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Long story of Ü
Born in the south of Taiwan, Ü started her piano lessons at the age of 5 with her mother. When she was 10, Ü placed 1st at the entrance exam to the music special class of Fongshan Elementary School and took cello as her second major. Being inspired by a Japanese anime, Ü expressed the interest in alto saxophone, and Ü's father bought one home after her 14th birthday. Later on, Ü got into the music special class of Kaohsiung Senior High School. During chorus practice, Mrs. Hui-Rong Kao discovered Ü's vocal talent and encouraged her to take voice lessons. Ü took the advice very seriously. After graduating from KSHS, Ü got into National Taiwan Normal University as a voice major student under the guidance of Professor Dao-Hsiong Tseng who has played a significant role introducing Western operas to Taiwanese audience.
Because of Prof. Tseng, Ü performed her first operatic role, Annio (from "La clemenza di Tito"), in the National Concert Hall in Taipei Taiwan. In the next year, Ü toured as Dorabella (from "Così fan tutte") in several cities in Malaysia and Taiwan. In her senior year, Ü performed Mère Marie (from "Dialogues des Carmélites") in National Theatre in Taipei Taiwan. Having more and more involvement with opera productions, Ü decided to pursue further studies in the US.
In 2005, Ü got into the master's program in vocal accompanying under the guidance of Thomas Muraco in Manhattan School of Music. While Prof. Muraco took the position as the Studienleiter-Kapellmeister at Theater Bremen, Prof. Margo Garrett from Juilliard School of Music and Prof. Scott Rednour from MSM took Ü into their studios. They have not only nurtured Ü pianistically but also transformed her into an artist.
While getting her accompanying degree from MSM, Ü had wonderful opportunities to study voice with Ron Raines, Dolora Zajick, and Jane Olian. Mr. Raines provided Ü a solid technique in breath support, Ms. Zajick gave Ü the key to engage much more volume, and Ms. Olian taught Ü how to sing effortlessly with head resonance. Having attended many courses designated for voice majors due to the nature of vocal accompanying, Ü got into Sarasota Opera as an apprentice singer right after she graduated from MSM.
In addition to singing and piano playing, Ü had worked with Maestro David Gilbert in his conducting classes and the musically talented Gilbert family members outside of school. In 2009, Ü took parts in Maestro Gilbert's online lessons of conducting. In 2010, Ü was invited as one of the "next generation conductors" to observe Maestro Muti's rehearsals of Attila in the Metropolitan Opera.
By 2016, Ü has sung 8 leading roles and numerous supporting roles on main stage, coached over 30 operas, and conducted 6 productions in the US, Canada, Italy, Malaysia, and Taiwan. Not limited to opera performances, Ü has collaborated with artists from Classical, Jazz, Rock..., to Flamenco genre in more than 500 concerts in the past ten years.
As well as being on stage, Ü is also very active behind the scenes. Ü began her journey in computer music when she was 17. During her freshman year in college, the Mayor of Kaohsiung commissioned her to arrange the operatic version of his campaign theme song. (And of course, he successfully continued his second term!) Furthermore, Ü has applied her creative mind composing and producing tunes and shows for non-profit organizations. During the time working with charity organizations, Ü discovered her other gift in marketing. In fact, one of the organizations hired Ü for her marketing strategy. For the 5 months Ü had been involved in the fundraising project, this organization successfully raised 1 million USD. Enjoying helping people with all her abilities, Ü currently works as the music director and a member of outreach program at Sarah Jane Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church.
At this moment, Ü is very occupied by her newborn daughter. In her limited free time, Ü is planning on a tour with her sister's Flamenco group, La Gitanita, by the end of the year and a workshop about music and math for a few groups of students in Canada in the summer 2018.
More fun facts about Ü
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