Violinist and composer Shaw Pong Liu engages diverse communities through multidisciplinary collaborations, creative music and social dialogue. As 2016 City of Boston Artist-in-Residence, Shaw Pong’s project Code Listen prototyped ways that music could support healing and dialogue around gun violence, racism, and police practices, in collaboration with the Boston Police Department, local musicians, teen artists (including incarcerated youth) and family members surviving homicide.
Other 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 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 A Far Cry, Lorelei Ensemble, and New Gallery Concert Series. 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 is 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, and one of three Artist-in-Residence for the City of Boston's first Artist-in-Residence program in 2016.