17-year-old violinist Katie Liu is a senior at Mount Olive High School who began playing the violin and piano at age five. She is the concertmaster of the Bravura Youth Orchestra and studies violin with Masao Kawasaki in the Juilliard Pre-College Division. In 2014, Katie was the concertmaster of the All-North Jersey High School Orchestra. Katie has won first prize in numerous competitions including the American String Teachers Association of New Jersey Solo Strings Competition and the New Jersey Music Teachers Association Young Musician Competition. She has soloed with the Bravura Philharmonic Orchestra, Summit Symphony Orchestra, and New Jersey Youth Orchestra as a winner of their Young Artists Concerto Competition. Katie has also won the Adelphi Orchestra Young Artists Competition, and was a prizewinner in the 2015 Pearl and Julius Young Music Competition. In addition to soloing, Katie toured Vienna and Prague with the New Jersey Youth Symphony, and was a member of their string quartet. She has also been invited to perform in the Wharton Music Center 2014 Spring Gala and was a guest artist for the Discovery Orchestra Chats. Katie is the president of her school Math League and Science League, and is a member of her school debate club and National Honor Society. She was also selected to participate in the New Jersey Governor’s School in the Sciences, and continues to find creative ways to balance her many interests and schoolwork along with practicing the violin.
Soprano Qianru Meng, a resident of New Jersey, has sung major roles in operas including Hansel and Gretel, Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (Marriage of Figaro), and the Barber of Seville. She was also involved in the staging of Don Giovanni, Magic Flute, and the Barber of Seville. Ms. Meng graduated from the prestigious China Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, a top music school in China, and received her master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music. Ms. Meng is currently a voice teacher at the Zen Music Center in East Brunswick.