In May 2016, I went to the Royal Palace of Aranjuez right after I was awarded the best interpretation of Joaquin Rodrigo Concertos (Special Award to the best interpretation of Fantasia para Gentilhombre granted by the Victoria and Joaquin Rodrigo Foundation). I was walking along the palace when the most ecstatic part of Concierto de Aranjuez came to my mind. I tried following the footprints of Joaquin, feeling what he might have felt at his time, experiencing a combination of Spanish historical architectures and classical music, and dreaming about playing the famous concerto at this very place someday. Joaquin Rodrigo completed his greatest masterpiece “Concierto de Aranjuez” in 1939 in Madrid, which brought him great fame as one of the greatest representatives in Spanish music spectrum, along with I. Albeniz, E. Granados, M. Falla, J. Turina. And his works helped raise the classical guitar to a historic high recognition. The two concertos in the album mean quite differently to me. It was through performing Fantasia para un Gentilhombre that I further understood Joaquin Rodrigo, as a performer myself for the first time.
Winner of the 50th Franciso Tárrega International Guitar Competition in Benicàssim, is the first Chinese-born guitarist ever who won the competition over the last half century. He finished his secondary education in the Music School Affiliated to Shanghai Conservatory of Music. After completing his bachelor’s degree at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, Xianji continued his studies with Roberto Aussel at the Hochschule füer Musik und Tanz Koeln in Cologne, Germany. He completed the Konzertexamen with Ricardo Gallén at the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt in Weimar. He has performed as a soloist with orchestras and in recital throughout Europe (Germany, Holland, Portugal, and Spain), China, Korea, and the US. Among these Orchestras are: the Spanish RTVE Symphony Orchestra; the Valencia Symphony Orchestra; the Symphony Orchestra of the Madrid Academy; Jenaer Philharmonie; and Zhejiang Symphony Orchestra. A young active classical guitar master, Xianji released two albums in 2017: Latin Guitar Sonatas, and Guitar Recital, via lbs Classical and Naxos respectively, which were reviewed by quite a number of music magazines including Scherzo and Ritmo. Together with the world legendary classical guitarist Angel Romero, Xiaoji played Joaquin Rodrigo’s concierto with the Valencia Symphony Orchestra in November 2016. In 2018, Television Espanola (TVE) and Radio Television Espanola (RTVE) broadcast live simultaneously Fantasia para un Gentilhombre performed by Xianji and the Spanish RTVE Symphony Orchestra. In the same year, Conservatori Superior de Musica Oscar Espla Alicante listed Fantasia para un Gentilhombre played by Xianji into La Catedral De Las 6 Cuerdas, a historical documentary for classical guitar in Spain. On 21 September 2019, at the Royal Palace of Aranjuez, Xianji, as the first invited classical guitarist from China, performed Fantasia para un Gentilhombre and Concerto de Aranjuez, again with the Spanish RTVE Symphony Orchestra. Xianji has been teaching in Shanghai Conservatory of Music since September 2018.