You’re making your Australian Festival of Chamber Music debut this year. Have you ever worked with the Artistic Director, Kathryn Stott, before?

Actually no, but I’ve met her, I went to her concert – and I know she has played with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, so when she emailed me and said that she was going to be Artistic Director and that she wanted to invite me, I’m like, “Oh, yes!”

Wu Man, Australian Festival of Chamber Music Wu Man. Photo © KuanDi Studio

On the opening night of the Festival you’re playing Bright Sheng’s Three Songs, which I understand you premiered with Yo-Yo Ma at a state dinner in 1999. How did that commission come about?

I played that piece, a duo for pipa and cello, when former Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji visited the US. We played at the dinner, after they started to serve dessert and coffee or tea. There were about 250 guests, which included former President Clinton and Hilary Clinton. Bright Sheng took three Chinese folk songs and arranged them for pipa and cello, but in his own way. That was the first time in my life I played with cello....