In an industry that often celebrates the novel over the masterful, Jiawei Cui emerges as a shining exception— a virtuoso violinist whose unparalleled classical expertise coexists harmoniously with an adventurous musical spirit.
The music industry today is a melting pot of influences, driven by technology and increasingly blurring the lines between genres. Yet, the need for mastery of one’s craft has never diminished. In this era where classical expertise coexists with an ever-growing range of musical styles, very few can claim to bridge this divide as effectively as Jiawei Cui.
Jiawei Cui is no stranger to accolades, but his recent triumphs are especially noteworthy. In 2023, he became the only violinist to receive the Platinum Award in the Professional Category at the esteemed Grand Master Music Competition. This is not just any competition; it’s a segment of the renowned European Classical Music Awards, a platform aimed at discovering and promoting global musical talents. The competition is judged by an illustrious panel comprising international concert performers, distinguished professors, and esteemed educators from the world’s most prestigious institutions. But Mr. Cui didn’t stop there; he further distinguished himself at the 2023 Manchester International Music Competition. His multi-faceted brilliance was recognized with not one, but three awards: the Platinum Prize in the Professional Category, the Platinum Prize in the Sonata Category, and the Excellent Interpretation Award. This competition is famed for its strict evaluation processes, emphasizing both virtuosity and artistic interpretation.
In a recent interview, Jiawei Cui opened up about his musical journey, providing a glimpse into his character as a musician. He comes across as well-rounded and highly adaptable, not merely content with excelling in the classical sphere. Jiawei is proactive in his career, practicing orchestra excerpts meticulously and actively seeking out a variety of gigs. His work with bands like the Chrysalis Rock Orchestra and 8Bit Band showcases his versatility and willingness to explore beyond classical corridors.
Open to different genres and welcoming of new experiences, Jiawei has an adventurous spirit that has led him to embrace touring, finding that different locales often provide fresh inspiration for his music. His commitment is not just to the technical mastery of his instrument, but to the broader scope of music as an art form—a collaborative endeavor that brings joy, challenges, and a deep sense of community. His aspirations are not limited to personal success; he frequently collaborates with other musicians and even plans to participate in chamber music competitions.
In summary, Jiawei Cui is a musical force to be reckoned with—a virtuoso with the awards to prove it, and a visionary artist with the openness and adaptability that today’s musical landscape demands. As we look forward to his future projects, one thing is certain: Jiawei Cui is a name we’ll be hearing for a long time to come.
Thanks for talking with us! Right off the bat, what have you been working on over the past year or so?
This past year, I’ve been trying to get as many gigs as I can, which has included work with the Chrysalis Rock Orchestra and 8Bit Band. In my own time, I’ve mainly been practicing orchestra excerpts, and I hope to get a job with a symphony orchestra in the near future.
Have you always been open to different genres of music? In the past, how have you gone about exploring these different genres?
I’ve always focused on classical music in the past, but now, I am definitely open to learning new genres and exploring those genres. And now that I’m getting many different kinds of gigs, I’m being exposed to different genres and song types I’ve never heard before. It’s been a lot of fun to learn and perform all this music.
Have you always been comfortable with traveling for performances? Do you prefer to work out of a single location?
I love traveling for performances. Working in a single location can be dry. so sometimes a change in scenery might spice up my music a bit.
Are there any aspects of working as a professional musician that you don’t enjoy?
No, at least not any that I can think of right now. There might be aspects that are less enjoyable than others, but in general, I enjoy my work very much.
Would you say you’re part of a musical community? How often do you collaborate with other players, songwriters, etc.?
In a very literal sense, yes I am. My friends and I often perform for different events. We also work on chamber music together and are planning to apply for competitions. Playing with others makes music so much more interesting.
Who are some of the artists you’ve been listening to recently?
Recently I’ve been listening to Yu Xiang, Karson Leong, and Ziyu He.
To close out, what excites you the most about music right now?
I think the most exciting thing for me at the moment is working on difficult pieces and being able to perform them well.