Award-winning duo Yang and Olivia have been the featured recitalists for many
concert associations, performing in 30 some cities across the United States.
Global Music Award Silver Medalist Yang and Olivia is a dynamic violin-piano duo who create an unforgettable storytelling event in their program, featuring contemporary and classical works from different parts of the world. They have been the featured recitalists for many concert associations, performing across the United States, and appearing internationally highlighted by performances at major festivals and venues, such as Ravinia Festival, Kennedy Center, SESC Music Festival in Brazil, Algarve Music Festival in Portugal and throughout their homeland China, among others. Violinist Yang Liu is the prize winner of the 12th International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, the 2022 Medici International Competition, the 2021 International Artists Award Competition, and China’s 5th National Competition. Olivia is a frequent presenter of MTNA, CMS, NCKP, GP3 conferences and other music festivals, promoting music of Chinese and Taiwanese heritage. The duo founded the Yang and Olivia Foundation, advocating diversity, equity, and inclusion through music of different cultures. Recently, they dedicate their performances to contemporary works by Taiwanese women composers, Brazilian composers and young composers from the US. They have many outreaches to schools, senior homes and libraries. Topics include “Red Music”, “5000-Mile Journey”, and “Lost in Diversity”, all focus on compositions of diverse influences. In the past, the duo participated in several innovative multi-media, multi-art-form performances involving improvisations with the famed Chinese artists the Zhou Brothers painting live, while major Chinese poet Bei-Dao recited his poetry. The foundation’s achievements are recognized by grants from National Endowment for the Arts, MidAtlantic Arts and Illinois Arts Council Agency. Ultimately, with their performances, they want to also communicate their message of faith, love, and joy.
Yang and Olivia were both students at the University of Cincinnati when they first met. At the time, Yang Liu was a sought-after violinist and a prodigy from China. Olivia was an accomplished pianist combining both scholarly and concert activities. Their life coincided when Yang, a complete stranger to Olivia, was asked at the last minute by Olivia to turn pages for her at her performance. From then on, they have been life partners and music partners ever since, sharing stories with audiences through their music.
Yang Liu is the prize winner of the 12th International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, the 2022 Medici International Competition, the 2021 International Artists Award Competition, and China’s 5th National Competition. The New York Times described his playing as “a scorching performance”. His repertoire ranges from baroque to the most contemporary of works, and from Western classical to Eastern traditional
Yang Liu made his North American debut with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, earning three nights of standing ovations for his performance of Paganini’s First Violin Concerto. This success was followed by performances with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra conducted by Robert Spano; Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra; Hagen Symphony Orchestra, Germany; and many others.
Recently with the Odense Symphony Orchestra, Denmark, under Maestro Christoph Eberle in a highly successful tour throughout China of which a Chinese newspaper commented: “…The Carl Nielsen concerto was soloed by Chinese violinist Yang Liu who gave an absolutely sensational performance which touched the deepest spot of our hearts… Such a musician has been rarely heard for the past ten years…”
He also completed a 5-city tour in China performing the Butterfly Concerto with the Qingdao Symphony Orchestra, as part of the China-US cultural exchange initiated by Secretary of State of the US John Kerry, and chairman of the cultural department of China Mr. Luo.
Other recent engagements include concerto performances with the Orquesta Filarmonica de Bogota, Colombia performing Barber’s Violin Concerto under Maestro Amadio. Orchestras repeatedly engage him for his appealing musicality and persona. He has performed multiple times with Ospa State Orchestra in Brazil, Qingdao Symphony Orchestra in China, East Oregon Symphony Orchestra, Lake Forest Symphony Orchestra, and Highland Park Strings in the US. A highly sought-after guest artist and teacher, he performed and taught for many years at Roosevelt University, Columbia College of Music, VanderCook College of Music, Aspen Music Festival, Oficina Music Festival, and Sesc Music Festival in Brazil, and the Great Wall Music Festival in China.
Dr. Olivia I-Hsuan Tsai serves as an associate professor at VanderCook College of Music. In 2020 and 2021, she gave presentations at conferences of the Illinois Music Teachers Association, Music Teachers National Association, and College Music Society. Her book “Schubert’s Piano Trios” was published by Scholar’s Press in Germany in 2014. Dr. Tsai was appointed in 2017 as a guest professor at Lanzhou Northwestern University. She also performs at many colleges and universities, including Roosevelt University and Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, Coastal Carolina College in NC and Nebraska University in Kearney.
In addition, Dr. Tsai has appeared as a soloist with QingDao Concert Hall Orchestra, Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra, and Highland Park Strings. She was the staff pianist of the world-renowned Aspen Music Festival and Musicorda Music Festival in the US, as well as artist faculty/performer of Oficina Music Festival, Curitiba Music Festival in Brazil and Algarve Music Festival in Portugal.
In 2018, she founded Yang and Olivia Foundation and organized a cultural exchange concert where she performed as part of the diverse and dynamic chamber group Momento Virtuosi, celebrating Qingdao’s Sound of Phoenix Grand Theater grand opening. Since the pandemic, the foundation has helped raise funds for concert venues, and individuals in need, and performed for churches and schools via live stream.
Dr. Tsai came to the United States in 1993 not only as a pianist but also as a bassoonist. She received her Bachelor of Music degree with a high scholastic achievement award in 1996, and a Master of Music in both piano and bassoon at Indiana University in Bloomington as an Emma E. Claus Scholarship recipient in 1999. She went on to earn her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music (UC, CCM) as a recipient of a graduate scholarship, where she also served as faculty at CCM’s preparatory department. During her student years, she was the winner of the Buckeye Piano Competition, the Graves Piano Competition in the US, and the Young Artist Series in Taiwan.
璇揚二重奏是小提琴及鋼琴的夫妻組合。他們在辛辛那提求學的時候認識。婚後以二重奏 Yang and Olivia組合，活躍在世界的舞台，透過音樂分享他們的愛，喜樂，與信仰。近年來在Live on Stage 經紀公司的旗下，巡迴美國30多個城市。也在南美洲，歐洲，及中國各大國際音樂節及院校演出及教學。其中包括Ravinia Festival, Oficina Music Festival, Algarve Music Festival 等等。璇揚二重奏的錄音也曾榮獲全球音樂大獎的銀獎。並於2018年創辦璇揚基金會，致力於推廣多元，平等，包容的國際音樂文化交流。基金會的努力得到高度肯定，曾榮獲美國國家藝術基金會，伊利諾州藝術委員會，中大西洋藝術基金會，及國際藝術家的獎金與撥款。
旅居美国的刘扬先生是当代活跃在国际舞台的著名小提琴演奏家与教育家， 他的演出足迹遍及美国，德国，法国，奥地利，瑞士，丹麦，荷兰，希腊，埃及，日本，香港，台湾等，并多次率美国乐团在中国巡回演出。近期音乐会包括作为特邀独奏家率领丹麦欧登赛交响乐团在中国进行六个城市的巡回演出，并中国首演由丹麦特选的丹麦作曲家尼尔森协奏曲。与他长期合作的钢琴家夫人蔡宜璇举行美国24州大型巡演，在肯尼迪中心的音乐会由美国国家电台NPR纪录并现场直播。此外刘扬最近的音乐活动包括在芝加哥拉维尼亚音乐节，阿斯本音月节，葡萄牙国际音乐节， 巴西国际音乐节，北京长城国际音乐节和美国芝加哥大学等高等学府演奏并讲授的大师课。与美国亚特兰大交响乐团，辛辛纳提交响乐团，圣路易斯交响乐团等合作演出并实况录音，多次在美国国家广播电台播出，被称为：“…一个年轻而杰出的小提琴家… 有着让人惊叹的技巧和强烈的音乐说服力以及深刻的洞察力！”
在美国录制的名为“思乡曲-Song of nostalgia”的独奏CD唱片包括东西方的经典小品，目前在美国出版发行。他在美国参与演奏制作的小提琴教育影片“追求经典”获得美国‘艾米’最佳教育影片奖。
刘扬自2004年起曾出任多所大学的小提琴教授／客座教授，包括芝加哥罗斯福大学，芝加哥哥伦比亚大学，辛辛那提大学音乐学院。与夫人蔡宜璇博士现居住美国芝加哥，长期在美国合作举行独奏音乐会，在最近举行横跨美国24个州的大型巡演。并于2018年创立了璇扬基金会，致力于国际文化交流与古典音乐宣传的使命。他的经济人为Price Rubin Partners Artist Management。 刘扬使用的小提琴是1741年的瓜奈利，由美国斯特拉迪瓦立协会赞助提供。
蔡宜璇博士是美国芝加哥 Vandrcook 音乐学院钢琴教授及钢琴系、理论系主任。在繁忙的教学与行政工作外，蔡博士以演奏家的身份活跃在美国的音乐舞台上。在最近的演出季，蔡博士与小提琴家，丈夫刘扬在美国举行跨越20个州，30个城市的大型巡回演出。在肯尼迪中心的音乐会被现场转播，也是芝加哥古典音乐电台所熟悉的演奏家，与刘扬的音乐会经常被现场直播。
蔡博士的学历可谓多姿多彩。在台湾就读福星国小，仁爱国中，师大附中。从小成绩优异过人，钢琴赢过数次协奏曲比赛与学校乐团合作演出。副修低音管与选修柳叶琴在同一年得到双料全省冠军。高中毕业后在名校美国印第安纳大学修钢琴演奏。学术成绩名列前茅（GPA3.94）得到Emma E. Claus 奖学金，并以High Schlastic Achievement Award (学术优异奖）的殊荣获得学士学位。后来继续在印第安纳攻读，一举得到钢琴与低音管演奏双硕士。之后在辛辛那提继续攻读博士，在学术研究上的追求不断，破例双副修现代音乐史及钢琴教育。其中教育方面的研究受邀在美国音乐学院协会的研讨会发表演说。演奏方面，钢琴赢得Buckeye 钢琴比赛，及学校的青年艺术家头奖。
蔡博士毕业后，事业不断发展，在著名音乐节Aspen Music Festival担任专属伴奏，与丈夫刘扬小提琴家结识。从此以Yang and Olivia 的二重奏身份巡回演出。除了在大专院校专任教学外，也在数个国际音乐节演出及举行大师课，如Oficina Music Festival, Curitiba Music Festival等等，并数次与伊利诺州的乐团演出协奏曲，包括南伊利诺交响乐团及Highland Park玄乐团。2014年，她的博士论文 “舒伯特的奏鸣曲式”被德国音乐学术出版社慧眼青睐，受邀出版成书。
蔡博士作为基督徒，在教会侍奉司琴，训练指挥唱诗班。与丈夫刘扬和两个快乐的儿子住在芝加哥。与刘扬搭档 “Yang & Olivia” 签约美国Great Lakes Performing Artist Associates 经济公司。
Yang and Olivia
Global Music Silver Medalist Yang and Olivia is a dynamic violin-piano duo who create an unforgettable storytelling event in their program, featuring contemporary and classical works from different parts of the world. Violinist Yang Liu is the prize winner of the 12th International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, the first prize winner of the 2021 International Artists Award Competition, and China’s 5th National Competition. Olivia is a frequent presenter of MTNA, CMS and other music festivals and conferences, promoting music of Chinese and Taiwanese heritage. In recent years, not only have they traveled to more than 30 cities in the United States, they have also been performing and teaching in China, Portugal, Brazil, and Taiwan. Currently they are both faculty of VanderCook College of Music. The duo founded the Yang and Olivia Foundation, advocating diversity, equity, and inclusion through music of different cultures. The foundation’s achievements are recognized by grants from National Endowment for the Arts, MidAtlantic Arts and Illinois Arts Council Agency.
Yang Liu’s playing has been praised as “a scorching performance! ” by The New York Times and “…from China, with dazzling talent!” by Washington Post. He is the prize winner of the 12th International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, the first prize winner of the 2021 International Artists Award Competition, the Medici International Competition, and China’s 5th National Competition. As a soloist, he has performed with world-leading orchestras including Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Danish Royal Odense Philharmonic to name a few. His award-winning album “Song of Nostalgia” showcases his virtuosity and musicality, and his repertoire ranges from baroque to the most contemporary works, and from Western classical to Eastern traditional. An avid advocate of cultural exchange via classical music, he is a founder of the Yang and Olivia Foundation and Momento Virtuosi, a chamber ensemble of diverse ethnicities and instrumentation.
Born in QingDao, China, Yang studied in Central Conservatory with Professor Yaoji Lin in Beijing China and the College Conservatory of music in Cincinnati with professor Dorothy Delay and Kurt Sassmannshaus. Under the extraordinary ability immigration program, Mr. Liu became an American citizen in 2014.
In addition to touring as part of the Yang and Olivia duo, Olivia (a.k.a. Dr. I-Hsuan Tsai) has appeared as a soloist with QingDao Concert Hall Orchestra, Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra, and Highland Park Strings. She was the staff pianist of the world-renowned Aspen Music Festival and Musicorda Music Festival in the US, as well as artist faculty/performer of the Oficina Music Festival, Curitiba Music Festival in Brazil and Algarve Music Festival in Portugal. In addition to performances, She currently serves as an associate professor at VanderCook College of Music. Her book “Schubert’s Piano Trios” was published by Scholar’s Press in 2014. In 2018, she co-founded Yang and Olivia Foundation to promote cultural exchange, embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion, featuring presentations with Chinese and Taiwanese influence. Olivia has appeared in numerous music teacher’s associations’ conferences, CMS conferences, and piano pedagogy conferences sharing the music of Asian heritage.