Professor Cao Xiao Qing is the first Chinese musician ever to win a gold medal as an accordion virtuoso in a major international competition.

He started learning the accordion at an early age and in 1979 entered the Middle School attached to the Tian Jin Conservatory of Music, progressing to study the accordion at the Conservatory full time in 1984. In 1987, he won the gold medal of the National Accordion Competition of China and, after his graduation continued to teach in the Tian Jin Conservatory.

As the first professional accordion student in China he was given the opportunity to study in Europe by the Chinese Culture Ministry and, in 1992 was sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to study abroad at the University of Music and Drama in Hanover, Germany. In 2001, he was awarded the “Master Soloist Diploma,” the highest performance degree awarded by the German Academy of Music, for his outstanding achievements in music recital. In achieving this award he became the first Chinese musician to obtain this degree at the University of Music and Drama in Hanover.

In June 1997, Professor Cao won the first prize in “The 7th Accordion Grand Prix” with his superb artistry and outstanding performance in Baden-Baden, Germany. In October of the same year he won the first prize again in “The 22nd Citta’ Di Castelfidardo International Accordion Soloist Competition” in Italy and in so doing gained tremendous honor for China.

Professor Cao maintains a busy schedule performing in individual solo concerts, chamber music concerts and also giving lectures, in many countries including Germany, Italy, France, Austria, Spain, Switzerland, Denmark and Yugoslavia. As an international music competition judge he is much sought after, having worked for several international competitions, including the Castelfidardo accordion competition in Italy (a national category major competition), the Klingenthal accordion competition in Germany (a major national competition), and the Spain Alasate and Moscow international competitions.

While studying in Germany Professor Cao researched and sought out the world’s most advanced free-bass accordion music scores,audio and video information about international accordion developments and brought them back to China. He continues to actively organize international exchanges, competitions and activities between China and other countries and is recognized as one of the most important links in accordion learning and exchanges between China and the world community.

Professor Cao taught in the University of Music and Drama in Hanover from 2000 to 2004 and in 2001 was appointed as visiting professor of the Tian Jin Conservatory of Music. In March 2004, he established undergraduate course for students majoring in accordion performance at the Central Conservatory of Music where his excellent teaching is well regarded and widely recognized. His students have been highly successful in top international and Chinese accordion competitions, winning a total of 186 gold medals and 91 first prizes. Among them, 47 are the first occasions when Chinese competitors won awards in international accordion competitions. Professor Cao has himself continued to win awards, both for teaching and organizing international events, raising the standing of the Central Conservatory of Music and making an important contribution to the reputation of China’s accordion performers in the international arena.

In view of his outstanding contributions to education, Professor Cao was sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Education in its “Supported by Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University” and has been awarded the “Bao Gang Educational Outstanding Teachers’ Award” by the Bao Gang Education Foundation.