Yuan-Qing Yu

Assistant Concertmaster

Violin playing simply doesn’t get any better than what Yu delivered Thursday. Her intonation exact, her tone silken, her rhythm firm, her line poised.”  — Chicago Tribune

“Yu’s violin playing and commitment put her at least in a rank with many top international soloists. It was a memorable and moving accomplishment.”  — Chicago Sun Times

An international award-winning violinist, Yuan-Qing Yu leads an active life as a soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. A native of Shanghai, China, Yuan-Qing was appointed by Danial Barenboim as the Assistant Concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1995.

At age 17, she won the Chinese Nationwide Violin Competition. The following year, she captured second prize at the Menuhin International Violin Competition. She was awarded the grand prize in the Holland Music Sessions Competition two years later. Yu also took third grand prize in the Jacques Thibaud International Competition in Paris. She has given numerous critically acclaimed performances as featured soloist with the CSO, the Monte Carlo and Radio France philharmonics, and the London City Orchestra. She has performed under Christoph von Dohnányi, Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Marek Janowski, and James DePreist, among others. She appears in recitals in the U.S., Asia, and Europe. An avid chamber musician, Yuan-Qing has collaborated with Daniel Barenboim, Pinchas Zukerman, Menahem Pressler, Lang Lang, and Yo-Yo Ma.

A contemporary-music enthusiast, Yuan-Qing gave the Chicago premiere of Pierre Boulez’s Anthèmes 2 for solo violin and was invited by Boulez and Barenboim to perform the work in Berlin for Boulez’s eightieth-birthday celebration concert.

In 2011, Yu founded Civitas Ensemble (a 501c3 organization) with her colleagues, in order to curate collaborative projects with local and international artists, and to bring music to the communities with limited resources.

Locally, she can be seen and heard regularly on WFMT’s Live programs, in concerts with Civitas Ensemble, on the Norton Building Concert Series, and the MusicNow series at the Harris Theater. Her performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is available for download at http:// csosoundsandstories.org/video/vivaldi-four-seasons-natural-beauties/.

Yu also serves on the violin faculty at Northwestern University and Roosevelt University. Yuan-Qing Yu earned an Artist’s Certificate in violin and a Master’s Degree in music from Southern Methodist University.


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.