THE FACTS: Born in Taipei, Taiwan. B.A. in music, New England Conservatory, studying with Laurence Lesser; master’s degree, The Juilliard School, studying with Joel Krosnick. Artist’s diploma from Julliard in 2006. Prior to the Philharmonic: acting principal cello, San Diego Symphony and San Diego Opera. Solo appearances with various orchestras. Founding member of the Formosa Quartet. At the Philharmonic: Joined in September 2006.
EARLIEST MUSICAL MEMORY: My dad’s recording
studio was a playground for my brother and me. I started playing cello in first grade. My dad was really fond of the cello and encouraged me, and I fell in love with it right away. I actually started studying the piano when I was five — my parents believed in musical training as a way to educate us.
MOST INSPIRING COMPOSERS: Bach and Beethoven
WHAT WERE THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF YOUR ARRIVAL IN THE STATES? I came to study music at Temple Preparatory School in Philadelphia at age 13. I was by myself and really didn’t speak English, although I knew the basics. I went to a regular high school, and shared an apartment with my 19-year-old guardian. I was excited about being in a new place and being a “grown-up.” It got difficult later, when the excitement wore off and I was alone. But I knew I wanted to complete my studies here.
WHO WERE YOUR MOST IMPORTANT MUSICAL INFLUENCES? My former teachers, Joel Krosnick and Laurence Lesser, continue to inspire me musically and personally even years after studying with them.
ARE THERE OTHER MUSICIANS IN YOUR FAMILY? My mother learned to read music from practicing with me. My father is a popular music recording engineer. My sister, Ruhsin, who’s in college, is an amateur
violinist. My brother, Rulin, a chemical engineer, used to play the piano. My husband is an established violist.
HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR MUSIC-MAKING FRESH? I like to attend concerts for inspiration. I also like to read chamber music with many people to get new ideas. I still learn a lot from playing with my quartet, the Formosa Quartet. And my husband and I often play together and talk about music; he helps keep my playing from slipping.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS WITH THE ORCHESTRA: Our trip to North Korea in 2008, and our other tours playing in amazing venues, eating authentic foreign cuisines, and seeing different cultures
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO OUTSIDE OF WORK? Running, cooking, exploring New York City, and keeping up with old friends.
As of January 2014