- Chinese Name: 吳曜宇
- Born: 1989
- Birthplace: Taipei City (Northern Taiwan)
- Did You Know That…?
- At the age of 24, Wu won the first prize at the International Competition for Young Conductors in Besancon in 2013. He is the second-ever Taiwanese winner following Lu Shao-chia (呂紹嘉), music director of Taiwan’s National Symphony Orchestra, who first won the award at the age of 28 in 1988.
Wu Yao-yu is one of the most talented young conductors of his generation in Taiwan. He has earned the opportunity to work with notable orchestras from around the world after gaining fame at a young age. In 2013, Wu was even selected as the Person of the Year by Performing Arts Review, an arts magazine published by the National Theater & Concert Hall.
Though Wu learned to play the piano from his grandmother as a child, he did not continue to learn music professionally at school and chose to study information and communication technology in university instead.
Wu came across conducting at a university orchestral society a few months before taking his entrance exam for a master’s program in computer music at the National Chiao Tung University. Despite a lack of experience in conducting, Wu changed his mind and decided to pursue further studies in that field.
Under the mentorship of senior musician Hsu Sung-jen (徐頌仁) at the Taipei National University of Arts, Wu showed a natural talent for conducting. He soon became the winner in three categories of the International Competition for Young Conductors in Besancon, a biennial competition joined by 296 participants from 46 countries that year.
At the age of 24, Wu began his career as a professional conductor. He has tried various types of music by cooperating with different orchestras, conducting public concerts, and touring for children’s opera “Hänsel und Gretel” by Humperdinck to promote interest in music.
His dedication to music and strong impact on young music learners earned him a nomination as one of the potential Ten Outstanding Young Persons, a list compiled by the Taiwan government, in 2014.
In 2016, Wu was invited to serve as the guest conductor of the affiliated youth orchestra of the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra (NTSO). He also conducted the New Year's concert with Taipei Symphony Orchestra for Taipei City.
In early 2017, Wu was invited to cover for notable Taiwanese conductor Chien Wen-pin (簡文彬), who had to cancel his performance for the NTSO’s “Mahler 1st Symphony” due to illness.
Currently studying music in Austria, Wu will return to Taiwan for “A Calling from Caucasian” concert series held by NTSO this March. He will be collaborating with Russian pianist Alexei Volodin and NTSO to present orchestral works by Russian composers A. Borodin and S. Prokofiev.