The 26th Annual Music Festival at Walnut Hill
July 20 to August 13, 2017
Concerts and Master Classes
Admission free. Suggested Donation $5 at door


Saturday, August 12, 2017,  8 PM


MIT Kresge, Cambridge, MA

Concerto Concert
Mercury Orchestra
Channing Yu
, music director and conductor


Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 34

Yuhang Li
, piano
(winner of 2017 concerto competition)


Symphony No. 2, Op. 27, in E minor


Steinway piano provided by M. Steinert & Sons

Meet The Artists
Yuhang Li, pianist

Born in Dalian, China, 17 years old Yuhang Li started his piano training as a hobby with Ms. Ling Chen at the age of six. Beside music, he has also explored his other talents such as drawing and martial arts, and has won gold medal twice in the Hong Kong International Kungfu Competition. When Yuhang was ten, he composed his first piece and convinced his parents to support him on his further music studies. Since then, he had studied piano with Ms. Yang Yang and Ms. Zhuoyi Li. In 2012, he won the first place of the 58th Grotrian Steinweg Schumann competition. Later that year he went to Austria to study with professor Nikolaus Wiplinger for three months. During that time, 12 year-old Yuhang won the first prize in the 14-16 year-old division of the European International Music competition of Moncalieri in Turin, Italy, and was honored with special award in the competition.
At the age of 13, Yuhang moved to United States to continue his music training, started with the Walnut Hill Music Festival in MA. Later in 2014, he attended Piano Texas Music Festival and performed Mozart Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-flat Major with Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra as one of the winners in the concerto competition. In 2015 he attended Heartland Chamber Music Festival. He is currently studying with Dr. Matti Raekallio in the Juilliard School Precollege Division.

Mercury Orchestra

(CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—June 18, 2010) The Mercury Orchestra has been selected as the national winner of the 2010 American Prize in Orchestral Performance, community orchestra division, in a competition including orchestras from 26 states and the District of Columbia.
The American Prize is a series of new non-profit national competitions designed to recognize and reward the very best in the performing arts in the United States. Founded in 2009, the American Prize rewards the best recorded performances of music by individuals and ensembles in the United States at the professional, community/amateur, college/university, church and school levels.
The 97-member Mercury Orchestra, directed by the young American conductor Channing Yu, brings together some of the most talented amateur musicians in the Cambridge/Boston area to perform some of the most challenging works in the symphonic repertoire. Now in its third season, the orchestra will perform two highly colorful and evocative works—Stravinsky’s Petrushka (1911) and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique—on July 17 in Sanders Theatre at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
In their evaluations, the competition judges praised the orchestra’s “excellent interpretations” and made special mention of the orchestra’s “thrilling rendition of the Rondo-Finale from the Mahler Symphony No. 5,” taken from a live recording of the orchestra’s performance in July 2009. ”What an incredible honor for the Mercury Orchestra,” says Maestro Yu, who is also a finalist in the 2010 American Prize for Conducting competition. “The musicians in our orchestra are some of the most dedicated, serious, and expressive artists I have ever worked with, and it is a thrill to make music together.”
The Bravura Philharmonic Orchestra of West Windsor, N.J., took second prize, and the Auburn University/Community Orchestra of Auburn, Ala., won third prize. The judges’ decision was announced on June 18, 2010, on the American Prize website, where the three orchestras were congratulated “for their outstanding achievement, ranked among the finest community orchestras in the country.”
Justin Albstein, Mercury Orchestra’s general manager, says, “it’s wonderful that our orchestra has received this recognition in only its second year. The musicians deserve tremendous credit for taking on some of the most challenging pieces in the repertoire and succeeding brilliantly.”
Adds Brian Van Sickle, principal flutist: “This is really an honor to receive such recognition. What I love most about playing in this orchestra is how sensitively all of the players work together and listen to one another. It’s a thrill to be a part of it all.”
American orchestra and opera conductor Channing Yu is Music Director of the Mercury Orchestra in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Music Director of Bay Colony Brass in Watertown, Massachusetts. He is national winner of the 2010 American Prize in Orchestral Conducting in the community orchestra division.
He has also served as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Lowell House Opera, the oldest opera company in New England, where he conducted over thirty fully staged performances with orchestra, including Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, Puccini’s Turandot, Verdi’s Otello, and Puccini’s Tosca. For his musical direction of Tosca, he was awarded second prize in the 2011 American Prize in Opera Conducting national competition.

His 2013–14 invitational engagements include conducting the Fall River Symphony Orchestra (Fall River, MA) and Berlin Sinfonietta (Berlin, Germany), and adjudicating for the James Pappoutsakis Memorial Flute Competition, the Brookline Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, and the Foundation for Chinese Performing Arts Concerto Competition.

Of the Lowell House Opera’s performance of Otello, The Harvard Crimson wrote, “The production’s hero was the orchestra, under the keen direction of Channing Yu. Yu was able to channel all the energy of the 80-member ensemble into moments that spanned the entire emotional spectrum—from sheer joy to complete misery. The sound produced by the orchestra was stylish, heartfelt, and on the whole, refined.” The Boston Musical Intelligencer noted, “The real star of the performance was the orchestra, led with great skill by Channing Yu.”

He served as guest conductor at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, in its 2008 production of Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s baroque opera Les arts florissants. He guest conducted the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra in 2008 and 2009. He was invited as one of fourteen conductors worldwide to work with conductors Neeme Järvi, Leonid Grin, and Paavo Järvi in master classes at the 2009 Leigo Lakes Music Days Festival in Estonia. In 2010, he worked with George Pehlivanian and L’Ensemble Orchestral de València in Spain. In 2013 he worked with Johannes Schlaefli and conducted the Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra in Bulgaria.

He began formal study of conducting at Harvard University with James Yannatos; there he served as assistant conductor of the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra and conductor of the Toscanini Chamber Orchestra. Since then, he has worked with a number of conductor teachers in the master class setting, including Kenneth Kiesler, Diane Wittry, Charles Peltz, and Frank Battisti.

Channing Yu grew up in Pennsylvania. Originally trained as a pianist, he was a divisional grand prize winner of the American Music Scholarship Association International Piano Competition, and he has appeared as piano soloist with numerous orchestras including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, and Orchèstra Nova. He has been praised by The Boston Globe for his “imaginative piano work.” He performs with the chamber ensemble sul ponticello, in Cambridge, MA. As a violinist, he has served as concertmaster of the Brahms Society Orchestra and as violinist in the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. He was a founding member of the string quartet Quartetto Periodico. As a lyric baritone, he has performed with the Boston Opera Collaborative, in the Richard Crittenden Opera Workshop in Boston, and in the Neil Semer Vocal Institute in Coesfeld and Aub, Germany. He also sings with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, the Grammy award-winning chorus of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops. He is a member of the faculty of the Powers Music School in Belmont, Massachusetts. Channing Yu lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Thank you for your generous contribution to
Foundation for Chinese Performing Arts

Foundation for Chinese Performing Arts
Lincoln, Massachusetts
updated 201