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Born in 1984, Taiwanese composer Ya-Jhu Yang’s works have been heard throughout North America, Europe and Asia. She was raised and educated at the National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei, and completed graduate degrees at the Manhattan School of Music and the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with composers including Richard Danielpour, Jennifer Higdon and Nils Vigeland.
As a 2009 prize winner in the Washington International Competition, Ms. Yang’s piano trio “Letters to Formosa” was performed at Washington DC’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She has since received commissions from Philadelphia’s Rock School of Dance Education, National Taiwan Recital Hall Artists, the Philadelphia Orchestra Association, the Main Line Chinese Culture Center, and the Curtis Institute, among others. Her opera scene “The Falcon”, which was commissioned by International Opera Theater through the American Composers Forum’s Philadelphia chapter in 2010, was produced and premiered in November 2010 at Prince Theater (PA), and later toured Italy, receiving productions in Città delle Pieve and Saluzzo.
Ms. Yang often collaborates with dancers, visual artists and poets. Besides her ballet suite for the Rock School of Dance Education, her song cycle “Rain Out at Sea” was set to poetry by Jeanne Minahan, with accompanying visual art by Emogene Schilling. In the fall of 2011, Ms. Yang produced the inaugural concert for the Main Line Chinese Culture Center, in which she brought not only instruments from Eastern and Western traditions together, but she also invited dancers and choreographers from Opus 1 Dance Company to create new choreography for a famous piece of pipa repertoire, Green Waist.
Ms. Yang has served as the music director and organist of Gloria Dei Church (Huntington Valley, PA) since 2011, and as a pianist and conductor for the Pennsylvania Girlchoir since 2013. She frequently arranges and composes for both institutions. As a pianist and flutist, Ms. Yang has given many recitals at churches in the New York, Philadelphia and Delaware areas to benefit church missions and arts organizations. In 2016, Ms. Yang and her husband started “Celtic to Classical”, a summer concert series based in Lewes, Delaware, which brings their musician friends from all over the states together to produce fun, engaging and genre-eclectic concerts.

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