A graduate of the Central Conservatory of Music (CCOM), Yu Hongmei is one of the most brilliant erhu virtuosos as well as the most influential erhu educator in contemporary China. She currently serves as the Dean of the Chinese Music Department in CCOM, and is the designated guest erhu soloist for the China National Traditional Orchestra.
Yu Hongmei maintains an active solo career in erhu performing. She has toured Europe, America, Africa, and many regions in Asia, and has successfully held hundreds of recitals in the United States, France, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong and mainland China. Her album String Glamour won the Best Traditional World Music award by Indie Music in the United States. She was the first Chinese recipient honored for this award in its 30-year history.
Yu Hongmei has premiered many classic erhu works and core repertoires, and has produced exemplary works embodying different times in Chinese history: Dreams of Jinghua, Eight Banners, Tianxiang, West Rhapsody. She has appeared in many world class concert halls: Musikverein (Golden Hall in Vienna), Carnegie Hall in New York, Avery Fisher Hall of Lincoln Center, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, Lucerne Concert Hall at KKL Luzern. She participated in many major performance events such as American Culture in China, New Culture in Australia with Chinese Culture, Spring Prague in the Czech Republic, Chinese Arts Festival, Beijing International Music Festival, Shanghai International Arts Festival, German Music Festival, and the Macao Arts Festival.
As an educator, Yu Hongmei recorded Erhu by Maestros, and edited and published Collections of Erhu Works presented by China Central Television, the most predominant state television broadcaster. Her publications, such as Dynamics in Erhu Performance and How to play A Flower (an erhu piece by Song Fei) are well recognized and widely cited in Chinese music journals. Yu Hongmei has been invited to lecture at various institutions including California Institute of the Arts and the City University of Hong Kong.
New York Concert Journal complimented her on her exquisite touching sounds as she “represents the contemporary spirit of Chinese musical culture.” Joining the US-China Music Institute of Bard Conservatory of Music, Yu Hongmei continues committing herself to preserving cultural heritage, promoting and developing Chinese music in America.