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Biography

Originally from Hong Kong, Ka-Wai Yu is active as a cellist, conductor, and music educator. He has performed at major concert halls in Canada, China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United States. He is the cellist of Ensemble Finesse with clarinetist Darren Ho and pianist Mischa Ngan, and is the founding member of the Chambana Arts Trio. He also plays baroque cello and viola da gamba in the period-instrument ensembles La Réunion Musicale. Yu was a recipient of the Asian Cultural Council Scholarship to attend Aspen Music Festival in 2003. He also received scholarships sponsored by Early Music America and the Viola da Gamba Society of America. He has performed in the American Bach Soloists Academy, Boston Early Music Festival, Orford Arts Center, Toronto Summer Music Academy, and Vancouver Early Music Festival. Yu has been the Principal Cellist of Eastern Symphony Orchestra since 2009, and has played in numerous orchestras in the Midwest including the chamber orchestra Sinfonia da Camera. His recent solo performances include concerto appearances with Chamber Orchestra Kremlin, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra Illinois and Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Chamber Orchestra, and performances at Doudna Fine Arts Center, Perkinson Music Center, and Seoul Anglican Cathedral. His performances have been broadcast on WILL-FM and Radio Television Hong Kong. His playing can also be heard in CD recordings of ensembles Sinfonia da Camera and La Réunion Musicale, as well as in a song album of singer/songwriter Pamela Machala. Yu is Assistant Professor of Music at Dixie State University, where he teaches cello and directs the chamber music program. Previously, he was on the music faculty at Eastern Illinois University and Indiana Wesleyan University. In great demand as a clinician, Yu has given master classes at numerous universities and institutions in North America and Asia. He is conductor of the Summer Strings Program in Charleston, Illinois and the Chambana Chamber Players. He has taught in music camps and workshops in Illinois, Michigan, and Georgia, among them the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. He has given multiple lecture performances at the Music Teacher National Association Music Club in Urbana, Illinois, has judged the Illinois High School Association Music Contest, and has coached string sectionals and guest-conducted regularly at various high school and youth orchestras in the Midwest. He is a member of the American String Teachers Asociation and the National Association for Music Education.Yu has a strong interest in scholarly research. His doctoral thesis is entitled "When Concerto Meets Song Cycle: A Study of Vocal Influences in Robert Schumann’s Cello Concerto in A Minor, Op. 129, with Reference to his Dichterliebe, Op. 48." His transcription of Schumann’s Cello Concerto for cello and string quartet, a version that was originally proposed by Schumann but was rejected by the publisher Breitkopf & Härtel in 1853, has been published by A-R Editions, Inc. He has written research papers on music by François Couperin, Marin Marais, J. S. Bach, and Beethoven. He has lectured at University of Illinois on J. S. Bach’s Cello Suites.

Yu obtained his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he studied with cellist Brandon Vamos of the Grammy-winning Pacifica Quartet. He also holds a Master of Music in Cello Performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and a Bachelor of Arts in Music with first-class honors from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His other major mentors have included conductors Maurice Peress, Angela Tam and Matthew Sheppard, cellists Helga Winold, Csaba Onczay, David Starkweather and Ming-Yeun Cheung, as well as viola da gambist, Wendy Gillespie. He has also studied chamber music with members of the Tokyo String Quartet, American String Quartet, Pacifica Quartet, and Parker Quartet.



Ka-Wai Yu

the Cellist

© Copyright by Ka-Wai Yu, 2015

My movies and moving pictures: Take a look at some of the best movies of all time ;) These are some of my first practice runs, from Super8 cameras to modern camcorders. These cinematic impressions are from when I got married to my wife Sabine, the birth of our children Thomas and Susanne, and up to our vacation on the Maldives and mountain hikes in the Alps. [Add your own personal extras here]

Fryderyk ChopinCello Sonata in G Minor, Op. 65, III Largo