Principal Cello, James C. Gordon Chair
DSO member since 2015
Wei Yu was appointed Principal Cello, the James C. Gordon Chair, of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra by Music Director Leonard Slatkin in 2014. He made his subscription debut performing Dvorak's Cello Concerto and has appeared as soloist with the DSO every season ever since. Before joining the DSO, Wei was a member of the New York Philharmonic for seven seasons.
Wei was a prizewinner at the Hudson Valley Philharmonic String, Holland American Music Society Cello, Music Teacher National Association (MTNA National Collegiate Strings), Canada’s National Music Festival, Calgary’s Kiwanis Festival and China’s National Cello competitions.
An avid chamber musician, Wei has been invited to the Marlboro, Ravinia, Great Lakes Chamber Music and Mainly Mozart music festivals. Wei has recently collaborated with musicians such as cellist Carter Brey and David Soyer; pianists Richard Goode and Menahem Pressler; violinists Augustin Hadelich, Midori and Pinchas Zukerman; and members of the Guarneri, Emerson and Juilliard Quartets. As a member of the New York Philharmonic Ensembles, he made regular appearances at Merkin Concert Hall.
A successful instructor, Wei serves on faculty of Northwestern University Bienen School Of Music. He has given cello masterclasses at universities and festivals in the United States, Canada, Poland and China. During the summer, Wei teaches at the Morningside Music Bridge International Music Festival in Calgary, Canada; Carnegie Hall's National Youth Orchestra of USA and the Center Stage Strings Summer Institute at the University of Michigan.
Born in Shanghai, China, Wei began studying the cello at age 4 and made his concerto debut at age 11, performing Elgar’s Cello Concerto with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. He received his B.M. from North Park University in Chicago and M.M. from the Juilliard School. His principal teachers include Mei-Juan Liu, John Kadz, Hans Jørgen Jensen, and David Soyer.
During his first season with the DSO, the Detroit Free Press has praised his performances:
"Nearly all of the soloists made strong impressions, but special mention must go to new principal cellist Wei Yu... The grace, poise, liquid legato and purity of tone and pitch that Yu produced in these few moments were stunning in their authority and beauty — a very good sign for the future of the orchestra." - January 17, 2015