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B i o g r a p h y

Dr. Ka-Wai Yu is Associate Professor of Music at Utah Tech University, where he teaches cello and string chamber music.  He previously taught at Eastern Illinois University and Indiana Wesleyan University.  In great demand as a clinician, Dr. Yu has given master classes in numerous universities and institutions in North America, Europe, and Asia.  He is the Co-Director of the Castle Rock Music Camp in UT.  He has also taught in music camps and workshops in Illinois, Georgia and Michigan, as well as in Hong Kong and Germany, among them the Blue Lake Fine Arts and Saarburg Music Festival.  He has served as adjudicator, held clinics, and guest-conducted regularly at various high schools, youth orchestras, and string festivals in the Southwest and Midwest, USA.  He was a recipient of UT's Distinguished Faculty Service Award, the Presidential Award for Community Engagement and the Board of Trustee's Excellence in Education Award. He is the Past President of Utah American String Teachers Association, Artistic Director of the Cello Society of Southern Utah Cello Ensemble, and directs the annual Cello Festival of Southern Utah that he founded.  He has presented in the national and regional conferences of ASTA, NAfME, Historical Keyboard Society of North America and the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association.

Currently the Principal Cellist of Southwest Symphony Orchestra, Dr. Yu has performed at major venues in Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United States.  He is vivid as a chamber musician, and has been a member of the Zion Trio and the period-instrument ensemble Cosmopolitan Baroque.  He was a featured performer in the Kayenta Arts Foundation Concert Series, Midtown Early Music Concert Series in New York, and the Hong Kong CN Concert Series.  His recent solo performances include concerto appearances with the Fresno State Symphony Orchestra, BYU Idaho Baroque Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra Kremlin, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra Illinois, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of Southern Utah and Hong Kong Chamber Orchestra.  His performances have been broadcast on RTHK and WILL-FM.  His transcription of Robert Schumann’s Cello Concerto for cello and string quartet has been published by A-R Editions, Inc.


Dr. 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 and Angela Tam, cellists Helga Winold, Csaba Onczay, David Starkweather and Ming-Yuen Cheung, singers Raymond Fu and Chiu-May Wong, and viola da gambist Wendy Gillespie.  He has also studied chamber music with members of the American String Quartet, Tokyo String Quartet, Pacifica Quartet and Parker Quartet.

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