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 Bio

   
   

“Bass Players with great technique and supreme artistry are non-existent. Well, there are a few exceptions: the legendary Gary Karr, of course, Eugene Levinson of the New York Philharmonic, and now Yung-Chiao Wei, a young, multi-talented female bassist from Taiwan” reads a recent New York Concert Review of Yung-Chiao Wei’s Carnegie Hall solo recital debut. Yung-Chiao Wei was also praised by The Miami Herald as "a two sided-talent - a competition winning pianist turned double bass virtuoso". Through her musical insight, breathtaking virtuosity and personality, Wei combines compelling, artistic performances on the double bass with a magical presence in stage.  

Wei is the first female bassist performed a solo recital in the Carnegie Hall. Her Carnegie Hall debut garnered tremendous praise from New York Concert Review Inc. Critic Anthony Aibel, who cited “Wei is a phenomenon”. Her performance of Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata in A minor elicited another mention of praise; Aible affirmed that “nuance on the double bass is hard to accomplish, but Wei plays with subtlety of dynamics, color and expression one seldom, if ever, hears on the bass”.  

Wei has performed at major concert halls, prestigious summer festivals, and has given master classes/recitals at major music schools on four continents. She has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Davis Hall, Jordan Hall, Isabella Stewart Garden Museum, Ozawa Hall, Lincoln Center Alice Tully Hall, National Concert Hall (Taiwan), and Izuminomori Hall (Japan). Recent and upcoming performances include the 2013 International Society of Bassist Convention’s featured artist at the Eastman School of Music, concerto appearances with the National Symphony Orchestra in Taiwan, the New World Symphony (FL), Formosa Philharonic, Louisiana Sinforniatte, and Penang Symphony Orchestra in Malasia. She has been invited to give performances and/or master classes at Opera Bastille for students of Conservatoire De Paris CNSMDP, Eastman School of Music, Boston University, Berlin University of the Arts, Copenhagen Opera House, Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, Interlochen Arts Academy, University of North Texas, University of Michigan, Ithaca College, Belize , Festival Alfredo de Saint Malo in Panama, Japan Double Bass seminar, Montreal Chamber Music Festival, Taipei University of the Arts, Tunghai University in Taiwan, Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, Shanghai Conservatory, and Shenyang Conservatory in China, among many. She served as a faculty member of the Bowdoin Music Festival in Maine, and was a juror for the International Bassist Society Competition in 2003 and 2015. Wei also served as the string chair of the Louisiana Music Teacher Association, String Tournament Chair of the Baton Rouge Music Teacher Association and organized LSU’s annual Louisiana Bass Fest.  

As a chamber musician, Wei has collaborated with artists such as Leon Fleisher, James Buswell, Joseph Robinson, Denis Brott, James Campbell, Joseph Rouleau, Gabriel Gascon, Rosemarie Landry, Andy Simionescu, James Ehnes, Neal Gripp, Stephane Levesque, and James Sommerville. Her orchestra experience includes serving as principal bassist in the New World Symphony Orchestra (FL) under Michael Tilson Thomas; the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall; Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra in Boston. She has participated in several festivals including the Tanglewood Music Center, Aspen Music Festival, Spoleto (Italy) and the Pacific Music Festival (Japan). Her performance with these ensembles has been featured on the radio and television throughout USA (CBS, WGBH, PBS), Japan’s NHK, Canada's CBC and Taiwan.  

Wei is a recipient of numerous honors and awards, honors including Awards to Louisiana Artists and Scholars from the Louisiana Board of Regents, the LSU Tiger Athlete Foundation Teaching Award, Taiwan Young Concert Artist Competition, both the 2nd Prize and Audience prize in the Izuminomori International Double Bass/Cello Competition in Japan, the New World Symphony Concerto Competition, the Texas International Festival Concerto Competition, two consecutive years the Interlochen Arts Academy Concerto Competition on piano, the Academy’s Young Artist and Fine Arts Award, and first prize in the Taiwan National Music Competition. 

A native of Taiwan, Wei began playing the piano at age six and the bass at age twelve. She received her Master of Music degree with honors from the New England Conservatory in Boston and her Bachelor of Music degree with a Performance Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. Her teachers include James VanDemark, Lawrence Wolfe, Stuart Sankey, Jeff Turner, Derek Weller, Peter Dominguez and Claudia Chen. Wei is Professor of Bass at the Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge since 2000. Her recording of the Chinese violin concerto “Butterfly Lovers” and Brahms 1st Cello Sonata is available on Centaur Records. Her transcription on the Elgar Cello Concerto, Brahms 2nd Cello Sonata and new works by Yen and Tommasini is available on CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon and sheet music plus.

http://www.cdbaby.com/m/cd/yungchiaowei

http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/publishers/yungchiao-productions-sheet-music/3004806

 

 

 
     
   Review

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  Yung-chiao Wei, double bass

Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall December 5, 2003

Bass players with great technique and supreme artistry are non-existent. Well, there are a few exceptions: the legendary Gary Karr, of course, Eugene Levinson of the New York Philharmonic, and now Yung-chiao Wei, a young, multitalented female bassist from Taiwan. Wei is a phenomenon. She began playing the piano at age six and the double bass at twelve, and has excelled at both, having won the 2003 Taiwan Young Concert Artist Competition, the second prize (no first prize was awarded) and Audience Prize in the 2001 Izuminomori International Double Bass/Cello Competition in Japan, The New World Symphony Concerto Competition. Yung-chiao Wei has appeared at major concert halls around the world including Carnegie Hall, Davis Hall, Jordan Hall, the Isabella Stewart Garden Museum, Ozawa Hall, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, The National Concert Hall of Taiwan and Izuminomori Hall in Japan. Her teachers include James Vandemark, Lawrence Wolfe, Stuart Sankey, Jeff Turner, Derek Weller and Claudia Chen.

She chose difficult repertoire for her December recital. She opened with Bruch’s Kol Nidrei, Op. 47, originally for cello, and she played with an extraordinarily expressive, solid tone with impeccable intonation. In Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata in A minor, Wei, along with her excellent pianist, Vivian Chang-Freiheit, produced very delicate, fine phrasing, always singing lines knowing full aware that Schubert is the master lieder composer. The second movement flowed with a genuine serenity, and the Allegretto was the epitome of effervescent charm. Nuance on the double bass is hard to accomplish, but Wei plays with subtlety of dynamics, color and expression one seldom, if ever, hears on the bass.

After intermission, Wei chose a marvelous unaccompanied contemporary work by David Ellis (b. 1933). The work is fairly brief, but Ellis develops his ideas with solid craftsmanship in a short period of time. She played the work with utter assurance and conviction, and the audience was enamored. The following short works were Chinese National folk melodies by Yan-jun Hua and Pao-yuan Chuang with titles: Reflection of the Moon on Lake Erquan and Song of Grassland. Wei shifted positions with ease and eloquence, singing passionately with her instrument every step of the way. These works had a common modality and mood, however, and performing them back to back on the program wasn’t the best idea. Bottesini’s Nel cor piu non mi sento, Op. 23, which followed, made up for that slight flaw, as she played the work effortlessly in the Italian bel canto style; in other words, she played as if she was on an operatic stage, singing a free, heart-felt Bellini aria. Paganini’s Variations on One String (on a theme from Moses in Egypt) was breathtaking in its virtuosity, yet Wei, with all her impressive technical abilities, still found time to make the music breathe. The fiendishly difficult harmonics in the upper range were pure and in tune; stellar one-string, stunt-like playing on such a notably cumbersome instrument is nothing short of miraculous. Catch Wei in concert soon, before Barnum and Bailey sign her to a contract.

Anthony Aibel

New York Concert Review Inc. Spring 2004

 

 
     
   2013 Artist Statement

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I was brought up to be a pianist. I started to play the piano since I was 6 years old, enrolled in a gifted music program in Taiwan since 3rd grade, majoring in piano with flute as a minor. It is not until middle school that I started to be fascinated by the double bass. At the age of 16, I persuaded my parents to send me to the United States to pursue my musical studies. That was when I left my family to live and study in a foreign country because I dreamt to be a musician.

 

This has not been an easy path for me. I have an unusual physical disadvantage that was the cause of my endless pain and struggle. I was born with abnormal hands; thumbs and little fingers are only half the size of normal hands. I don’t even have real knuckles on my little fingers. In other words, my little fingers are only for decoration, not useful to musicians. Still, there has never been doubt in my mind that I am destined to be a musician.

 

I spent two years at the Interlochen Arts Academy. There I enjoyed spending endless hours practicing both piano and bass, won the concerto competition on the piano two consecutive years playing the Chopin and Liszt Piano Concertos, won Young Artist Award (the highest honor at the Academy), was a salutatorian and gave a graduation speech in front of thousands of people. I gave the graduation speech and then performed on the bass so I could express things that couldn’t be said in words.

 

Upon graduation from Interlochen, I decided to focus on the bass. The reason is simple. With my abnormal hands, playing an octave on the piano was almost impossible. In my heart, it does not matter which instrument I choose as long as I can connect music to my inner self.

 

I received my Master of Music degree with honors from the New England Conservatory in Boston and my Bachelor of Music degree with a Performance Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. I was fortunate to be the first bassist awarded such a certificate in twenty years. Prior to arrival at the LSU School of Music, I had opportunities to perform, record, and tour with virtuosi ensembles such as the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, and the New World Symphony, in prestigious summer festivals such as the Aspen Summer Festival, the Tanglewood Music Festival, the Spoleto Music Festival (Italy), and the Pacific Music Festival (Japan).  At the age of 27, I joined the LSU School of Music faculty (2000) and started my endless passion in teaching and performing. I was awarded my tenure in 2006. 

 

The highlights of my career include my Carnegie Hall debut (2003), release of my first CD (2008) and my performance as the International Society of Bassists Convention headliner in the Eastman School of Music (2013).  I am the first and only female bassist to perform a solo recital in the Carnegie Hall. My Carnegie Hall debut drew high praises from the New York Concert Review Inc. Critic Anthony Aibel, who cited “Wei is a phenomenon…Bass Players with great technique and supreme artistry are non-existent. Well, there are a few exceptions: the legendary Gary Karr, of course, Eugene Levinson of the New York Philharmonic, and now Yung-Chiao Wei, a young, multi-talented female bassist from Taiwan”. My performance of Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata in A minor elicited another mention “Nuance on the double bass is hard to accomplish, but Wei plays with subtlety of dynamics, color and expression one seldom, if ever, hears on the bass”.

 

Throughout my career, I have performed in major concert halls including the Carnegie Hall, Davis Hall, Jordan Hall, Lincoln Center Alice Tully Hall, National Concert Hall (Taiwan), Izuminomori Hall (Japan). Also, I have given master classes/recitals in major bass organizations and top music schools in four continents, including the 2012 European Bass Convention in Copenhagen Opera House, the 2010 European Bass Convention in Berlin University of the Arts, Montreal Chamber Music Festival, Japan Bass Seminar, and several Asia concert tours. My first CD was released on Centaur Records in 2008, featuring my own transcription of the Chinese Violin Concerto “Butterfly Lovers” and the Brahms Cello Sonata in e minor. Since my recording was released, I have attracted composers to compose new works for me and to perform their works in the National Concert Hall in Taiwan, Malaysia, major conservatories in China, and U.S. and Europe.

 

Over the past 13 years at LSU, I have recruited students from around the world, including past competition winners and professional orchestra members.  My students’ achievements include winning auditions such as tenured Principal Bassist and Assistant Principal Bassist in the Baton Rouge Symphony and the Acadiana Symphony; Assistant Principal Bassist of the Taipei Symphony Orchestra.  My undergraduate students have gone to prestigious music schools and received full scholarships in the Julliard School, Yale University, Eastman School of Music and Cincinnati Conservatory. One of my former students, Yu-ling Lee, has been an adjunct instructor at the Cincinnati Conservatory.  I am proud of their accomplishments that some have earned distinguished performing opportunities with the New York String Orchestra in the Carnegie Hall. Another former student, Fabio Garboggini founded the Brava Orchestra, an youth orchestra in Brazil, with a mission to bring music to the poor.  Myles Weeks just released an album of his own composition and is inspired to play with a big heart all the time. Wen Yang is the Executive Director at New York Baroque Incorporated. John Madere released a CD of his own composition and is an adjunct instructor in the Southeastern Louisiana University.  He also performed in BRSO Chamber Player’s recording of Weill/Ibert/Berg.  The producer of that recording, Dan Merceruio, was nominated for the Grammy Award’s “Classical Producer of the Year”.

 

Among the numerous honors I have received, the most prominent ones include the LSU Tiger Athlete Foundation Teaching Award (2006), winner of the Taiwan Young Concert Artist Competition (2003), the 2nd Prize, as well as Audience Prize, in the Izuminomori International Double Bass/Cello Competition in Japan (2001). These international competitions provided monetary award and performance opportunity. I have also been awarded grants from the Office of Research at LSU to support the production of my 1st CD and traveling to international concerts and conventions:  Council on Research (CoR) Summer Research Stipend (2005), Faculty Travel Program Grant (2005) (2008) (2011) (2012).

 

I am enthusiastic on transcribing new and challenging works for the double bass, exploring creative teaching/playing method, involvement in the local music associations, and organizing bass events at LSU to promote bass performance and create performing opportunity for students.  Currently, I serve as the String Chair of the Louisiana Music Teacher Association, as well as the String Tournament Chair of the Baton Rouge Music Teacher Association.  Furthermore, I founded and presided over the annual Louisiana Bass Fest at LSU and performed for people in less fortunate places such as hospitals, prisons and for mentally challenged children’s place in Taiwan and Baton Rouge. I believe the power of music and feel strongly and necessarily to bringing musical performance to our community. Because music makes me alive, I hope to bring a life-changing musical experience to others. 

 

 
     
   Recordings

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  Brahms: Cello Sonata; Gang: Violin Concerto "Butterfly Lovers" / Yung-chiao Wei, Chao-I Chou

CD / Centaur / 2008-06-01
Works: Brahms, Johannes : Sonata for Cello and Piano no 1 in E minor, Op. 38; Hao, He Zhan : Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto...

 
   

Yung-Chiao Wei Plays Brahms, Elgar, Yen and Tommasini

Genre: Classical: Contemporary, Release Date: 

Bassist Yung-chiao Wei performs her transcription of Elgar Cello Concerto, Brahms Cello Sonata in F, and new works from award winning composers Yen and Tommasini in order to bring color and imagination on the double bass.

 
   

SHEETMUSIC: BRAHMS CELLO SONATA NO.2 IN F MAJOR, OPUS 99 and ELGAR CELLO CONCERTO IN E MINOR, OPUS 85 FOR DOUBLE BASS AND PIANO

Piano Accompaniment, Double Bass - Advanced
Composed by Brahms, Elgar. Arranged by Yung-chiao Wei. Romantic Period. Piano Reduction, Score, Solo Part. 88 pages. Published by YUNGCHIAO PRODUCTIONS (S0.134217).