As a solo artist, Shawn makes regular recital appearances at stages across China, and frequently performs at festivals in China and the US, including the Geneva Music Festival, the Bard Music Festival, and Tan Dun’s “Yin Yao” festival in Qingdao. Comfortable with a diverse variety of musical styles, from classical to folk and electronic music, Shawn has collaborated with a variety of artists, from composers Tan Dun and Joan Tower to folk singer Natalie Merchant, electronic musician DJ Spooky and many others. While classically trained, Shawn hopes to break the boundaries between musical traditions, and in his shows, he tries to provide musical experiences that can expand listenership across artificial categories. His new 2022 album, “Violin Atlas”, takes the listener on a journey from Bach to Beethoven, to jazzy, freestyle improvisation and contemporary music.
Alongside his two brothers, Shawn has toured the US with Merchant in can be heard on her album, “Paradise Now”. A keen chamber musician, Shawn was a founding member of the Kalmia String Quartet, which performed and recorded numerous works by modern American composer Joseph Summer, which can be heard on Parma and Albany Records. He has shared the stage with numerous classical music luminaries, including Boris Berman, Ani Kavafian and Clive Greensmith. Shawn is also a capable violist. In Beijing, he is the member of several bands, and is in frequent demand as a studio instrumentalist for various musical projects.
As an admissions officer for Bard College, Shawn has had firsthand experience of the challenges associated with providing access to quality education, musical and otherwise, and is committed to supporting projects that will broaden exposure to music and further the goal of educating the next generation of musicians and listeners. Shawn has worked in Venezuela with El Sistema, and in China with the He Feng Foundation, and is committed to continuing this work to bring more music into the lives of students and people everywhere.
A graduate of Bard College and Yale University, Shawn holds degrees in both music and Asian Studies, and speaks Mandarin and Korean. Shawn was a Yale Light Fellow to Korea. His formal studies include instruction from Cyrus Forough, Arnold Steinhardt, and the Kavafian sisters, Ida and Ani. Shawn has also been privileged over the years to learn from a long list of classical music luminaries, including Ruggiero Ricci, Roman Totenberg, Seymour Lipkin, Pinchas Zukerman, Joan Tower, Peter Wiley, Martin Beaver, Li Weigang, Pamela Frank, Glen Dicterow, and many others.
Shawn resides in Beijing and concurrently serves as Bard College’s East Asia Representative. Apart from music and education endeavors, he also is an occasional host of “China Insight”, a program on Chinese life and culture produced by Phoenix TV.