These judges have an extremely difficult job ahead of them with so many talented musicians from all over the world! Please give a huge thank you to these qualified musical experts!
Alex Qian is the professor of music at the Lone Star College-CyFair in Houston, Texas, where he also serves as the Artistic Director of Vocal Studies as well as the Department Chair of Music, Drama and Dance. He founded the CyFair Lyric Opera in 2003 and has been its artistic director and conductor ever since. He teaches and conducts the college choir, directs the opera workshop/music theater, and supervises the multicultural concert series “World Music”. Under his direction, a large-scale choral work and a musical/opera are performed each season at the CyFair music series.
Alex Qian graduated from Shanghai Conservatory of Music in China in opera performance under the direction of Bian Jing Zu, Xie Shao Zeng and Zhou Xiao Yan. He also holds the second Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance and Choral Conducting from Sam Houston State University (Texas), where he studied with Dr. Walter Foster and Dr. Kent Hatteberg, with additional hours of doctoral studies at Moores School of Music, University of Houston, where he focused on the vocal pedagogy and conducting under Professor Steve Smith, Professor Katherine Ciesinski and Dr. Charles Hausmann. Now, he is an active member of NATS, ACDA, NOA and TCDA.
Alex Qian himself has performed more than 20 roles in opera including eight title roles, such as Rodolfo in La Boheme, Don Jose in Carmen, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Alfredo in La Traviata and Tamino in Die Zauberflote. He is also active in international music activities, in recent years, Alex Qian has performed either as a conductor, soloist or a visit professor in Malaysia, the United States, Austria, and China.
Besides his full-time job, Alex Qian also gives voice lessons to individuals. His young students have won numerous prizes and awards at various local, national, and all state vocal competitions. And several of his adult students have reached professional levels and have held vocal recitals.
Changlu Wu began pipa training at age 6 and entered the Shanghai Conservatory of Music at 9. She won numerous awards during her training and represented China in many diplomatic occasions. She was seen in Isaac Stern’s film “From Mao to Mozart”, the Oscar’s best documentary in 1980. Upon earning a bachelor’s degree in 1990, she came to the U.S. to study piano at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music. Her skills and knowledge in music of the West and East dazzle audiences as she expertly combines the best elements in each. In 2003, she was invited by President George Bush to play at the Bush Library at College Station for the China-U.S. Relations Conference. In 2015, she performed a pipa concerto with the Houston Symphony. As a teacher, Wu instills in her students the value of hard work and the joy of giving. After graduating from the University of Houston, she established the Changlu Wu School of Music and also teaches pipa, gu-zheng and piano. Through the grace and beauty of her music, she demonstrates to her young students the dignity and splendor of the Chinese culture. She has been a member of the Young Audiences of Houston since 1996 and founded the North America Youth Chinese Orchestra in 2012.