From the concert stage to the altar: violinists tie the knot after pulling heart string with public proposal
It was a concert that ended on a perfect note ”¦ with an on-stage marriage proposal. Now, the violinists who shared their magical moment with music lovers have tied the knot in their most romantic duet yet.
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland staff and alumni Gongbo Jiang and Wen Wang exchanged vows in Glasgow city centre today (Friday), cementing a 14-year relationship that began in their homeland of China where their love for the violin, and each other, blossomed. Their wedding follows a very public proposal staged at Scotland’s national conservatoire in January. Gongbo took the audience and childhood sweetheart Wen by surprise by going down on one knee after they performed the final piece in their concert, A Couple of Violins.
Gongbo and Wen were married at 23 Montrose Street, a listed building on the east side of Glasgow City Chambers, in front of friends including Professor David Watkin, Head of Strings at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
“We have been together a long time so it’s wonderful to have our ceremony today,” said Gongbo, who celebrates his 31st birthday tomorrow (Saturday July 14).
“We’re very happy it’s such a special day”, added Wen, 30.
The couple are looking forward to two further ceremonies in China in August and September, as Gongbo explained: “We live about 1200 miles away from each other so we need to have two weddings in our hometowns for our families and friends.”
Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “We are thrilled for Gongbo and Wen it has been wonderful to be part of their journey, both as musicians and as a couple. We’ve watched them flourish in their professional and personal lives and we wish them a lifetime of happiness together.”
Gongbo and Wen, who both began playing the violin at the age of five, met at the Middle School of the Central Conservatory of Music in China and started dating in 2003. They moved to Scotland in 2009 to continue their studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Both now teach in the strings department and regularly perform with orchestras across the UK.
Recalling the surprise proposal in January, Wen said: “I had no idea what Gongbo was planning. We finished the concert and went back for the encore and I saw him put down his violin. I thought, ”˜what is he going to do?’. He had already given a talk at the beginning of the concert so I thought, ”˜is he going to talk again?’. I was frozen and couldn’t think about anything. Gongbo started talking about our history together and then got down on one knee. Of course I said ”˜yes’.”
An on-stage proposal was always the plan, said Gongbo: “Music is such a huge part of our lives. I’d spoken to both our families in the months leading up to the concert and they were delighted that it was finally happening and wished me all the best.”