YI-JIA SUSANNE HOU
Internationally celebrated violinist Yi-Jia Susanne Hou has left her mark in music history by being the first violinist ever to capture 3 Gold Medals with unanimous decisions at international violin competitions: Concours International Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud (France, 1999), Rodolfo Lipizer International Violin Competition (Italy, 1999) and Pablo Sarasate International Violin Competition (Spain, 1997). Most recently, Ms. Hou was also the first ever violinist to win the Canada Council for the Arts Instrument Bank Competition for a 2nd time, retaining the loan of the 1729 "ex-Heath" Guarneri del Gesu violin.
Many other awards and prizes include first place in the Canadian Music Competitions for 3 consecutive years, the Juilliard Dvorak Concerto Competition, the Juilliard-Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra Competition, and the F. Nakamichi Sibelius Violin Competition at the Aspen Music Festival.
Ms. Hou has traveled the world, touring in Canada and throughout the United States, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Slovenia, Croatia, China, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, and Hong Kong. Her numerous solo appearances include the London Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre Nationale de l'Île de France, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, SWR Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, WDR Cologne, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta, Stockton Symphony, Little Orchestra Society in New York, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic, Osaka-Kansai Philharmonic, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, and Shanghai Broadcasting Orchestra, Czech National Orchestra, and Slovenia Radio-Television Orchestra.
Hou’s festival appearances include the Aspen Music Festival, Grand Teton Music Festival, La Jolla Summerfest, Montreal Chamber Music Festival, Rencontres Musicales Internationales des Graves in Bordeaux France, and the Rome Chamber Music Festival. She has been seen and heard on CBC TV, CHCH, CTV, FUJI TV JAPAN, FRANCE 2, CCTV China, and Slovenia RTV.
At 17, Hou performed the most challenging pieces ever written for the violin: Paganini's Twenty-four Caprices for Solo Violin, in live recitals in Toronto and Aspen. Ms. Hou has also performed all 10 of Beethoven's Piano and Violin Sonatas in New York as well as the complete collection of Brahms Violin and Piano Sonatas and Piano Trios.
Born into a musical family, Ms. Hou had music surrounding her all her life. Both her mother and father are violinists, and thus at the tender age of 4, Hou began studying violin with her father, Alec Hou. Less than a year later, she gave her first public performance and was received with a standing ovation. At nine, the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto invited her as a scholarship student. Since then, Hou has had scholarships and fellowships at the Aspen Music Festival for nine summers, as well as The Juilliard School where she received her Bachelor of music as a student of Dorothy DeLay and Naoko Tanaka in 2000. She then went on to do a 1-year Masters program, and completed the highly acclaimed Artist Diploma Program in Juilliard with Cho Liang Lin and Naoko Tanaka.
Ms. Hou would like to thank the Canada Council for the Arts and the anonymous donor for their support through the loan of the 1729 "ex-Heath" Guarneri del Gesu fine stringed instrument. This instrument is coupled with a bow made by her father, Alec Hou.