If starting early is any indication to the success of a musician, then Xiao Dong Wei is exceptionally no exception. At the age of 5, Xiao Dong Wei began studying the erhu (the Chinese two-stringed violin) with her father. At age 11, she was accepted into the prestigious Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. Ten years later, she earned her degree becoming a 'Master of the Erhu'.
Like most well-rounded musicians Xiao Dong broadened her musicianship by learning to play other traditional Chinese instruments such as the pipa and the guzheng (a 21-stringed zither) while minoring in classical piano, but it was the erhu that would elevate her status as a world class musician.
After receiving numerous performance based awards, she gained official notoriety by touring with the Chinese Motion Picture Orchestra for four years before deciding to move to the United States in 2005. That same year, she released her first classical cd, “Erhu solo by XiaoDong Wei”
During her emigration to the states, Xiao Dong wasted no time establishing herself as a powerful performer, After being introduced to an array of musical styles - and the musticians that embodied them - she performed in various venues from coast to coast. Near the completion of her tours across the states and Canada she was eager to find an eclectic music scene where she could establish communal roots. She found Detroit to be an ideal place to fuse her traditional sounds of the
West with the modernist hues of the East.
In 2005, Xiao Dong broke ground by forming an alternative chamber music trio comprised of a bluegrass guitarist, a mandolin player, and Xiao Dong on erhu. During this time she used her classical repertoire and progressive jazz inﬂuences as a foundation to explore her own inner creativity. Shortly afterward, she teamed up with new bandmates Djeto Juncaj, Leo Gillis, and Paul Ossy to form 'XD Wei', releasing her full-length album, String Theory.
Since 2007, Xiao Dong continues to inﬂuence the sounds of modern music with her band, 'Madame XD'. By bringing together Ken Hottmann, David Johnson, Angie Kaiser and, the band released an electrified fusion of pop and rock with their EP Black Silk. Xiao Dong writes and co-writes most of the original material for the band and sings in English and Mandarin.
Xiao Dong has been featured on National Public Radio (NPR) and as a guest soloist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Her music continues to cross international borders by being heard on radio stations throughout the United States, Australia, and Europe.
In 2012, the Kresge Arts Foundation of Detroit awarded Xiao Dong with the laurels of the Kresge Artist Fellowship - an unrestricted grant used to empower exceptionally gifted individuals with the resources to further their creative visions.
On the wake of her grant, Xiao Dong collaborated with Japanese-born Steinway artist virtuoso Yuki Mack to record their symbolic album Where East Meets West.
Xiao Dong is currrently a lecturer at the University of Michigan residential college. (viIA XiaoDongWei.com