Chihsuan Yang is easily one of the most eclectic, versatile, and gifted violinists actively engaged in the Chicago‘s music scene. With a firm grasp of a seemingly endless array of genres, Chihsuan performs in the styles of classical, experimental, world, free-improvisation, electro-acoustic, ambient, hip-hop, and rock to name a few, and has graced the stage with inspirational artists ranging from Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, to Yo-yo Ma and the Dalai Lama.
Born and raised in Taiwan, Chihsuan Yang moved to the United States at the age of 15. After moving to Chicago, she obtained a BA in Violin Performance from DePaul University. Chihsuan’s principle teachers were Cyrus Forough and the highly acclaimed Ilya Kaler; the only violinist to win all three Gold Medals in the Paganini, Tchaikovsky, and Sibelius International Competitions.
As the co-founder of the classical quintet Accende, which includes a string quartet with clarinet, Chihsuan is also heavily involved in Chicago’s New Millennium Orchestra, while also playing in various other ensembles including the Illinois Symphony, Chicago Opera Theatre, Miami Symphony, Metropolis Symphony, Illinois Philharmonic, Ensemble Del Niente, International Chamber Artists, Access Contemporary Music, and many more. Although, her abundant presence in the chamber music scene does not end here.
As a long-standing member of the legendary, Chicago-based Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues, Chihsuan has literally toured the world over and participated in such highly acclaimed stages and music festivals as the Montreal International Jazz Festival, Chicago Blues Festival, Chicago Jazz Festival, Lollapalooza, Feria de las Artes in Sinaloa, Mexico, SXSW Music Festival, and Festival de Musica de Camara in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
While her beloved violin generally takes the center stage, Chihsuan is also proficient at playing the Erhu (Chinese fiddle), Piano, and the Okinawa Sanshin (a Japanese stringed instrument) — a true testament to her extreme versatility as a musical performer. In 2006 Chihsuan was chosen to play the Erhu for the Dalai Lama during his public lecture at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, Chicago.
When not touring with a wide selection of artists, Chihsuan is actively participating in high-profile, collaborative projects such as the Chicago production of the epic Sita Ram. This colorful collaboration between the Lookingglass Theatre, Natya Dance Theatre companies, and Grammy-nominated artist Jai Uttal took place at the much celebrated Lookingglass Theatre in Chicago in 2006. In December 2012, Sita Ram relaunched the original world musical at the Harris Theatre with reknown success.
Chihsuan also took part in a special performance of The Freedom Symphony at Chicago’s Harris Theatre in 2010, featuring two of India’s greatest and highly achieved musical legends: Dr. L. Subramaniam (Paganini of Indian violin) and Kavita Krishnamurti Subramaniam.
While being featured as a soloist in various concerts and symphonies, Chihsuan is also a founding member of the worldly sounds of Sappho’s Secret Love, a collaboration of original compositions with Winston Damon. She frequently performs with the flamenco band, Las Guitarras de Espana and Grammy nominated Soul/Folk/Rock artist Matthew Santos. Chihsuan also graced the stage with DJ Spooky, Grammy winning artist Lupe Fiasco, Lana Del Rey, and broadway star, Idina Menzel.
Chihsuan continues to work with a variety of world-reknown artists and is currently working on releasing her debut solo album, which is a mix of original World/Electronic compositions. Her many talents as an all-around musical force has persistantly served the metropolis’ cultural well being and will remain as prevalent as her love for music.