Jian Wang was born in China in 1968 to a musical family, and began studying the cello with his father (also a cellist). When still an infant, Jian's father gave him a violin with a make-shift endpin. The young child immediately showed musical promise. At the age of nine, already a good cellist (and with perfect pitch) he was enrolled in the Shanghai Conservatory, where (still taught unofficially by his father) he made rapid progress. When Wang was 10 years old, Isaac Stern visited Shanghai, and featured Wang in his 1981 video, "From Mao to Mozart."
In 1985 an American Chinese business man (Sau-Wing Lam) who had seen the "Mao to Mozart" video, sponsored Wang to study with Aldo Parisot at Yale. After three years at Yale, Wang moved to New York and continued his studies at Julliard. Since then he has also lived in Portugal and Paris, but he now calls London home. He records for Deutsche Grammophon.
Wang is famous in China as well as in the West. At the age of eleven he performed the Saint-Saens Cello Concerto with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra; and at fourteen he was selected by China to go with a select group of Chinese musicians to perform for President Jimmy Carter at the White House. His trio gave 57 concerts in 60 days. Shortly thereafter Wang performed with the Boston Symphony on its tour of China, and was declared by Seiji Ozawa to be a "world-class cellist." When the Central Philharmonic Orchestra of China made its first U.S. tour, it was Jian Wang who was chosen to be soloist, performing the Elgar Concerto at the Kennedy Center, and in major cities across the nation.
Wang performs on two cellos. One is a David Wiebe instrument, given to him by his teacher, Aldo Parisot. The other is a 1622 Amati, last used by Daniel Heifetz, principal cellist of the NBC orchestra. It from the collection of Mr. Lam's family, and they have loaned it to him "long-term." He uses a Voirin bow once owned by Emmanuel Feuermann, and Wang acquired it from his teacher, Aldo Parisot. Wang likes Thomastik Spirocore G and C strings, and Larsen for A and D.