HU Kun, a child protégé who was born in a musical family. He started to learn the violin with his father Prof. HU Wei Min at age of three, then went on the stage accompanied by his mother Prof. Pen Shi Jun on the piano when he was seven. Kun started to win major prizes in his home town Chengdu for his school during the Cultural Revolution. In 1976 at age of 13, he went to Beijing and played the Paganini D major Concerto which brought him a nickname over night “The little genius from Sichuan”. He was immediately offered a soloist post by the China Central Radio Symphony Orchestra and China National Science Defense Committee Artists Company in which the later post became available politically. He then began to study with Prof. Lin Yiao Ji. During this time he toured all over China with the Company, also winning The Exceptional Solo Performer Prize at the National Military Artists Company Award in Beijing, 1977. Two years later he won both the Northern Section and the National Selective Competition for the Sibelius International Violin Competition, he was welcomed back to China as an national hero when he took the Fifth Prize at the Sibelius Violin Competition in Helsinki in 1980, became the first person ever won an international violin competition prize in the Chinese music history. Since then, he won the media front coverage all over the country, on major television and radio programs, also a documentary film " The First Winner " has been released about him in China, performed for the state guests including President Reagan in 1983. He was awarded a Secondary Military Medal , was promoted to Battalion Commander at the age of 18. He was also given an exceptional status by the Culture Minister to enter the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing to continue his study with Prof. Lin Yiao Ji. He has also studied conducting with Prof. Xu Xin during this time. HU Kun then graduated as one of only two Exceptional Graduates of the Year from the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music 1984.
The same year, he was sent by the Chinese government to study at the Menuhin Academy with Alberto Lysy in Gstaad, Switzerland. He became the fourth prize winner and the TV/Radio Public 1st prize winner of the prestige Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels in May 85. Three months latter he won the 1st Prize (plus four category prizes) of the Menuhin Competition in Paris with the title “Grand Laureate de la ville de Paris” given by Madame Chirac whom invited Kun to perform at the Hotel de Ville in Paris specially for her friends, such as Madame George Pompidou... then Kun was invited by Lord. Yehudi Menuhin to London became his protégé and only private student . The teacher and student played all over the world together, as well as making several CDs, appearing on the TV/radio interviews together.
HU Kun has played with world ’s leading orchestras(Royal Philharmonic, Orchestra de Paris, Berlin Radio, Leipzig Radio, BBC Orchestras, Moscow States, China National Symphony and Shanghai Symphony Orchestra…), and conductors(Otaka, Menuhin, Akiyama, Atzmon…),in major venues (London, New York, Chicago, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Dresden, Brussels, Amsterdam, Vienna, Tokyo, Prague, Moscow/St.Petersburg, Toronto, Beijing/Shanghai, Brisban, Cape Town, Zurich …), festivals(Vienna, Menuhin, Gidon Kremer, Bayreuth, Montpellier, Kuhmo, Flanders&Wallonie, Dartington, Harrogate, Eddinbourgh…),on live TV and radio(BBC, FR3, Rundfunk Berlin&Leipzig, ChicagoWFMT, Classic New York, NHK, CCTV…). He has continuously winning countless international prizes (Sibelius, Queen Elisabeth, Menuhin, Francescatti, Lipizer, Palm Beach…). Giving world premiere performances (Ronald Stevenson Concerto which was dedicated to Lord. Yehudi in memory of Georges Enesco for BBC3), recordings (Hoddinott’s Poem for Nimbus), as well as making Chinese premiere of Elgar Violin Concerto with the National Symphony Orchestra of China conducted by Lord. Menuhin with CCTV broadcasting. Making debut tour with Asian Youth Orchestra/Menuhin and the China National Symphony Orchestra. He has successfully performed Paganini 24 Caprices in London in 98. Kun has also introduced the Chinese Violin Music to the western audience as well as releasing a critic acclaimed CD on ASV label in 99.
HU Kun has recorded with Nimbus(exclusive), EMI, ASV, Chamber Sound, China Records, including music from Barber, Sibelius, Katchaturian, Prokofiev, Vivaldi, Bach, Bernstein, Hoddinott, Wieniawski, Saint-Saens and Chinese Violin Music. He performed a sell-out concert at the Lincoln Centre New York in 2002 which was dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the Queen Elisabeth Competition of Brussels, made European premiere of Tan Dun’s violin concerto at the Dresden Festival with the Dresdner Sinfoniker which was recorded by Mid German Radio and TV. A documentary film “The Story of HU Kun” has been shown over 47 countries worldwide by Phoenix CNE Europe in 2003.
Besides Kun’s successful career as a violinist, he has developed great interest in conducting which started accidentally when he had to conduct his formal teacher Alberto Lysy at the last minute notice in Geneva in 85. He is currently working with Sir. Colin Davis on some major repertoires. Sir Colin has not only generously given Kun private lessons, also given a baton from his personal collections to Kun after their first meeting. Kun has recently been offered another baton which belongs to his grand maestro--Georges Enesco by an old friend of the great maestro after a conducting concert in London.
HU Kun has lunched his own orchestra--- HU Kun and Friends in London by conducting the orchestra for a gala concert in 05 at the Chinese Embassy which was hosted by His Excellency the Chinese Ambassador with a great success. He was interviewed by the BBC World Service and Phoenix TV Europe. He then conducted the London Schubert Players at the Classicalive Exhibition at the London Olympia, return engagements with the London Schubert Players in Nov.2005, a critic acclaimed concert at the London South Bank Centre in 2006. Kun had a sell-out debut tour in China where he conducted the Xian Men Philharmonic, Sichuan, Shanghai and Guangzhou Conservatory Symphony Orchestras in Apr.2006, also made his successful Beijing conducting debut with the China National Broadcasting & Film Symphony Orchestra at the Forbidden City Concert Hall in July 07. He has been invited to conduct further concert with the orchestra in July 08.
After hearing the recent Sichuan earthquake in May, he immediately conducted the Sichuan Symphony Orchestra performed a charity concert in Beijing with further donation concerts under planning.
Besides Kun's exciting performing career, he is also a dedicated professor at the Royal Academy of Music , aiming to pass on his unique experience to the younger generation violinists. Apart from his master classes in world’s top festivals and competitions, he has taught at the Music School of Indiana University in 99 and Yehudi Menuhin School from 97-2001. In recent years, Kun has produced many outstanding international competition prize winner/concert/recording artists, broke many British conservatory records.
Kun was awarded by the Duchess of Gloucester as an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music. He has also been appointed as a guest Prof. at the Central Conservatory of Music--Beijing, Sichuan Conservatory--Chengdu and Xinhai Conservatory--Guangzhou after his master classes tour in China which includes Shanghai Conservatory 05. He has given master classes/served as a jury member at the BBC Young Musician of the Year, Lipizer Violin Competition in Italy 2005, Singapore National Violin/Piano Competition 2005 plus Canetti Music Festival&Competition in Hungary/France/Turkey/Bulgaria, " The Magical little Violin" Competition and "Andrea Postacchini" Competition in Italy, Michael Hill Competition in Auckland, Great Wall Academy in Beijing, Dartington Summer School in UK 07, Rostal Competition in Berlin and Menuhin Competition in Oslo 2009/10...violinists are coming to see him in London from all parts of the world each year...(Click here to see the latest updates)