Yang and Olivia

Yang and Olivia Husband and wife duo Yang and Olivia are virtuosic talents who create an unforgettable storytelling event on violin and piano. Their programs feature combinations of Chinese music and Western classical. 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. Through music, this dynamic duo share their messages of joy, love and faith.

Yang Liu Yang Liu is a prize winner of the Twelfth International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and a first prize winner of China’s National Violin Competition. The New York Times described his playing “a scorching performance”. His repertoire ranges from baroque to the most contemporary of works, and from western classical to eastern traditional. He has performed as a soloist with many leading orchestras including Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Odense Symphony Orchestra to name a few. His award winning album “Song of Nostalgia” showcases his virtuosity and musicality. An avid advocate of cultural exchange via classical music, he is
a founder of Yang and Olivia Foundation, and Momento Virtuosi, an ensemble of diverse ethnicity and instrumentations.

Olivia Tsai In addition to touring as part of Yang and Olivia duo, Olivia (a.k.a. Dr. I-Hsuan Tsai) has appeared as soloist with QingDao Concert Hall Orchestra, Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra, and Highland Park Strings. She was the staff pianist of world renowned Aspen Music Festival and Musicorda Music Festival in US, as well as artist faculty/performer of Oficina Music Festival, Curitiba Music Festival in Brazil and Algarve Music Festival in Portugal. In addition to performances, She currently serves as chair of Theory and Piano and associate professor at VanderCook College of Music. Her book “Schubert’s Piano Trios” was invited to publish by Scholar’s Press in Germany, and was published in 2014. She co-founded Yang and Olivia Foundation to promote cultural exchange via classical music between China and the US.

Yang and Olivia

Yang and Olivia

Yang and Olivia Sample Programs

Yang and Olivia would like to propose a series of “Mostly…” program that can captivate audiences for years to come. For example, “Mostly east and west” for the first year, “Mostly dance” for the second…etc. Using the thematic approach to the programs helps audience to explore music in different perspectives and creates a sense of anticipation for them for the future concerts. For examples:

Mostly East and West

Our audience is always fascinated when we present Chinese music written for western instruments. There are amazing amount of transcriptions with undertone of political propaganda. They are nicknamed “red songs”. There are also large amount of transcriptions based on folk melodies or original compositions with cultural influences. These repertoire can be combined with other westerns compositions with strong cultural references. We will naturally talk about these pieces in addition to playing. Please go tohttp://www.yangandolivia.com/music/​ and listen to “Spring of Xin-Jiang” and “Song of Nostalgia” for a few Chinese examples.

 

Sonata for Violin and Piano in A minor
by Robert Schumann

Fisherman’s Song
Chinese piece arr. by Shu-Hui Xu

Valse Sentimentale Valse-Scherzo Op. 34
By Pytor Tchaikovsky

Intermission

Contabile op. 17
by Niccolo Paganini

A pastoral scene
Chinese piece by Sha Han Kun

Hungarian dance no. 5
By Johannes Brahms

Spring of XinJiang
Chinese piece by Yao-Xian Ma and Zhong-Han Li

Clair du Lune
By Claude Debussy

Song of Nostalgia
Chinese piece by Si-Cong Ma

Sicilienne and Rigaudon
By Fritz Kreisler

Polonaise in D-major Op. 4
By Henryk Wieniawski

Mostly Dances

Dance music are uplifting in general for its rhythmic characteristics. Composers very often show off the instruments’ virtuosic capacity with dance transcriptions. The program may include dances from different nationalities, thus usher a talk regarding their cultural differences, characters and such. Repertoire may include Kreisler’s Viennese dances (Liebesleid, Liebesfreud, our most well received pieces), Wieniawski’s Polonaise (our mostly popular closer), Xin-Jiang dance of China (crowd pleaser), Ravel Tzigane (Gypsy), Chopin’s waltzes and polonaise, Ginastera’s Argentine dances…and many many more.

Sample Program

Liebesfreud Liebesleid
By Fritz Kreisler

Harvest Song
By Jing-Ping Zhang

Violin Sonata in E-minor
By W.A. Mozart

Fisherman’s Song
Chinese piece arr. by Shu-Hui Xu

Valse Sentimental Waltz-Scherzo
By Tchaikovsky

Intermission

Sonata for violin and piano No. 7 By Beethoven

Spring of XinJiang
Chinese piece by Yao-Xian Ma and Zhong-Han Li

Tzigane
By Maurice Ravel

Yang and Olivia
Classical, Folk, New Music, Residency