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Dai Liang

A Bu started to study the classical piano from Professor Zhang Shigu, a Chinese American piano educator, at the age of four, and won awards at several piano contests he participated later. After Zhang Shigu returned to the U.S., Professor Zhang.

Zhiwei from the Central Conservatory of Music took his place and taught A Bu classical piano. In 2009, A Bu was enrolled in the Affiliated Primary School of the Central Conservatory of Music, and had joined the Piano Master summer camp launched in the U.S. ever since then. In June 2012, A Bu was recommended for admission to the Affiliated Middle School of the Central Conservatory of Music for outstanding achievements.

Besides specialized and systematic classical piano trainings, A Bu has adopted a diverse approach since 2009, systematically learning jazz, Latin, music theories and impromptu performance in his spare time from the jazz musician, Professor Kong Hongwei (Golden Buddha) with the Central Conservatory of Music. Afterwards, A Bu began to learn recording software, guitar, bass, percussion music and saxophone from more music teachers, obtaining more extensive music knowledge and applying it to daily trainings. In 2011, A Bu stepped out of the piano room, participating in live performances by musicians and gaining precious experience from jam sessions with jazz musicians of different styles. It was such experience that made A Bu master live performance skills and band cooperation abilities. A Bu, together with the drummer Shao Haha and bass player Ma Kai, set up their first band — A Bu Jazz Trio Band in the same year.

Following the successful participation of Beijing 9 Gate Jazz Music Festival held in 2012, A Bu passed the sponsorship review by Edifier Musician Foundation, and, upon invitation, performed at the Sennheiser Momentum press release together with the famous Rolf Becker Big Band. At the end of 2012, the first studio performance album of A Bu Jazz Trio band was completed in Beijing, with Golden Buddha and Marc Vincent, President of Sennheiser China, acting as site production supervisors, and Jakob Haendel, a Grammy award winner from Germany, as the recorder. In the album recording, A Bu performed Giant Steps, the highly demanding works by John Coltrane, astonishing all with the maturity that went beyond his age.

A Bu perhaps is an extraordinary case among thousands of piano boys in China. All of those who know A Bu have great expectation of him. It might be too early to excessively assess and interpret a 13-year-old boy, and what we need is to wait for A Bu’s presentation of his own achievements to the Chinese music world.


Album Review

A Bu: Live At Beijing Poly Theater

Read "Live At Beijing Poly Theater" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Beijing's Poly Theater has held over three-thousand international artistic events since its opening in 1991. The prestigious fifteen-hundred seat cultural hub was the site of a 2018 solo piano concert by Dai Liang (aka, A Bu), possibly the best unknown pianist in music. A prodigy who began playing at four, the pianist was discovered in 2012 by the President of China's division of the electronics/media giant Sennheiser. Only thirteen at the time, he was then connected with a Grammy- winning ...

Under the Radar

Dai Liang, aka A Bu: Beijing Prodigy

Read "Dai Liang, aka A Bu: Beijing Prodigy" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

In 1950, in the wake of World War II and the early years of the Cold War, the Chinese Communist Party under Mao Zedong founded the Central Conservatory of Music as a consolidation of several musical institutions. Located in Beijing, the school resides on the former site of the seventeenth century residence of one Prince Yixuan. The campus has developed into a global institution offering advanced degrees in a setting that mixes original building from the Qing Dynasty with state-of-the-art ...

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