10th International Viola and Cello Competition in Villa de Llanes, Spain (2008). He is also a holder of a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and a Yehudi Menuhin LMN e.V. scholarship.
Chloe Cutts comments on his performance at the 2018 ARD competition in The Strad, ‘Mei produced a reading that was clear sighted, outgoing and thoroughly enjoyable. As he had shown in the commissioned piece, he is an imaginative interpreter...the listener had the impression of a player who might just have that intangible quality of an influential voice, perhaps even a new advocate for the viola.’
Mei Diyang began playing the violin at age five. From 2005 he studied the viola with Wang Shaowu in the Central Conservatory of Music (CCOM) Middle School and later in CCOM. He has studied with Hariolf Schlichtig at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich since 2014 and from 2019, he continued his studies with Nobuko Imai at the Kronberg Academy. Since 2019, Mei Diyang has held the position of principal viola of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra. As a soloist, he has performed with many world-renowned orchestras.