Acclaimed violinist Ms Yao Jue has led a highly accomplished career punctuated with outstanding performances across the globe. She has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras and is internationally renowned for her exceptional techniques. Graduating from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in 1981, Ms Yao went on to study the violin at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and later at The Juilliard School in New York. Besides impressing a worldwide audience, Ms Yao has spared no efforts in fostering young musicians in Hong Kong. In 2001, she found the Yao Jue Music Academy and the Hong Kong Children’s Chamber Orchestra. She also formed the Hong Kong String Orchestra in 2013 and has since served as its Artistic and Development Director.
Known as one of the foremost Chinese violinists, Ms Yao has been dedicated to making music education accessible and advancing the development of arts and culture. She was Council Member and Chairman of the Academic Affairs Committee of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Council Member of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, Member on the Board of Trustees of The Hong Kong Jockey Club Music and Dance Fund, and University Artist of The University of Hong Kong. She is currently Member of the Programme Committee of the Hong Kong Arts Festival Society, Artistic Advisor of Opera Hong Kong, and Member of the Shanghai Standing Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
PolyU is fortunate to have received tremendous support from Ms Yao in promoting music at the University. Not only had she accepted the invitation to perform at PolyU’s 75th Anniversary Gala Dinner, Ms Yao also held a free concert on campus. As the University’s Artist-in-Residence in 2014/2015, she directed the Mentoring Programme under the scheme and personally coached its members on performing techniques. At “A Concert by Yao Jue, with the Hong Kong String Orchestra and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Orchestra,” Ms Yao shared the stage with PolyU students and staff, enriching their perspectives in arts and culture with this remarkable experience.
Ms Yao’s celebrated performances, along with her devotion in nurturing talents, have brought her numerous accolades. In 2004, she was elected “Ten Outstanding Young Persons” of Hong Kong. She received the “Outstanding Women Professional Award” from the Hong Kong Women Professionals & Entrepreneurs Association in 2008 and was presented the “Outstanding Women of the Year Award” by the Hong Kong Women Development Association in 2012. In 2013, Ms Yao was appointed Justice of the Peace by the HKSAR Government.
Chairman Yang, University Council Members, President Tong and Honoured Guests,
I am humbly honoured to receive this honorary title of University Fellowship from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University today, which is both a great encouragement and recognition for me.
Hong Kong is a place I call home, I have been making every effort to bring music to every corner of the city by collaborating with artists and cultural workers on various projects. At the same time, I am committed to nurturing young music talents in Hong Kong and helping them realise their dreams as professional musicians. With the many opportunities to perform on stage, these young musicians would not only be able to refine their virtuosity in performing music, but also enhance their connections with the community, and in turn serve the society with their specialty.
In 2014, I was invited by PolyU to be its Artist-in-Residence, of which I felt both honoured and flattered. During the year-long programme, I met a lot of students who are passionate about music, but their pursuit has often been slowed down or put off due to different plans in life. Thus I hope that by providing these young people with music training and performing opportunities, they could maintain their passion for music and shine on the stage.
Many students participating in the programme had neither experience in public performance nor continued professional training. I therefore coached them on their performance techniques and expressions, as well as skills in collaborating with other members. At the finale concert jointly organized by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Orchestra and the Hong Kong String Orchestra this February, PolyU students performed professionally, making the concert a great success and ending the Artist-in-Residence programme on a high note. I find this particularly encouraging and hope that the music-loving students would persist in following their dreams and keeping their passion alive.
In the days to come, I sincerely look forward to having close collaboration with PolyU, with a view to nurturing students’ talents in and appreciation of music in the long run. And I hope, eventually, the love for music would be infused into the culture and tradition of the University. Once again, I thank the University, staff and students for giving me such an invaluable opportunity.