Strauss Shi

Violin and Erhu
The Juilliard School, B.M.
USC Thornton School of Music, M.M.

Chinese-American violinist Strauss Shi is quickly establishing himself as a rising artist, emerging educator, and young ambassador representing music of the east and west. Praised by American conductor Carl St.Clair as “a deeply probing musician who plays with passionate commitment and virtuosity” and a “rising star” by the late Maestro Michael Morgan, Strauss made his major debut with the Utah Symphony under the baton of Vladimir Kulenovic at the age of seventeen and has since then concertized in the United States, Europe and Asia. Strauss is a top prizewinner at numerous competitions including Gold Medal at the 3rd Berliner International Music Competition (2019), First Prize at the USC Thornton Concerto Competition (2018), Grand Prize at the Mondavi Center Young Artists Competition (2017), First Prize at the United States International Music Competition (2016), and Second Prize at the inaugural Siqing Lu Futian International Violin Competition (2016), among others.

In the 2021-2022 season, Strauss returns with the Downey Symphony Orchestra and Sharon Lavery in their opening subscription concert with Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1. Amidst the pandemic in 2020, Strauss joins the roster as teaching artist at The Music Center on Tour on behalf of the Melody of China, and has founded his own startup company, Blue Cherry Productions LLC. The company space is based in City of Industry, in the heart of La Puente, and currently provides Chinese and western musical instruments to folks of all ages and backgrounds.

Recent solo appearances include the USC Thornton Symphony and Andrés Cárdenes, Waxman and Tchaikovsky with Downey Symphony Orchestra and Sharon Lavery in their opening subscription concert, Chamber Music Society of Colombo with Midori, and his debut with the Pacific Symphony at the invitation of Carl St.Clair in their Summer Series “Symphony in the Cities” in Mission Viejo, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Musco Center, and Irvine across 10,000+ audiences to major acclaim. Recital highlights include debuts in San Francisco (sold-out), Los Angeles, and New York.

As a chamber musician, Strauss has shared the stage with world renowned artists including Shmuel Ashkenasi Midori, Lü Siqing, Carol Wincenc, Li Lin, Brian Lewis, Vera Tsu Wei-ling, and Qian Zhou. His festival appearances include Kneisel Hall, Heifetz Institute, and Juilliard Starling-DeLay Symposium. He is a founding member of the Monterey Piano Trio and a regular collaborator with concert guitarist Tengyue Zhang.

Strauss is increasingly passionate as an educator in many programs and community outreach, recently serving as teaching artist at The Music Center on Tour, 88 Keys Music Academy, and SupportCA. Previous programs include Kneisel Hall Adult Chamber Music Institute, Midori Violin Studio Project (Los Angeles and Sri Lanka), Gluck Community Service Fellowship Program (The Juilliard School), Xiamen University (China), and San Francisco Symphony’s Adventures in Music (AIM).

His early years as a young boy were spent studying and performing on traditional Chinese instruments, the erhu and gaohu, with his acclaimed family ensemble the Melody of China. Growing up in San Francisco since 2003, he has received significant mentorship with the Ensemble, and has appeared with them in concerts and outreach across venues ranging from home concerts, churches, public schools, universities, to major venues including the S.F. International Arts Festival, The Juilliard School, Davies Symphony Hall, and the San Francisco Herbst Theatre where he made his debut at age 8. With deep roots in traditional Chinese and Western music, Strauss continues to serve as a young ambassador by bridging both genres of music across the San Francisco Bay Area and recently Los Angeles. Strauss began his erhu and gaohu studies at the age of 6 with his parents, and later received additional guidance with renowned gaohu master Yu Qiwei at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.

Born in China and raised in San Francisco, Strauss began his violin studies at the age of eight with Pan Zuohan, Elizabeth Liang, and later studied with Chen Zhao. Strauss received his Bachelor of Music degree studying with Catherine Cho at The Juilliard School on full scholarship. He recently graduated and obtained his Master of Music degree as a Starling Fellow at the USC Thornton School of Music under Midori Goto and Pamela Frank.