ACCOMPLISHED - Qian Yin, a violinist originally from China, enjoys sharing her love of music with local audiences. Having studied in Shanghai, London and Western Illinois University, she currently teaches both at Red Deer College and privately as well. photo submitted

Performing and teaching enrich life of local violinist

Qian Yin educated in Shanghai, London and the U.S.

It’s been a remarkable journey for local musician Qian Yin, an accomplished violinist who now shares her exquisite skills locally with audiences and students at Red Deer College.

Hailing originally from China, Yin, 33, was already starting to develop her musical gifts by the time she was just three.

“My hometown is Wuhan which is a city in the middle part of China with about 10 million people,” she explained. “In China, that’s pretty ordinary,” she added with a laugh referring to the staggering population.

“My mother played the violin when she was young, and that’s part of the reason that I learned the violin. And also, when I was three-years-old, my grandmother bought me a keyboard.

“My parents have helped me a lot – not just financially. They’ve really supported me,” said a clearly grateful Yin.

“Every time I gave a recital, they were always so proud of me.”

As to her chosen instrument, she knew early on it was the one she wanted most to focus on.

“For me, the violin sound is really special,” she explained of why she has always found the instrument so compelling. Its versatility is amazing, although she did say the instrument is certainly not easy to master.

She later studied violin performance at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music for four years, later completing her masters in violin performance in London at the Royal Academy of Music where she studied for another four years.

“I still remember how that was a big decision for us,” she recalled of leaving her native country for faraway Britain. It was tough to leave home, and particularly to say good-bye to her parents. But the chance to study abroad presented an amazing opportunity.

The fabulous stint in London wasn’t the end of her travels, however. She received her doctorate degree in violin performance at the University of Illinois.

That’s where she also met her husband Cristian Neacsu, who is now a violin professor at Burman University in Lacombe.

He also serves as the vice-president of the Alberta String Association. It was also in Illinois that she met her pianist Po-Chuan Chiang, who continues to work there.

She credits both men, as well as her teachers and mentors over the years, with helping her to not only hone her skills but to also stay true to who she is as an interpreter of music, too.

Just recently, Yin, who also performs occasionally with the Calgary Philharmonic, and Chiang performed a program of delightful art music spanning the Classical, Romantic, and 20th century periods in Red Deer.

It’s a powerful partnership that continues to grow and evolve regardless of the distance, and the two certainly have a strong mutual respect for each other’s musical excellence.

Yin said her partner’s focus and dedication to bringing a performance to a high standard is a constant.

“It’s also not like he is my accompanist or I’m the leading one – I never feel like that. We are very equal.

“We discuss together, study together and learn from each other.”

Chiang, who is originally from Taiwan, said that working with Yin is a delight. “Sometimes, when we are on stage, we will perform differently than we did in the rehearsal – that’s the fun part.”

Her maturity and spontaneity are both engaging attributes, as is her typically ‘calm’ approach to performance, he said. They’ve also been working on a CD which they plan to release later this year.

Chiang also had an early start in music, beginning his studies on the piano at age five. In adulthood, he first studied in Taiwan and eventually headed to the Boston Conservatory to obtain his master’s degree.

“He is a wonderful pianist – I’m lucky to have him,” added Yin.

These days, she teaches violin at Red Deer College and she teaches privately as well. Playing for folks at local nursing homes and the hospital is something she and her students have done, and want to do all the more.

“We want to do more things for the community.”

And clearly, Red Deer is a whole lot quieter than her bustling hometown, Shanghai, or London. But Yin is fine with a slower pace. “For me there is a simplicity here which in a bigger city is hard to find.

“People are so nice – I feel they have really warm hearts. They really respect you.”

Through it all, it’s the love of music that keeps her so inspired no matter where she finds herself, and it’s always been that way.

“Music has become such a central part of my life. I really like to find my own voice, and try to make it more sincere and true to myself. That’s the most important thing to me.”

Just Posted

Tom Pyper’s life on the South Saskatchewan Pipeline

Red Deer man looks back on his time working on the Cantuar pump station

Central Alberta Theatre is gearing up to present Neil LaBute’s Some Girl(s)

Opening night is April 20th with shows running through to May 5th.

Burman U prof publishes international development book

The Development Trap: How Thinking Big Fails the Poor looks to challenge perceptions

WATCH: Check out this week’s What’s Up Wednesday

A weekly recap of the week in news

WATCH: Red Deerian receives award for aiding RCMP officer in arrest

Lonnie Amundson, rugby player, tackled a fleeing suspect to help ailing officer

WATCH: Red Deer’s latest ‘Ghost’ statue unveiled at Servus Arena

‘The Face-off’ is the 11th ‘Ghost’ in the notable bronze series

Why a 14-year-old will lead the charge at annual marijuana protest on the Hill

Marijuana enthusiasts have long been circling April 20 on their calendars as annual day of cannabis

RCMP say too early to know what happened in Broncos crash

RCMP Assistant Commissioner Curtis Zablocki said collission very complex

Conservative MP wants feds to close loophole for illegal border crossers

Immigration advocates call on government to suspend Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement

Alberta university criticized for honouring David Suzuki

University of Alberta plans to bestow environmentalist with honourary degree

Lance Armstrong settles $100M lawsuit with U.S. government

Disgraced cyclist reached $5-million settlement with sponsor U.S. Postal Service

Black Press Media acquires two new Alaska newspapers

New Media Investment Group to acquire the Akron (OH) Beacon Journal while Black Press Media takes on daily newspapers in Juneau and Kenai Alaska

UPDATE: No charges in found horses near Bentley

Responding Ponoka veterinarian says horses were in healthy condition.

Men arrested at Starbucks say they feared for their lives

Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks, becoming viral video

Most Read