2018 Artists

Liam O’Neill (Host) – Mr. Liam O’Neill is a distinguished public speaker and event host. He has worked with NTD Television for nearly a decade, serving as an English-Chinese bilingual host for large-scale public events in New York and Washington, DC. Liam is passionate about Chinese culture and language education. He has previously served on the executive board for Foreign Language Teachers of New Jersey and has led U.S.-Taiwan student exchange programs in recent years. Liam holds degrees from Swarthmore College and New York Institute of Technology. He currently serves as an instructor of Mandarin Chinese at an elite high school in New Jersey.

Jiaju Shen (Pipa) – Jiaju Shen is a celebrated Pipa artist. Jiaju combines contemporary interpretations and flavors of modern music and traditional Chinese music. In collaboration with Ms. Xi Zheng, an industrial designer, Jiaju has developed a modern electronic version of Pipa (E-pa). In 2015, Jiaju released her first EP, Black Silk, which explores new possibilities of Pipa and its role in fusion music. Jiaju has been invited to perform in over 300 concerts and events across the U.S., including the Olympics Games, World Expo, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, United Nations, the MET, Barclay’s Center among many others.

Changyuan Wang (Gu Zheng) – Mrs. Changyuan Wang is recognized throughout the world as China’s greatest living Gu Zheng artist and composer. Mrs. Wang began playing Gu Zheng at age nine under the tutelage of her father. She was the youngest Chinese female to conduct a solo performance at the age of twelve, which took place before an audience comprised of China’s top leaders as well as influential members of Chinese society. Since then, given her remarkable skill and stellar artistry, she has played to a global audience at prestigious venues in Asia, North America, South America, Africa and Europe. She became a national designated artist in China during diplomatic functions to play for dignitaries, including two U.S. presidents. Mrs. Wang is also a dedicated music educator and has cultivated a new generation of students to continue the tradition of classical Chinese music.

Meixu Lu (Cello) – Chinese-born and currently U.S.-based cellist, Meixu Lu has been performing internationally for more than two decades. She has been featured as a soloist, chamber musician and principal cellist with major symphony orchestras globally and appeared at prestigious concert stages like Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Boston Symphony Hall, Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Dallas City Performance Hall, United States Capitol and United Nations. Ms. Lu has also been a guest soloist and principal cellist with the New York International Symphony Orchestra, International Chamber Orchestra of America, Asian Cultural Symphony of the USA, North America Asian Performing Arts Association Orchestra, New England Repertory Orchestra and Boston University Symphony Orchestra, to name a few.

Taiko Masala (Japanese Drumming Troupe) – Taiko Masala has thrilled audiences throughout the U.S. with performances of Japan’s traditional drumming, Taiko. Founded by Master Drummer Hiro Kurashima, Taiko Masala performs at concerts, festivals, museums and schools in addition to its active teaching schedules. By combining the training and discipline of Japanese martial arts with the precision and power of complex drumming, Taiko Masala brings visually stunning and breathless excitement to their performances. Their arsenal of instruments, all handmade by the ensemble, range from small eight inch hand held drums to five foot barrel drums, and features the giant 250 pound O-daiko. Japanese instruments including Shakuhachi, Fue, Koto, and dancing add richness and color to their programs.