Ni Mei joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 2009. She came to the CSO from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, where she was a member of the first violin section. A native of China, Mei began playing violin at the age of six. Her first teacher was her father, concertmaster and later music director of the Wuhan Philharmonic Orchestra. At 10, she entered the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, where she studied for 11 years under Duoqin Xu, Shisheng Zhang, and Zhinuo Ding.
Ni Mei came to the United States to continue her violin studies at Pittsburg State University in Kansas and at Rice University in Houston, where she was a student of Kathleen Winkler. During that period, she won Pittsburg State’s Concerto and Aria Competition, the Waddill Chamber Music Competition and first prize in the Young Texas Artists Music Competition. Mei also was concertmaster of the Southeast Kansas Symphony, associate concertmaster of Ohio Light Opera and a member of the Houston Symphony.