Headshot of Wanshu Liu

Wanshu Qiu


2023 Fellow

A highly versatile musician, Wanshu regularly performs as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, and is actively devoted to promoting classical music to a wider audience.

Wanshu grew up in a non-musical household in Chengdu, China. She began showing musical interest at the age of seven. Her rapid growth as a musician gained her a place in The Affiliated Secondary School of Sichuan Conservatory of Music in 2011, where she began to play the viola.

In 2017, Wanshu started her undergraduate study at Royal Northern College of Music with Susie Meszaros & Veit Hertenstein, where she graduated with 1st class honours. She was awarded full scholarship from the Royal Academy of Music to continue as a Masters and Professional Diploma student with Jon Thorne. Wanshu has been generously supported by the British Council and the Art Association of China.

Wanshu is grateful to be invited to numerous renowned music festivals such as Encuentro de Música Santander, IMS Prussia Cove, Lucerne Festival, and Bowdoin Festival. She has performed as a soloist with the Manson Ensemble and London Contemporary Soloists.

Wanshu has had the opportunity to work as principal viola with several world-class conductors including Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Mark Elder, Semyon Bychkov, Elim Chan, and Ludovic Morlot, and has appeared with the Nash Ensemble, Aurora Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Manchester Collective, the Hallé and BBC Philharmonic. In 2021 and 2022 she was invited for interviews with BBC Radio 3 and UKVI for her exceptional works and to discuss her inspiration in music.

A passionate chamber musician, Wanshu is a member of the Kyan Quartet, the Reverie piano quartet and clarinet trio, and was the winner of the Harold Craxton Prize in 2022. She has performed in chamber ensembles alongside world renowned musicians such as James Ehnes, Jack Liebeck, Zakhar Bron, Aviv Quartet, to name but a few. Her ensembles regularly receive coaching from members of the Elias Quartet, Chilingirian Quartet, Doric Quartet and Trio Gaspard. As current fellows of the Open Academy/Wigmore Hall Learning Programme, she appears regularly at Wigmore Hall with the Kyan Quartet,

Beyond the field of classical music, Wanshu has participated in numerous theater, jazz, and multimedia projects. Highlights include her performances in Manchester International Festival and Melbourne Arts Festival with Maxine Peake, London Jazz Festival with Alice Zawadzki, and recent performance with VOCES8 at Kings Place. Wanshu has also worked in cross-media collaboration with dancers and producers around the world.

In addition to her performing career, Wanshu volunteers her time with various community outreach programs that promote music education and enrichment. Since beginning her undergraduate study, Wanshu has been a strong believer in the important role music plays in the community, and has performed regularly in Hospices during her study, as well as a Christmas Concert Series in 12 Care homes, I See You Project (music performances in ICU hospital) and concerts with homelessness charity Streetwise Opera. She also did a placement at charity organization ‘Music in Care Homes and Hospitals’ and has volunteered for charity events such as So Many Beauties dementia friendly festival.