Professor of Double Bass
127 School of Music Building
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-2504
“Bass Players with great technique and supreme artistry are non-existent. Well, there are a few exceptions: the legendary Gary Karr, of course, Eugene Levinson of the New York Philharmonic, and now Yung-Chiao Wei, a young, multi-talented female bassist from Taiwan” reads a New York Concert Review of Yung-Chiao Wei’s Carnegie Hall solo recital debut. Yung-Chiao Wei was also praised by The Miami Herald as "a two sided-talent - a competition winning pianist turned double bass virtuoso". Through her musical insight, breathtaking virtuosity and personality, Wei combines compelling, artistic performances on the double bass with a magical presence in stage.
Wei is the first female bassist performed a solo recital in the Carnegie Hall. Her Carnegie Hall debut garnered tremendous praise from New York Concert Review Inc. Critic Anthony Aibel, who hailed “Wei is phenomenal”. Her performance of Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata in A minor elicited another mention of praise; Aible affirmed that “nuance on the double bass is hard to accomplish, but Wei plays with subtlety of dynamics, color and expression one seldom, if ever, hears on the bass”.
As a bassist with unusual physical disadvantages: being 5 feet and 3 inches tall with hands that have thumbs and little fingers half the size of those found on normal hands, Wei was able to overcome these physical challenges and established a distinguished career as both a performer and an educator. She has performed at major concert halls, prestigious summer festivals, and has given master classes/recitals at major music schools on four continents. She has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Davis Hall, Jordan Hall, Lincoln Center Alice Tully Hall, National Concert Hall (Taiwan), and Izuminomori Hall (Japan). Concerto engagement includes performances with the National Symphony Orchestra in Taiwan, the New World Symphony (FL), Formosa Philharmonic, and Louisiana Sinforniatte. She has given performances and master classes at Opera Bastille in Paris, Eastman School of Music, Boston University, Berlin University of the Arts, Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, Japan Double Bass seminar, Montreal Chamber Music Festival, Taipei University of the Arts, Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, and Shanghai Conservatory in China, among many. During the summer, she has served as a faculty member at the Bowdoin Music Festival in Maine, Montreal Chamber Music Festival, Japanese Double Bass Seminar, and Taiwan Gala Summer Festival.
As a chamber musician, Wei has collaborated with artists such as Leon Fleisher, James Buswell, and James Ehnes. Her orchestra experience includes serving as principal bassist in the New World Symphony Orchestra (FL) under Michael Tilson Thomas, the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, and the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra in Boston. Wei has collaborated with pianist Chaoi Chou over 30 years. Together they have recorded the Chinese violin concerto “Butterfly Lovers” and Brahms 1st Cello Sonata (Centaur Records), and Wei’s transcription on the Elgar Cello Concerto, Brahms 2nd Cello Sonata and new works by Yen and Tommasini.
Wei is a recipient of numerous honors and awards, honors including Awards to Louisiana Artists and Scholars from the Louisiana Board of Regents, the LSU Tiger Athlete Foundation Teaching Award, Taiwan Young Concert Artist Competition, both the 2nd Prize and Audience prize in the First Izuminomori International Double Bass/Cello Competition in Japan, the New World Symphony Concerto Competition, the Interlochen Arts Academy Concerto Competition on piano for two consecutive years, the Academy’s Young Artist and Fine Arts Award, and first prize in the Taiwan National Music Competition.
A native of Taiwan, Wei began playing the piano at age six and the bass at age twelve. She received her Master of Music degree with honors from the New England Conservatory in Boston and her Bachelor of Music degree with a Performance Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. Her teachers include James VanDemark, Lawrence Wolfe, Stuart Sankey, Jeff Turner, Derek Weller, Peter Dominguez and Claudia Chen. Wei is currently the Professor of Bass at the Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and has been since 2000. She also serves as the artistic director of the annual Louisiana Bass Fest and teaches at the Master Players Festival in the University of Delaware during the summer. She was a juror at the International Society of Bassists Solo Competitions. Her students have been prize winners of international solo competitions.
Wei’s recording of the Chinese violin concerto “Butterfly Lovers” and Brahms 1st Cello Sonata is available on Centaur Records. Her transcription on the Elgar Cello Concerto, Brahms 2nd Cello Sonata and new works by Yen and Tommasini is available on CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon and Sheet Music Plus.