Wenjun Qi may play acoustic guitar, but the performance is electrifying.
The prodigy has been playing since she fell in love with music in first grade. A Sichuan Conservatory graduate, Wenjun won First Prize at the Fifth National Guitar Competition of China, both as soloist and as part of a duet. During her conservatory studies, she performed with the Sichuan Conservatory Philharmonic Orchestra. Wenjun traveled from her hometown of Zhengzhou, China, to study at SOU.
“I have been very lucky and honored to come to Southern Oregon University,” says Wenjun. “The tremendous opportunities provided by SOU helped me decide to come here without any hesitation.” In addition securing Diversity and International Student scholarships, Wenjun was among a handful of world-class musicians to receive the four-year Chamber Music Concerts Scholarship.
One of her fellow CMC Scholars is Lisa Nichols, a flutist with whom Wenjun has collaborated on breathtaking duet performances of pieces such as Francois Borne’s Fantaisie Brillante on Bizet’s Carmen and Peter Dolloff’s Café Tengo. “The beautiful harmonies and unpredictable emotions created by our instruments deeply provoked our enthusiasm for classical music,” says Wenjun. “Our premier performance for Carmen Fantasie was at Mountain Meadows, a retirement center.” In addition to performing at venues such as the Ashland Springs Hotel and Grace Lutheran Church, Wenjun found time to participate in the International Student Association, Queer Resource Center, and Civic Engagement Club.
Today, Wenjun is enrolled in the master’s program in classical guitar at the University of Southern California. “I look forward to a career of researching and teaching as a university professor, sharing knowledge with younger generations of musicians while continuing to perform as a soloist and chamber musician.”
Photo by Rhett Bender