Department of Music - Personnel
Dr. Ka-Wai Yu
Ka-Wai Yu is the Instructor of Cello at Eastern Illinois University. Originally from Hong Kong, Dr. Yu is active as a recitalist, chamber musician, and music educator. In great demand as a clinician, he has given master classes in DePauw University, Valdosta State University, and Indiana Wesleyan University. He devotes his summer teaching at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. He has given lecture performances at the Music Teacher National Association Music Club in Urbana, Illinois and has judged the Illinois High School Association Music Contest. He was chamber coach in the Allerton String Chamber Music Symposium and the University of Georgia Youth Music Camp, and has coached string sectionals of the East Central Illinois Youth Orchestra.
Dr. Yu has given frequent solo and chamber performances in China, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United States. He is the cellist of the Yu’s Trio and Trio Finesse. His recent performances with the period-instrument ensemble La Réunion Musicale will be broadcast on RTHK. In 2003, he received the Asian Cultural Council Scholarship to participate in the Aspen Music Festival. He has also performed at the Orford Arts Centre in Montreal and the Toronto Summer Music Academy. Dr. Yu is Principal Cellist of the Eastern Symphony Orchestra and member of the chamber orchestra Sinfonia da Camera. His recent solo performances include concerto appearances at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Doudna Fine Arts Center, Seoul Anglican Cathedral, and recitals at the University of Illinois, Indiana Wesleyan University, and Hong Kong City Hall. This summer, Yu was Artist-in-Residence with La Réunion Musicale at St. Paul's College in Hong Kong and performed at several historic churches in Hong Kong, Macau, and Tainan.
Dr. Yu has a strong interest in historically-informed performance. He plays baroque cello and viola da gamba in the ensembles La Réunion Musicale, Concerto Urbano, and the Viol Consort of Champaign-Urbana. A recipient of scholarships sponsored by Early Music America, the Viola da Gamba Society Third Coast, and the Viola da Gamba Society of America, he has participated in the American Bach Soloists Academy, Vancouver Early Music Festival, and Boston Early Music Festival. He has written research papers on music by François Couperin, Marin Marais, J. S. Bach, and Beethoven.
Dr. Yu obtained his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, with a thesis entitled "When Concerto Meets Song Cycle: A Study of Vocal Influences in Robert Schumann’s Cello Concerto in A Minor, Op. 129, with Reference to his Dichterliebe, Op. 48." His transcription of Schumann's Cello Concerto for cello and string quartet will be published by A-R Editions, Inc. He also holds a Master of Music in Cello Performance from Indiana University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His mentors have included Brandon Vamos, Helga Winold, Csaba Onczay, David Starkweather, Anthony Elliott, and Ming-Yuen Cheung. He has also studied with members of the Tokyo, American, Pacifica, and Parker Quartets.
Dr. Yu’s string teaching focuses on the simultaneous development of a student’s technical fluency and musical maturity. He is dedicated to help students become good musicians, as well as good instrumentalists.
Frequently Taught CoursesApplied Cello
Aural Training in Music I & II
Interacting with Music
EducationD.M.A., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
M.M., Indiana University
B.A., Chinese University of Hong Kong