Yi-Jia Susanne Hou
Violinist Yi-Jia Susanne Hou rose to fame on the International concert scene when she unanimously won three prestigious International Violin Competitions in France, Italy, and Spain (Long-Thibaud, Lipizer and Sarasate International Violin Competitions).
Since then, Miss Hou has travelled the world as a soloist with major orchestras in over 50 countries, collaborating with world-renowned Directors and Artists such as Rostropovich, Zukerman, Gilbert, Spivakov, Marcello Viotti, Andreas Delfs, Marek Janowski, and Alain Trudel, together with the London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, Radio-France, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, SWR Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, WDR Cologne, Czech National Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Ottawa National Arts Centre Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, Buffalo Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony and Tokyo Philharmonic to name a few.
Miss Hou recently realized a life-long dream, recording the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra as a tribute to an unique 300 year history of an outstanding 1735 ex-Fritz Kreisler Mary Portman Giuseppe Guarneri Del Gesù Violin. It was during the time that Kreisler owned this very instrument that he composed the Cadenzas imbedded within this Beethoven Violin Concerto.
On the silver screen, Miss Hou has collaborated twice with Oscar-Nominated Director & Auteur Atom Egoyan and Oscar-Winning Composer Mychael Danna. She first performed the violin solos in “Adoration” which won the Ecumenical Jury Prize at Festival de Cannes, as well as in the upcoming film “Remember”, starring Christopher Plummer and Martin Landau, set for release in Fall 2015.
Hou’s music video ‘The Devil’s Delight’, produced by Rhombus Media (Producers: The Red Violin, Yo-Yo Ma Bach Suites), is regularly broadcast on BravoTV and she frequents the radio and television waves, starring in numerous Documentaries on CBC, PBS, Bravo!, The Today Show, Canada AM, NHK and many more.
Born into a musical family, Yi-Jia Susanne had music surrounding her all her life. Aged five she gave her first public performance and at nine years, the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto invited her as a scholarship student. She went on to receive a full scholarship to The Juilliard School where she received her BM, MM, and the distinguished Artist Diploma as a student of Dorothy DeLay, Cho-Liang Lin and Naoko Tanaka.
Yi-Jia Susanne also has a passion for Culinary Arts and has hence begun her exploration of ‘Musical Gastronomy’ inspired by recent research completed by the scientific minds at Oxford University in United Kingdom. These multi-sensory experiences aim to understand and further enhance our taste and sensory experiences, as influenced by sound & music. Her culinary collaborators include Relais Chateau Grand Chef Jonathan Gushue of Langdon Hall in Cambridge, Executive Chef Tyler Shedden of Café Boulud in Four Seasons Toronto, and this concept has now inspired a first-in-the-world Musical Wine creation: “200 percent: Virtuoso Wine”, which will be launched in Summer 2015, in collaboration with Master Wine-Maker Kathy Malone and Award-Winning Hillside Winery in the Okanagan Valley.
Yi-Jia Susanne Hou wishes to share these thoughts with her audiences
“My parents were both great violinists of a different time and world. Their dreams of a life in music were shattered due to unforgiving world circumstances and they did not have the opportunities I have always had. Their life experiences have had a deep impact on me and have been an unwavering source of inspiration. I have never taken for granted my ‘gift’ of being able to pursue what I love. Too often people take opportunities for granted because we live in such a free world, but growing up knowing both my parents nearly died for what they believed in gives me the utmost appreciation and respect for our gift of life and freedom of dreams…
In my lifetime, I hope to share with my audiences my passion and love for what I do. I hope to encourage everyone to pursue their own dreams and I hope to actively advocate cultural exchange and musical education in young and old alike. It is a grand and humble service to be an artist in our world and I merely hope to do my part. ”
“She’s absolutely phenomenal…”
“Hou is remarkable, her playing an idealistic dream of perfection, her sound full of humanity, sweetness and musical understanding and projected on her superb Guarneri del Gesu violin with heart-stopping purity in her uppermost register and a richly resonant sound on the lowest strings. Playing such as this, flawless, filled with light and meaning, makes you feel shy, as if you were witnessing a miracle, something for which there is no explanation, only highly sensitized awareness.”
“Hou’s performance was of the greatest and highest international level. She is fragile, but only at first sight. Her sound is crafted and rich; the g-string getting under your skin… Hou reminds me of Kyung Wa Chung at the height of her career…”
“Wearing an elegant gown, Hou, making her fifth appearance with the orchestra, demonstrated an admirable ability to put the audience at ease, as if guests in her living room, yet still convey the depth and gravity of emotion in Bruch’s music…this concerto makes great use of double-, triple-, even quadruple-stops, and Hou sailed through them clearly and seemingly without effort…(the 2nd movement was) lyrically beautiful, it felt as if each note was given individual care…and hearing Kreisler’s music (encore) played on his violin was indeed a pleasure.”
“From the very first phrase, Hou demonstrated that she is the possessor of a gigantic sound, a perfectly centered tone, and a deep understanding of musical structure. She showed absolute confidence and mastery in every respect of her program, which extended from Beethoven to Kreisler, and easily exuded the star quality that has put her in the spotlight as a lead violinist…”