About Us


Faculty 2013
Hao Jiang Tian, Master Teacher
Katherine Chu, Coach
Ai-Lan Zhu, Coach
Fugen Wei, Coach
(additional faculty and bios for 2013 to come)
Administration 2013
Xu Lin, General Director
Hao Jiang Tian, Artistic Director
Martha Liao/Hu Zhiping, Co-Executive Directors
Katherine Chu, Program Director
Denise Gliwa/Li Lizhen, Co-Directors of Communications
Joanna Yuen/Jiang Hui, Co-Administrative Directors
Xuan Guifen/Huo Yuan, Co-Liaison/Logistics Coordinators

Hao Jiang Tian, Master Teacher

Since his Metropolitan Opera debut during the 1991/92 season, Hao Jiang Tian, a native of Beijing, has earned worldwide recognition as one of today’s most talented operatic basses, singing over 1300 performances of 40 operatic roles worldwide. He has appeared at the Metropolitan for 19 years in 26 operas. Tian has also been highly praised for his appearances in many international theaters such as the Berlin State Opera, Teatro Comunale in Florence, Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, Arena di Verona, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Chicago Lyric Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Washington Opera, and opera houses in France, Spain, Holland, Portugal, Chile, Japan and China. Tian has won acclaim for some of the greatest roles written for bass and these include Philip II in Don Carlos, Procida in I Vespri Siciliani and Méphistophélès in Faust.

Tian’s credits in Chinese modern opera include a number of world premieres: the role of General Wang in Tan Dun’s The First Emperor at the Metropolitan Opera opposite Plácido Domingo; the title role of Poet Li Bai in Central City Opera, also reprised in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Rome; at the San Francisco Opera, the role of Chang in Amy Tan’s Bonesetter’s Daughter, composed by Stewart Wallace; the title role in The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci in Hong Kong; and as Mr. Pan in Le Peintre, Yu-lin with the Taiwan Philharmonia in Taipei; and most recently as Gong Sun in The Chinese Orphan at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Beijing.

Highlights of the recent seasons include the role of Timur in Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera, Pittsburgh, Beijing, Taichung, and Guangzhou inaugurating the new opera house under the baton of Lorin Maazel; Ramphis in Aida at the San Francisco Opera; Philip II in Don Carlos in Liege, Belgium; two Verdi gala concerts at Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Italy, Oroveso in Norma at the Metropolitan Opera, Turandot at the Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium in Beijing, a new production directed by Zhang Yimou.

In 2011/2012 season, his engagements include Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Lorin Maazel conducting, at NCPA; The Chinese Orphan in Hong Kong, Aida in Tokyo, world premiere of Tian’s one-man show I Sing My Brother, Don Giovanni in Pittsburgh, Le Cid in Valencia, Spain with Plácido Domingo and Turandot in London.

Tian has created and performed nationwide and overseas his one-man show “From Mao to the Met” based on his autobiography. This was taped with live audience in New York as a special one-hour program for television and it has been aired on PBS nationwide since December 2009.

Recording credits include Gomez’s Il Guarany (on Sony Classical), Tan Dun’s The First Emperor (EMI Classics), both with Plácido Domingo, and his solo album of opera arias released by Naxos in 2006. The second edition of his CD of Chinese art songs, Over the Ocean, was just released in 2011. Tian was nominated as a Principal Soloist for the 51st Grammy Award (2008) for Best Opera Recording of Tan Dun’s The First Emperor. His autobiography, Along the Roaring River: My Wild Ride from Mao to the Met, was released in 2008 worldwide by Wiley and Sons as a Lincoln Center Book. The Chinese translation will be published and released worldwide in the summer of 2012

Katherine Chu, Coach
Pianist Katherine Chu has over two decades of experience in a variety of world-class settings. Formerly an assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera from 1996 to 2006, Ms. Chu is now Musical Assistant to Seiji Ozawa and Chorus Master for the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy in Japan.

Ms. Chu has recently been appointed as the Director of Music Administration with the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, while continuing to coach on a regular basis with the Philharmonia of Taiwan, Teatro Municipal in Santiago, Chile where she has been a guest since 1998.  

Ms. Chu was the Principal Coach and Musical Assistant to Sir John Eliot Gardiner in the new production of Jenufa at the Salzburg Festival in the 2001 season and Chorus Master at the Saito Kinen Festival from 2004 to 2007 in Japan.  Earlier in her career, Ms. Chu worked closely with the soprano Renata Scotto and served on music staff at the Scotto Opera Academy in Italy.  She was a Lecturer of Music at Yale University and the Juilliard Opera Center, and has been visiting faculty at the North Carolina School of Fine Arts, Taipei National University of the Arts, Tokyo Music College, Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, and the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.  

As a collaborative pianist in recitals, Ms. Chu has performed with Ramón Várgas, Eva Marton, Ying Huang, and Youngok Shin. She was pianist for Ramón Várgas’ recording of classical Italian art songs, entitled In My Heart – 17th and 18th Century Italian Songs.

Born in Taiwan of Sino-Vietnamese parents, Ms. Chu maintains close ties with Vietnam. She is the Artistic Advisor for the Hennessy Concert Series in Hanoi, sponsored by Louis-Vuitton-Moët-Hennessy, and manages a scholarship fund in Vietnam for classical music students. 

Ai-Lan Zhu, Coach
Zhu, Ai-Lan, is one of America’s most sought after interpreters of the lyric repertoire, having been engaged by the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, l’Opéra de Quebec,  l’Opéra de Montreal, Vancouver Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Opera Pacific, San Diego Opera, Orlando Opera, Connecticut Opera, Virginia Opera,  Atlanta Opera,  Chautauqua Opera, Opera Carolina, Knoxville Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Michigan Opera Theater, Minnesota Opera, and the Boston Lyric Opera.

In Europe she has appeared as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte at the Glyndebourne Festival, Marzelline in Fidelio with Scotland Opera, and as Cio Cio San in Madama Butterfly at the Royal Albert Hall in London.  She has sung the role of in over 50 performances of Peter Brook’s production of Pelléas et Mélisande with Opera du Nord in Paris and subsequently toured throughout Europe in 35 more performances.

Ms. Zhu’s signature roles include Mimi in La Bohème, Liu in Turandot, Micaëla in Carmen, Desdemona in Otello, Maddalena in Andrea Chénier, Leila in the Les pêcheurs de perles, Violetta in La Traviata, Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, Gilda in Rigoletto, Marguerite in Faust, Woglinde in Das Rheingold, and most notably, Cio Cio San in Madama Butterfly.

Highlights of the last season included her return to the San Diego Opera as Liu, the Orlando Opera as Nedda in I pagliacci, and her debut with the National Reisopera in the Netherlands as Cio Cio San.

Ms. Zhu appeared as Zerlina in Don Giovanni, in the celebrated movie by Peter Sellars, filmed in Vienna and was the only Asian artist featured in this critically acclaimed production.

A recipient of many awards, Ms. Zhu was a finalist in Opera Company of Philadelphia’s Luciano Pavarotti International Vocal Competition, and winner of the S.A.I. Competition in Chautauqua and the Liederkranz Competition in New York.

Fugen Wei, Coach
At the age of nine, Fugen Wei was accepted into the Primary School of the Shanghai Conservatory as a gifted pianist. He made his solo public debut in the “Shanghai Spring Music Festival” at age twelve. After joining the Shanghai Orchestra in 1979, he was appointed by the Chinese government as the official accompanist for renowned Chinese singers in major international voice competitions in Budapest and Vienna. He has appeared with these prominent vocal artists in recitals on the “Prague Spring Music Festival”, Moscow, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, as well as throughout Germany, Romania, Former Yugoslavia and the United States.

After immigrating to the United States in 1986, Mr. Wei served as accompanist in numerous opera workshops and voice studios in New York City, including the studio of the famed voice teacher at the Juilliard School Rose Bampton, and collaborated regularly in recitals with singers from the Metropolitan Opera.

In 2005 Mr. Wei was the official accompanist for Carlo Bergonzi’s International Voice Master Class in Beijing. As a “foreign national and specialist in vocal accompanying”, he joined the voice department faculty at the Shanghai Conservatory in 2006. He has performed in countless state functions of the Chinese government, participating in important cultural exchange activities and diplomatic events. As an educator he has made a significant contribution to the discovery and nurturing of a new generation of young vocal talents in China.

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