Home 中文 Highlight Discography International Competition Awards HU Kun and Friends Critic Acclaim • Photos Videos Stories/Films

 Events Orchestras worked with Conducting Repertoire Gold Medal Star Studio Culture Exchange ConsultingContact Us




HU Kun, a child prodigy born into a musical family.  He started to learn the violin with his father Prof. HU Wei Min at age of three, then went on the stage accompanied by his mother Prof. Pen Shi Jun on the piano when he was seven. Kun started to win major prizes in his home town Chengdu for his school during the Cultural Revolution. In 1976 at age of 13, he went to Beijing and played the Paganini D major Concerto which brought him a nickname over night “The little genius from Sichuan”. He was immediately offered a soloist post by the China Central Radio Symphony Orchestra and China National Science Defense Committee Artists Company in which the later post became available politically. He then began to study with Prof. Lin Yao Ji. During this time he toured all over China with the Company, also winning The Exceptional Solo Performer Prize at the National Military Artists Company Award in Beijing, 1977.

Two years later he won both the Northern Section and the National Selective Competition for the Sibelius International Violin Competition, he was welcomed back to China as a national hero when he took the Fifth Prize at the Sibelius Violin Competition in Helsinki in 1980,  became the first person ever won an international violin competition prize in the Chinese music history. Since then, he won the media front coverage all over the country, on major television and radio programs, also a documentary film " The First Winner " has been released about him in China, performed for the state's guest US President Ronald Reagan in 1984. He was awarded a Secondary Military Medal , was promoted to Battalion Commander at the age of 18. He was also given an exceptional status by the Culture Minister to enter the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing to continue his study with Prof. Lin Yiao Ji. He has also studied conducting with Prof. Xu Xin during this time. HU Kun then graduated as one of only two Exceptional Graduates of the Year from the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music 1984.

The same year, he was sent by the Chinese Cultural Ministry to study at the Menuhin Academy with Alberto Lysy in Gstaad, Switzerland. He became the fourth prize winner and the TV/Radio "Prix Jacques Stehman 1985" winner of the prestige Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels in May 85. Three months latter he won the 1st Prize (plus four category prizes) of the Menuhin Competition in Paris with the title “Grand Laureate de la Ville de Paris” given by Madame Chirac whom invited Kun to perform at the Hotel de Ville in Paris specially for her friends, such as Madame George Pompidou... then Kun was invited by Lord. Yehudi Menuhin to London, became his protégé and the only private student . The teacher and student played all over the world together, as well as making several CDs, appearing on the TV/radio interviews together

HU Kun has played with world ’s leading orchestras(Royal Philharmonic, Orchestra de Paris, Berlin, Leipzig Radio, BBC Orchestras, Moscow States, China National Symphony and Shanghai Symphony Orchestra…), and conductors(Otaka, Menuhin, Akiyama, Atzmon…),in major venues (London, New York, Chicago, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Dresden, Brussels, Amsterdam, Vienna, Tokyo, Prague, Moscow/St.Petersburg, Toronto, Beijing/Shanghai, Brisban, Cape Town, Zurich …), festivals(Vienna, Menuhin, Gidon Kremer, Bayreuth, Montpellier, Kuhmo, Flanders&Wallonie, Dartington, Harrogate, Eddinbourgh…),on live TV and radio(BBC, FR3, Rundfunk Berlin&Leipzig, ChicagoWFMT, Classic New York, NHK, CCTV…). He has continuously winning countless international prizes (Sibelius, Queen Elisabeth, Menuhin, Francescatti, Lipizer, Palm Beach…). Giving world premiere performances (Ronald Stevenson Concerto which was dedicated to Lord. Yehudi in memory of Georges Enesco for BBC3), recordings (Hoddinott’s Poem for Nimbus), as well as making Chinese premiere of Elgar Violin Concerto with the National Symphony Orchestra of China conducted by Lord. Menuhin with CCTV broadcasting. Making debut tour with Asian Youth Orchestra/Menuhin and the China National Symphony Orchestra. He has successfully performed Paganini 24 Caprices at the Dartington Festival and the Royal Academy of Music London in 98. Kun has also introduced the Chinese Violin Music to the western audience as well as releasing a critic acclaimed CD on ASV label in 99.

HU Kun was offered an exclusive recording contract by Nimbus Records in 1989, has also recorded with EMI, ASV, Chamber Sound, China Records, including music from Barber, Sibelius, Katchaturian, Prokofiev, Vivaldi, Bach, Bernstein, Hoddinott, Wieniawski, Saint-Saens and Chinese Violin Music. He performed a sell-out concert at the Lincoln Centre New York in 2002 which was dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the Queen Elisabeth Competition of Brussels, made European premiere of Tan Dun’s violin concerto at the Dresden Festival with the Dresdner Sinfoniker which was recorded by Mid German Radio and TV. A documentary film “The Story of HU Kun” has been shown over 47 countries worldwide by Phoenix CNE Europe in 2003. The CCTV(China Central Television) has filmed ''Music Life'' about Kun in 2010.

Besides Kun’s successful career as a violinist,  he has developed great interest in conducting which started accidentally when he had to conduct his formal teacher Alberto Lysy at the last minute notice in Geneva in 85. He is currently working with Sir. Colin Davis on some major repertoires. Sir Colin has not only generously given Kun private lessons, also given a baton from his personal collections to Kun after their first meeting. Kun has recently been offered another baton which belongs to his grand maestro--Georges Enesco  by an old friend of the great maestro after a conducting concert in London.

HU Kun has launched his own orchestra--- HU Kun and Friends in London by conducting the orchestra for a gala concert in 05 at the Chinese Embassy which was hosted by His Excellency the Chinese Ambassador with a great success. He was interviewed by the BBC World Service and Phoenix TV Europe.  He then conducted the London Schubert Players at the Classicalive Exhibition at the London Olympia, return engagements with the London Schubert Players in Nov.2005, a critic acclaimed concert at the London South Bank Centre in 2006. Kun had a sell-out debut tour in China where he conducted the Xian Men Philharmonic, Sichuan, Shanghai and Guangzhou Conservatory Symphony Orchestras in Apr.2006, also made his successful Beijing conducting debut with the China National Broadcasting & Film Symphony Orchestra at the Forbidden City Concert Hall in July 07. He has conducted further concerts with the orchestra in July 08.

After hearing the Sichuan earthquake in May 2008, he immediately conducted the Sichuan Symphony Orchestra performed a charity concert in Beijing with further donation concerts under planning.

Recent conducting engagements include performing Debussy " La Mer " and Ravel " La Valse " with Qingdao Symphony at the city's Grand Theatre, Memorial Concert with the Lin Yaoji Virtuosi at Hongkong Culture Center, Mendelssohn Octet with 80 strings for the final concert of Greatwall Academy at Beijing Concert Hall, Enescu Chamber Symphony London debut with London Schubert Players/Enescu Quartet at King's Place and " HU Kun and Friends Orchestra " for the inaugural concert of Chinese British Musicians' Society in London ( Phoenix TV CNE Europe coverage)...Conducting China Youth Symphony Orchestra at the Opening Concert of Yehudi Menuhin Competition 2012(National Centre for Performing Arts). In Nov. he conducted Respighi's Pines of Rome with Shanghai Conservatory Symphony Orchestra at the Shanghai International Arts Festival. 2013 season, Kun worked on Elgar 2nd Symphony with the Royal Academy Concert Orchestra in London, conducted the Gala Concert of Postacchini Violin Competition with Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana in Italy. Kun has just toured with Shanghai and Sichuan Philharmonic, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Sichuan, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Hunan and Qingdao Symphony Orchestra over 8 major cities including Shenzhen in China with a great success.  Recent conducting engagements including concerts in Reykjavik, Bruxelles, San Vito, Kunmin, Beijing, Chongqing...

Besides Kun's exciting performing career, he is also a dedicated professor at the Royal Academy of Music , aiming to pass on his unique experience to the younger generation violinists. Apart from his master classes in world’s top festivals and competitions, he has taught at the Music School of Indiana University in 99 and Yehudi Menuhin School from 97-2001. In recent years, Kun has produced many outstanding international competition prize winner/concert/recording artists, broke many British conservatory records.


Kun was awarded by the Duchess of Gloucester as an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music. He has also been appointed as a guest Prof. at the Central Conservatory of Music--Beijing, Sichuan Conservatory--Chengdu and Xinhai Conservatory--Guangzhou after his master classes tour in China which includes Shanghai Conservatory 05. He has given master classes/served as a jury member at the BBC Young Musician of the Year, Lipizer Violin Competition in Italy 2005, Singapore National Violin/Piano Competition 2005 plus Canetti Music Festival&Competition in Hungary/France/Turkey/Bulgaria, " The Magical little Violin" Competition and "Andrea Postacchini" Competition in Italy, Michael Hill Competition in Auckland, Great Wall Academy in Beijing, Dartington Summer School in UK 07, Euro Art in Leipzig 08, Rostal Competition in Berlin, Menuhin Competition in Oslo and  International Competition Freiburg in  2009/10. Kun has served as the Chairman of the Jury for the 3rd and 4th China International Violin Competition Qingdao in 2011 and 2014 which broke few previous competition records

 Kun introduced the 2012 Menuhin Competition to Beijing, served as a jury member, was in the jury at the Postacchini Violin Competition in Italy 2013...meanwhile some masterclasses have been hold in Dresden, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Tokyo, Seoul...he has been appointed as an " Overseas Famous Master " by the Shanghai Conservatory in 2012.


Kun has given master classes in Courchevel and Reykjavik in 2014, also hosted the 1st " HU Kun and Friends International Masterclasses - London/Shanghai " in 2014/15.


In 2018, Kun has been appointed as the Chairman of the Jury at the Guangya International Violin Competition in Chengdu and served as a jury at the Alice Schoenfeld International Strings Competition in Harbin, China, recorded a masterclass by Dutch iClassic channel for future broadcast online.  Gave a masterclass at the Silkroad Masterclasses in Zurich, Switzerland.


In July 2019, Kun has conducted 1000 young violinists to perform with the Nier Symphony Orchestra in Kunmin which was broardcasted live by Kunmin TV. Hosted again '' HU Kun and Friends International Masterclasses '' in Haikou on Hainan Island which include orchestra training programs in August.

Kun has also conducted masterclasses at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music International Masterclass Series in Oct.


In recent year, Kun has been appointed as an '' Oversea Famous Master '' by Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing which include visiting other major conservatories all over China such as Sichuan and Shenyang Conservatory of Music in the coming five years. Kun was categorized as an A class foreign talent by the Beijing Foreign Expert Bureau for such project.


Violinists are coming to see him from all parts of the world in London each year...(Please Click here to see the latest updates or continue visiting www.hukun.net for Kun's other activities).




(CV short version)
HU Kun is a legendary violinist, conductor and pedagogue. He has been described already in the 80s as " a great artist." (Le Monde), as having
“ Undoubted power ” (The Times), as
" HU Kun...Chinese musicians, especially violinist, are establishing an increasingly high profile on the Western concert scene. ” (The New York Time / International Herald Tribune), and as
“One of the most individual string players to burst onto the scene...the finest of the younger generation of violinist.” (The Strad).

Kun has studied violin with his father Prof. HU Wei Min and Prof. Lin Yao Ji, piano with his mother Prof. Peng Shi Jun and conducting with Prof. Xu Xin.


Kun gained his first soloist post at age of thirteen in the Chinese Radio Symphony. He was the first mainland Chinese violinist ever to establish a solo career on the international stage after winning Fifth Prize at the Sibelius Violin Competition at just seventeen years old in Helsinki 1980, raising Chinese flag on the international violin competition stage. He has toured around world, became the late Lord. Yehudi Menuhin's only private student for 15 years, winning more international competitions and major recording contracts and performing with world's leading orchestras at the world's major culture centre. Kun has taking up conducting under the personal direction of late Sir. Colin Davis for 10 years and founded his own orchestra HU Kun and Friends in London.

Kun currently enjoys touring as a conductor, a Professor/Hon RAM at the Royal Academy of Music, giving masterclass at music festivals, chairing and serving as a jury member at the world's major violin competitions and building bridges for East and West cultural exchanges. There have also been a number of films and TV documentaries about his pioneering musical career.

 More at www.hukun.net


Conductor CV

HU Kun, started violin with Prof. HU Weimin at age of six, piano with Prof.Peng Shijun. At fourteen he continued studying the violin with Prof.Lin Yaoji, became an national celebrity at age of seventeen as China's first ever international violin competition prize winner at the Sibelius Violin Competition in Helsinki 1980. Kun then started an one year conducting study with Prof. Xu Xin at the Central Conservatory of Music in 1983.


Kun was sent as an official student to Gstaad, Switzerland at the Menuhin Academy in 1984. He made his conducting debut in Geneva by stand in at the last minute to conduct his teacher Alberto Lysy with Camerata Lysy Gstaad in 1985.


In 2003, after Kun's extraordinary successful violin solo career playing all over the world, winning major competitions, performing with the world's leading orchestras, recorded with major record labels as Lord. Yehudi Menuhin's only private student also as a royal awarded record breaking champion professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London, been the chairman of the jury and member at the major international competitions, he resumed to his conducting this time under the private guidance of  Sir. Colin Davis.

Kun has set up his own orchestra " HU Kun and Friends Orchestra - London " under the patronage of Sir Colin Davis and Mrs.Zamira Menuhin in 2005.

Since then Kun has conducted London Schubert Players at the Classicalive in London Olympia and South Bank Center with debut performance of Enesco Octet. Made his debut tour in China where he conducted Till Eulenspiegel with Xiamen Phiharmonic which was praised by Chinese legendary female conductor Zheng Xiaoyin, then went on conducting Beethoven and Mozart Symphonies with Xinhai, Sichuan Conservatory Symphony Orchestras and Linhua Chamber Orchestra in Shanghai.


Kun has worked with orchestras such as Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie in Bruxelles, performed Enesco's Chamber Symphony with London Schubert Players (a CD was also released by Nimbus Records/RMA) in London and Mitteleuropa Orchestra, Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana in Italy, Emerald Ensemble Bristol. Toured with Shanghai Philharmonic in Beijing and Shanghai, repeated engagements with China Film and Broadcasting Symphony in Beijing,  with Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Sichuan Philharmonic Orchestra, performed at the Yehudi Menuhin Competition Openning concert in National Theatre, Beijing 2012, conducted La Mer with Qingdao Symphony, Shanghai Conservatory Symphony, China National Youth Orchestra with soloist such as Tasmin Little and Ning Feng, Natalia Lomeiko, Alexandre Sitkovetsky (last three were Kun's own star students), Li Chuanyun, Enesco Quattet...etc.


Kun's conducting engagements has taken him from London, Bristol, to Bruxelles, Geneva, Reykjavik, Fermo/Targliamento(Italy), Rauma(Finland), Moulin d' Ande(France), Tokyo, Hongkong, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Tianjing, Qingdao,  Nanjing, Changsha...etc.


Recently, Kun has conducted 1000 young violinists companied by Nier Symphony Orchestra in Kunmin which was broadcasted live on Kunmin TV in July, Directed '' HU Kun and Friends '' Masterclass Strings Orchestra in Haikou, Hainan Island in August. 2019.


Kun is currently in possession of two precious batons - one from Sir Colin Davis and another one from his grand maestro George Enescu.



" Hu Kun, conducting with Enescu’s own baton, brought clarity of line and spaciousness to the first movement, then revealed in the highly complex contrapuntal fugal scoring of the second movement that acts as a massive developmental section together with the exquisitely nuanced third movement.  The waltz ending, simultaneously French and Enescian, showed powerful thoughts held under purposeful restraint through magnificently projected playing which allowed individual voices to integrate seamlessly into the whole. "

---MusicWeb-International (Hu Kun conductor / London Schubert Players / Soloists; Purcell Room, London. 18.2.2006), London

" HU Kun's conducting is full of charm! Tonight is my first time watching HU Kun conducting, he has successfully transformed himself from a violin virtuoso to a fine conductor. HU Kun has a great feeling towards music, this has shown in his conducting with strong authority, yet full of life and enthusiasm. A conductor on the stage is a performer and leader, he must be able to control the whole orchestra. Tonight the repertoires are very  rich and demanding which covers from classical to contemporary, but HU Kun has shown great charisma as a conductor, able to lead the whole orchestra forward. I believe he will reach even further in the conducting fields."

---Xiamen Financial Times , Zheng Xiao Yin ( well-known Chinese conductor) 15.4.2006, China

" Already as a world's 1st class violinist, HU Kun's name was strikingly appearing on the program as the conductor of Lin Yaoji Virtuosi... winning a prize at the Sibelius Violin Competition back in 1980 was no less shocking for the Chinese than been the Olympic gold medalist."

China Broadcasting Web(Beijing) 13/6/10

"HU Kun, the world's renowned violinist made his Beijing conducting debut with nearly hundred musicians. Under his baton, he " performed " the " world's largest instrument "--- orchestra with great enthusiasm and passion..."

--- People's Daily 8.07, Beijing


More at HU Kun's website http://hukun.net/Events.htm