Shanshan Yao
First Violin
As a soloist, Chinese violinist Shanshan Yao has performed with Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Calgary Civic Symphony, Banff Centre Chamber Orchestra, and Japan's Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra. Ms. Yao made her orchestra debut at the age of twelve with Shanghai Radio Symphony Orchestra. Her debut recital at the National Arts Centre in Canada took place in February 2009. She was also invited to appear in a special performance for the former Secretary of State Colin Powell at the Eisenhower Fellowships Conference in Philadelphia.

Ms. Yao is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes including first prizes in the Calgary Concerto Competition and Morningside Music Bridge Concerto Competition (Canada), second prizes in the Hellam Young Artists' Competition (USA) and Shean String Competition (Canada), as well as prizes in the Corpus Christi International Competition for Piano and Strings (USA) and the Michael Hill International Violin Competition (New Zealand). As one of the winners of the CBC Radio's Up and Coming series-a showcase of promising young talents, she had the opportunity to share the stage with renowned pianist Jon Kimura Parker.

Shanshan Yao is also an avid chamber musician. Her festivals appearances include Music @ Menlo, Aspen Music Festival and School, Music from Angel Fire, The Banff Centre, and the Summit and Sarasota Music Festivals. Her piano trio won the second prize in the National Music Festival in Canada.

Currently, Shanshan Yao is pursuing her Master of Music Degree at The Juilliard School with Donald Weilerstein and Ronald Copes. A violinist since the age of six, Ms. Yao enrolled at Shanghai Conservatory of Music when she was nine. She continued her studies in Canada as a full–scholarship student in Mount Royal College Conservatory's Academy Program under the tutelage of William van der Sloot. Ms. Yao received the Bachelor of Music Degree from the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with Aaron Rosand.