Sharing her birthday with the legendary violinist, Nicolo Paganini, Vanessa-Mae was born 196 years later on 27 October 1978 in Singapore, to a Singaporean mother and Thai father. She moved to London at the age of 4 where she picked up the violin, having already started the piano in Singapore. At the age of 8, she embarked upon an intensive period of study with Professor Lin Yao Ji at the National Conservatoire of Music in Beijing. Vanessa-Mae returned to London, a fully-fledged virtuoso, entered London’s Royal College of Music and continued to hone her technique.
Vanessa-Mae made her world debut in 1988 to a sensational reception at the Schleswig Holstein Festival in Germany and made her UK debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra that same year. That success soon led to regular concerto appearances with orchestras the world over, her impossible precocity impressing audiences and critics alike. At the age of 13, she had already recorded three highly-praised classical albums. These contained a wide range of repertoire from masterpiece concertos by Tchaikovsky and Beethoven to virtuoso showpieces by Paganini, Wieniawski and Sarasate to new arrangements of her favourite classical and pop melodies.
In studio working on her debut pop album, at the age of 15, she created a completely new genre of music. With the release of The Violin Player in 1995, at the age of 16, she discovered an ecstatic audience of millions worldwide. Her brave approach of presenting the violin in a new style caused controversy among some traditionalist critic but has also appealed to millions of people world-wide.
She has now sold over 10 million albums, holding over 40 international awards for both pop and classical recordings, and her concert specials have been broadcast in over 100 countries. She has also collaborated with a wide range of different artists such as Janet Jackson and Prince. Vanessa-Mae is a dynamic live performer with a grueling touring programme that has taken her around the world several times over. She has visited over 50 countries and performed in spectacular venues such as the Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Hyde Park in London and the Acropolis in Athens.
Vanessa Mae is constantly bringing music to new places and new people having played at the frozen lake in St. Moritz, at Leicester Square in London for the celebration of the Chinese New Year, at the concert marking 250 years of Bach’s birth at St. James’s Palace at the invitation of Prince Charles and at the reunification of China with Hong Kong. Vanesa Mae is dedicated to charity work and sports, and has been voted a Fashion icon and most beautiful woman by several fashion magazines.