Cellist Wang Jian was only ten years old when he met Isaac Stern, a prodigy violinist who began performing professionally at the age of 15 and who went on to discover many of the world's greatest string players, like the cellist Yo-Yo Ma and violinist Itzhak Perlman. In 1979, when the United States had just resumed relations with China, Stern visited China to perform and teach a series of master classes. His visit was documented in an Academy Award-winning film, From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China, which featured the ten-year-old Wang. After his debut in the documentary, Wang went on to attend Yale University and the Juilliard School of Music and to perform at Carnegie Hall.
This past Saturday, after a public screening of From Mao to Mozart at Asia Society Hong Kong Center, Wang appeared onstage to discuss his remarkable career as an internationally acclaimed performing and recording artist. He also played four movements of J.S. Bach's beloved Suite No. 1 in G Major, the first in a series of six written for unaccompanied cello, all of which Wang has recorded.
Watch Wang's complete conversation with Asia Society Hong Kong's interim Executive Director Alice Mong, and view photos from the event, here.
Video: Wang Jian performs J.S. Bach's Suite No. 1 in G Major (9 min., 42 sec.)