2 January 1963, Hangzhou, near Shanghai, China. The pre-eminent female artist working in the field of Chinese classical music, Wu Man grew up in artistic surrounds. Her father is a noted painter and her mother a teacher, and both encouraged in their daughter a sense of the profound richness of Chinese culture. In turn she began to study classical music with her chosen instrument the pipa, a four-stringed, pear shaped lute. Wu Man is a member of the Pudong school, but this fact has often been misinterpreted in the west into meaning a place of study rather than a tradition. Pudong represents a style of performance of the classical repertoire which can be differentiated from any of the other schools, and Wu Mans actual place of study was the Central Conservatoire of Music in Beijing. There, from 1977 onwards, she was taught by fifth generation Pudong master Lin Shicheng. She eventually earned a masters degree after 11 years of...