About Me

Born in Shanghai in 1987, Yina was introduced to the cello at age six. Soon, her extraordinary talent was recognized and was chosen to play for the renowned cellist, Mstislav Rostropovich, at the age of twelve. The master’s positive comments about Yina’s performance of the Haydn C major Concerto made her want to become a master of cello like him.

At the age of 15, when first time in life she was outside of China to attend the Morningside Music Bridge Program, Yina was introduced to John Kadz, formerly Principal Cellist of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, and he invited her to study full-time with him in Calgary, Canada. She held the position of Principal Cello with the Calgary Youth Orchestra and has given acclaimed solo performances with such renowned orchestras as the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and Shanghai Opera Orchestra. In 2006, Yina moved to Los Angeles where she graduated from the Colburn School of Music and completed her Bachelor of Music degree with Ronald Leonard. From 2010 until 2013 she finished her Master of Music degree and Graduate Diploma with Laurence Lesser at the New England Conservatory in Boston. In 2013 Yina is offered the Frank Huntington Beebe Grant to continue her studies in Germany with Troels Svane at the Musikhochschule Lübeck. After graduating from Lübeck she is currently studying Konzertexamen with Sebastian Klinger at Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg.

Yina has attended various music camps and festivals, among them the Morningside Music Bridge Program in Calgary, the Young Artist Program in Ottawa, the Perlman Music Program Anniversary in Shanghai, the New York Strings Seminar Orchestra, the Pacific Music Festival in Japan, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in Germany, the International Cello Festival in Canada, the Piatigorsky International Cello festival, the Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, the Kronberg Academy in Germany, and the Académie musicale de Villecroze in France. These programs gave her the opportunity to work with distinguished mentors such as Aldo Parisot, Lynn Harrell, Desmond Hoebig, Richard Aaron, Hans Jensen, Paul Katz, Andres Diaz, Gary Hoffman, Johannes Moser, Steven Isserlis, Wen-Sinn Yang, Frans Helmerson, and Miklós Perényi. She has performed under the baton of conductors including Lorin Maazel, Christoph Eschenbach, Michael Tilson Thomas, Ivan Fischer, James Conlon, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, Christoph von Dohananyi, Gábor Takács-Nagy and Hugh Wolff. Yina had been an active member of the Maestro Chamber Music Foundation and the Colburn Chamber Music Society 2007-2010, where she collaborated with artists such as Ani Kavafian, Richard O’Neil, Paul Coletti, and Menahem Pressler.

Yina is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 3rd Prize at the Possehl-Musikpreis Lübeck (2015), the Bronze Medal of the Fischoff Competition in the Senior String Division with Trio Concorde (2013), Grand Prize ‘Nicolas Firmenich de Violoncelle’ at the Verbier Festival (2011), Honor’s Chamber Music Competition in Boston (2010), First Prize in the Edith Knox Peninsula Symphony Competition (2007), Bronze Medal at the Stulberg International String Competition (2007), Second Prize in the Pasadena Showcase Competition (2008), and the top honor at the Canadian National Music Festival (2006).

Yina serves as Assistant Principal Cellist at the Lübecker Philharmoniker since 2013.

Yina Tong