Diyang Mei,

1st Principal Viola

(photo: Simon Weir)

Born in Hunan (China)

Member since 2022-10-01


First Prize at the ARD International Music Competition (2018), First Prize at the 52nd International Instrumental Competition Markneukirchen for Viola (2017), First Prize at the Berlin International Max Rostal Competition for Viola (2015), First Prize at the Kulturkreis Gasteig Musikpreis for Strings in Munich (2015), First Prize at the 19th International Johannes Brahms Competition for Viola in Austria (2012), First Prize at IVC Young Artist Competition in Rochester (2012), First Prize at the 10th “Villa de Llanes” Viola Competition, Spain (2008).

Official Website:

“The viola offers its players wonderful possibilities to develop their own sound – because there is no specific size and scale for the instrument. So it gives us the freedom to discover our own way of playing and sounding. That’s what I find so interesting about this instrument. As principal violist, I have the task of communicating well with the other sections and understanding the conductor’s true intentions.”

Diyang Mei owes it to his grandfather’s love of music that he started playing the violin at the age of five. At the age of ten, he switched to the viola at the suggestion of Shaowu Wang, who he studied under at the Central Conservatory in Beijing, and Diyang Mei immediately fell in love with the instrument’s dark and mysterious sound. It was also at this time that he saw a documentary on television about Herbert von Karajan and the Berliner Philharmoniker. From then, he dreamed of becoming part of this orchestra. In 2014, the musician continued his training in Germany – first at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich under Hariolf Schlichtig, and later under Nobuko Imai at the Kronberg Academy. In addition to several other competitions, the violist won first prize at the ARD International Music Competition in 2018. The following year, Diyang Mei was offered the position of principal violist with the Munich Philharmonic. In 2022 he joined the Berliner Philharmoniker in the same position.

Diyang Mei also performs as a soloist with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the SWR Symphonieorchester Stuttgart, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, among others. His chamber music partners include András Schiff, Ana Chumachenco, Sabine Meyer and Christoph Prégardien. The musician’s favourite pastimes include cooking, reading, cycling and watching films.

His instrument by Antonio Mariani from 1646 is made available to him from a private collection.