Violinist and composer Shaw Pong Liu engages diverse communities through multidisciplinary collaborations, creative music and social dialogue. Her project Code Listen, which she started as City of Boston Artist-in-Residence in 2016, uses songwriting and performances to support healing and dialogue around violence, racism, and police practices, in collaboration with the Boston Police Department, teen artists, family members surviving homicide and local musicians.
Ongoing projects include the song-sharing project Sing Home which she leads as Artist-in-Residence at the Pao Arts Center in Boston’s Chinatown, and composing music for Conference of the Birds, an international multimedia collaboration with choreographer Wendy Jehlen's Anikaya Dance Theatre and dancers from 8 countries.
Previous projects include Sunbar, connecting Bostonians with sunlight, warmth, and each other during cold winter months, with the vision of a future mobile solarium; What Artists Knead, a series of breadmaking parties across five neighborhoods in Boston for artists to bake bread and discuss their ideas for Boston's creative future; Water Graffiti for Peace, a series of outdoor Chinese water calligraphy sessions inviting public play and conversations about peace; A Bird a Day, exploring birdsong, sunrises and composition (resulting in a site-specific composition for 18 solo string players in three tiers of balconies); and Soldiers’ Tales Untold, a musical-narrative production mixing veterans’ stories, live music, and audience dialogue about war. In addition to violin, she also performs as a vocalist, erhu (Chinese violin) player, and even performed as an aerialist (aerial silks with Whistler in the Dark theatre company’s production of “Tales From Ovid”).
Shaw Pong is is a founding member of Play for Justice, a network of musicians and artists in Boston supporting social justice causes. Her compositions have been commissioned by Silkroad Ensemble for the Freer-Sackler Museum, Anikaya Dance Theatre, A Far Cry, Lorelei Ensemble, and pianist Sarah Bob. As a violinist she performs with groups including Silk Road Ensemble, MIT’s Gamelan GalakTika, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Ludovico Ensemble, and Castle of Our Skins. She has worked as a teaching artist with Yo-Yo Ma's Youth Music Culture Guangzhou, the New England Conservatory of Music, the Urbano Project, Celebrity Series, Cantata Singers, Young Audiences, and is a founding faculty at the Cuerdas Oaxaca strings chamber music festival in Mexico.
A graduate of U.C. Berkeley with a Masters in Violin Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music, Shaw Pong was an Expressing Boston Public Art Fellow in 2014-15; artist-ethnographer for Boston's cultural planning initiative, Boston Creates in 2015; one of three Artist-in-Residence for the City of Boston's first Artist-in-Residence program in 2016; and 2017-18 Artist-in-Residence at the Pao Arts Center in Boston Chinatown. She is a 2017-18 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow.