Chamber Musician, Soloist & Orchestral player; Morningside Music Bridge Advisory Council
Shanshan Yao enjoys a multifaceted career as a chamber musician, soloist and orchestral player. She currently plays with the Kammerakademie Potsdam in Germany and is a member of the Rosamunde String Quartet. She was previously a tenured member of the 1st violin section in the New York Philharmonic and in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. She has also appeared as a guest with the Chicago Symphony and the Berlin Philharmonic.
Shanshan made her concerto debut at the age of 12 with the Shanghai Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra. She has performed as a soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (led by music director Manfred Honeck), Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, and the Banff Chamber Orchestra.
She won top prizes at the Corpus Christi International Competition, Hellam Young Artists Competition, Calgary Concerto Competition, and the Michael Hill International Violin Competition in New Zealand. A passionate chamber musician, Shanshan has participated in the Aspen, Summit, and Sarasota music festivals; Music from Angel Fire; The Banff Centre; and Music@Menlo, where she also served as a chamber music coach.
Born in Huainan, China, Shanshan began playing violin at age 6 and enrolled at Shanghai Conservatory of Music when she was 9. She continued her studies in Canada at Mount Royal Conservatory under the tutelage of William van der Sloot and Xiaoming Wu. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from The Curtis Institute of Music and her Master’s degree from The Juilliard School. Her principal teachers were Aaron Rosand, Donald Weilerstein and Ronald Copes.
Shanshan serves on the faculty and advisory council of the Morningside Music Bridge program in Boston. She lives in Berlin, Germany with her husband and young son.