Pipa virtuoso and composer Wu Man is an ambassador of Chinese music, creating a new role for her lute-like instrument in both traditional and contemporary music. Brought up in the Pudong school of pipa playing, Wu Man became the first person to receive a master’s degree in pipa performance from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. She is a frequent collaborator with the Kronos Quartet and Shanghai Quartet, and has performed in recital and as soloist with major orchestras around the world, regularly premiering new works. Wu Man has recorded more than 40 albums, five of which have been nominated for Grammy Awards. She was named Musical America’s 2013 Instrumentalist of the Year, but the best measure of her achievement is that her instrument, which dates back 2000 years, is no longer an exotic curiosity.