Original Performance May 22, 2018
Maurice Ravel: Sonata for Violin and Piano, No. 2
César Franck: Sonata for Violin and Piano in A Major
Chinese-American violinist Strauss Shi made his major debut with the Utah Symphony at the age of seventeen and since then, he has concertized in the United States, China, and Europe. Strauss is a top prizewinner at numerous competitions including First Prize at the USC Thornton Concerto Competition (2018), Grand Prize at the Mondavi Center Young Artists Competition (2017), First Prize at the United States International Music Competition (2016), and joint Second Prize at the inaugural Futian International Violin Competition (2016). His 2017-18 season includes his LA recital debut at the Pasadena City College Westerbeck Hall, the Juilliard Starling-DeLay Symposium, Midori Violin Studio Recital Series in Sri Lanka, and his graduation recital at Juilliard Paul Hall featuring the San Francisco-based Chinese chamber ensemble Melody of China. A devoted chamber musician, Strauss has performed alongside renowned artists, including Shmuel Ashkenasi, Brian Lewis, Li Lin, Lu Siqing, Midori, Vera Tsu Wei-ling, Qian Zhou, and Maestro Swapan Chaudhuri, and has been invited to festivals at Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, Heifetz International Music Institute, Futian Festival, Foulger Festival, and U.S. International Music Festival. Born in China and raised in a musical family in San Francisco, Strauss began his violin studies at the age of eight with Pan Zuohan and Elizabeth Liang. Strauss received his Bachelor of Music degree studying under Catherine Cho at The Juilliard School. He is currently pursuing a graduate degree as a Starling Fellow at the USC Thornton School of Music with Midori Goto and with Pamela Frank in the upcoming fall semester. His past teachers include Chen Zhao, Li Lin, Zhenshan Wang, David and Linda Cerone, Ilya Kaler, and Elmar Oliveira.
As a former English major, pianist Yi-Fang Wu decided to pursue her love of music after graduating from National Tsing-Hua University in Taiwan and came to Cleveland Institute of Music to study with Paul Schenly and Daniel Shapiro for Master Degree in Piano Performance. CIM was the very first music school in her life, and there she quickly absorbed music theory, history, and everything else at a dizzying pace during the two-year program. She shockingly discovered after those years that her heart did not actually belong to solo performance, but instead enjoyed musical interactions with others, and proceeded to join the Collaborative Piano program with Anita Pontremoli at CIM. It was the most exciting period during which Yi-Fang developed a love of string repertoire and since then, she has collaborated with many wonderful chamber musicians while also maintaining a position as a staff pianist of San Francisco Conservatory’s Pre-College division. Yi-Fang has performed at the Eastern Music Festival, Hidden Valley Festival, The Quartet Program, and Miami Music Festival. This summer, she will be attending the International Music Festival and Workshop in Germany. Yi-Fang continues her musical growth through an exciting journey of sound-searching with Elizabeth Park at EP Center for Professional Studies of Music Performance.