Episode 403: Jen Shyu


There’s a video shot in 1991 of a 13-year-old Jen Shyu playing the hell of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 on grand piano backdropped by the Peoria Symphony Orchestra. A lifelong musician who studied theater and opera at Stanford and has performed at  Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, Shyu’s current work veers into the experimental and avant-garde, all while paying homage to a wide range of musical traditions, including Taiwan an East Timor.Often highly theatrical, her work utilizes a wide range of languages (she speaks ten) and instruments, including piano, violin, the two-string Taiwanense moon lute and the Chinese er hu, among others. Shyu closed out last year with the performance of her show “Zero Grasses,” a part of John Zorn's on-going Commissioning series in New York.

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