Ms Yu is an internationally renowned pipa and guqin virtuoso, scholar and specialist in Chinese music. She holds degrees in Chinese music from the Xi’an Conservatory of Music, China (BMus.) and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London (MMus, PhD).
She performs, records and researches both traditional and contemporary Chinese music and does cross-cultural music collaborations.
Born to an artistic family in Beijing, she grew up in the Gobi desert in Gansu, Northwest China, where her family had been exiled during the “Cultural Revolution”. She studied the Pudong pipa style with her father from age seven and was later trained by experts in the Pinghustyle of pipa.
She studied the guqin both with Professor Li Xiangting and at the Xi’an Conservatory, where she graduated with distinction in pipa and qin performance.
After winning the “Outstanding Pipa Player” award in China in the same year, she was selected as a pipa soloist in the prestigious China Central Orchestra of Chinese Music in Beijing. She is now based in London and has performed in 100s of concerts at venues such as the Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Duke’s Hall in London.
She has toured in Europe, Asia, Canada and the USA and has worked on various musical creations with organisations such as WOMAD, Grand Union, the London Sinfonietta, the Lyon Ensemble Orchestra Contemporain, the Avignon Orchestra, the Edinburgh String Quartet and World of Strings.