Yolanda started playing violin at the age of eight in her public school's Suzuki violin program. She was lucky to be immersed in chamber music at an early age at the All Newton Music School and the New England Conservatory Preparatory Division. She really fell in love with chamber music at the Yellowbarn Music Festival in Vermont, which she attended while studying with Eric Rosenblith.
Yolanda attended Princeton University where she studied politics. She was Associate Concertmaster of the orchestra and played many campus gigs in the Ma Non Troppo Quartet. After graduation, Yolanda backpacked around the world for nine months with a violin in tow. While attending the UCLA School of Law, Yolanda played in a youth orchestra and joined ACMP to meet chamber musicians. After law school, Yolanda moved to New York City to work at the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, where she developed expertise in employment law, reproductive rights and economic justice. One of the first things she learned about her women's rights colleagues was that they also loved to play chamber music! Yolanda co-founded A Better Balance, a legal advocacy organization and taught sex discrimination law as an adjunct professor at the NYU School of Law. She served on various nonprofit boards, including Chocolate Chip Chamber Music and Wild Earth Wilderness School. During this time, Yolanda became a Suzuki parent, which started to lure her back to the world of music and violin pedagogy.
Eventually, Yolanda gave in to the pull of music and decided to reinvent herself as a Suzuki violin teacher. She studied violin with Joey Corpus, got her Suzuki teacher certification, and started teaching privately in Brooklyn. She hasn't looked back. Yolanda loves teaching her young students and playing chamber music with her community of musicians in NYC and the Hudson Valley. She attends chamber music programs throughout the year. In fact, she joined the ACMP board after meeting Peter Aupperle at a chamber music workshop. Serving on the ACMP board is a wonderful way to bring together Yolanda's passion for chamber music and her nonprofit management skills.
Yolanda lives with her husband Neil, who aspires to play the viola one day. Her daughter, Ruby, is an accomplished violinist. Her son, Oscar, studied violin, piano, clarinet and saxophone, and discovered in college that he is a singer. He has been caught on occasion mindlessly humming Suzuki melodies. In 2013-14, the family backpacked around the world for eight months, again, with a violin in tow. Yolanda is grateful to her parents for instilling their love of music in her and for always supporting her musical pursuits. She also gratefully acknowledges the influence of her grandmother, Yung Chang, whose musical studies in voice at the Shanghai Conservatory were cut short by World War II. Yung, who immigrated to the US and taught piano and found a lot of joy singing in her senior chorus, is an inspiration.
Yolanda Wu is in the ACMP players directory.