A native of Wuhan, China, Sando Shia began both
piano and violin lessons at an early age. She entered Beijing’s Central Conservatory
when she was only 12 years old, and when she was 19, during the Cultural
Revolution, she was sent into the countryside and worked in the rice fields for
two years. After graduation from the conservatory, she joined the Central
Ballet Company of China (Beijing) as its solo violinist and toured with the
ensemble throughout China and Europe.
Shia came to the United States in 1980 at the
invitation of Kent State University, where she lectured and performed. In 1981,
she won the Josef Gingold Award at the Kent/Blossom Music Festival and was
awarded a full scholarship for study with Jascha Heifetz at the University of
Southern California at Los Angeles. Heifetz described Sando as “extremely
talented” and “very important to my class.”
Before joining the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in
1989 at the invitation of Sir Georg Solti, Shia held positions with both the
Denver and Phoenix symphony orchestras. She previously was on the faculty of
Northwestern University, and she now teaches privately.
Please note: Biographies on the CSO website are based on the information that was most recently provided to the CSO by the artists or their representatives. More current information may be available on the artists' own websites or those of their representatives.