Er Hu Virtuoso
The internationally acclaimed Erhu soloist, Ms. Yang, was born into a well-known musician family in Beijing. She began her musical studies on Erhu (known as the Chinese violin), Guzheng (Chinese zither) and piano at age five, and soon began performing in public. A year later, one of China's most celebrated musical figures, Wang Guotong, heard Yang Yue in recital and strongly encouraged her to pursue musical studies at the Chinese Central Conservatory. Wang took Yang under his musical wing, instructing her as well as providing numerous opportunities of performances.
During her conservatory years, Yang Yue received first prize in the Long Yin Instrumental Performance Competition in 1996, the gold medal in Ministry of Culture Annual Music Competition in 1999, and the Chinese National Cultural Foundation Scholarship in 1997 and 1998 – an honor bestowed upon four musicians out of more than 5,000. In 1999, Yang Yue was awarded a Bachelor degree with top honors, having served as the solo Erhu player (concertmaster) in the resident Chinese Central Conservatory Orchestra for four years.
In 2000 Yang Yue became the associate concertmaster of the Chinese Central Traditional Instruments Orchestra. She also performed frequently as a soloist with that ensemble, touring extensively throughout Asia, Europe and North America. During the Orchestra's 2000 tour, Yang Yue was the soloist in Lincoln Center, New York and the Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C. In 2001 Yang received the silver medal in the most prestigious Erhu Competition in China – Tian Hua Awards. In the following year, the Japanese-Chinese Cultural Arts Center awarded her a fellowship comprised of a year-long residency in Tokyo. Yang Yue toured Japan during that year extensively, giving concerts, master-classes, and recording CDs.
Upon returning to Beijing, Yang became a professor at the China Contemporary Cultural Academy. She recorded two solo CD's for the Tian Tian label which were released in March 2004. After these releases, Yang Yue made more than 30 television appearances playing Erhu on national television stations in Beijing and throughout China.
In 2005 Yang appeared as an Erhu and Guzheng soloist in Nike Morris's Wheel of Life, traveling to Johannesburg, South Africa and then to London for an extensive run at the West End's Peacock Theater. In 2007 the Chinese National Government chose Yang Yue to be a cultural ambassador to give concerts in Vienna, Frankfurt and Munich. She was also invited by Chinese Central Television to be a cultural representative performing in Beijing and Los Angeles in celebrating the upcoming Beijing Olympics.
In May 2008, while visiting the U.S., Yang appeared before thousands of New York Met fans, playing Erhu at The Asia Night – the first appearance by a traditional Chinese musician at Shea Stadium. Yang was a featured soloist in the 2008 Spoleto Festival (Charleston, North Carolina) in 20 performances of The Monkey's Journey to the West – by Damon Albarn of Blur, and Gorillaz fame.
As a visiting artist, Yang Yue participated frequently in community outreach programs in New York and the East Coast, performing in schools and retirement homes, libraries, and hospitals. She also successfully presented a solo-recital concert in New York’s Queens Library in May 2009. She co-starred in the East Meets West New Years Concert in Washington DC in December 2009.