Shaw Pong Liu


Photo credit: Robert Torres

Violinist and composer Shaw Pong Liu activates dialogue, community-building and healing through multidisciplinary creative collaborations centered on listening. Her ongoing project Code Listen, which began in 2016 under the City of Boston Artist-in-Residence program, uses songwriting and music performance to build relationships between Boston police, teen artists, family members surviving homicide and musicians, to support healing and dialogue around gun violence, racism, and police practices. 

Recent projects include Sing Home, a song-sharing project that builds on Liu’s bicultural and bilingual Chinese-American roots to documents songs from home as sung by individual residents, workers, students and visitors to Boston’s Chinatown; and composing music for Conference of the Birds, a movement theatre project inspired by the 12th-century Persian literary masterpiece exploring migration, refugee experiences and the search for the divine, in collaboration with an international ensemble of dancers, musicians and artists directed by choreographer Wendy Jehlen. She is a 2018-2019 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow and a MAP Fund grantee with Community MusicWorks in Providence, RI for Traces, a neighborhood sound- and story-tracing project.

Shaw Pong’s compositions have been commissioned by Silkroad Ensemble, A Far Cry, Lorelei Ensemble, New Gallery, Anikaya Dance Theatre, Community MusicWorks. As a violinist and erhu player she performs with groups including Silkroad Ensemble, Soul Yatra, and Castle of Our Skins. Shaw Pong has worked as a teaching artist with the New England Conservatory of Music, the Urbano Project, Celebrity Series of Boston and Young Audiences. She has taught internationally including the Cuerdes Oaxaca strings festival in Oaxaca, Mexico, and at Yo-Yo Ma’s invitation, Youth Music Culture Guangdong in Guangzhou, China. She has a Bachelor’s degree from U. C. Berkeley, and a Masters in Violin Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music.