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DMA, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Music Performance and Literature MM, Illinois State University, Vocal Performance BA, Nanjing Normal University, Music Education
2017-S. Livingston Mather Scholar, The Singers’ Club of Cleveland, Finalist 2017-The Thirteenth Black Sacred Music Symposium, Guest Speaker 2016-2017-Opera Primary Soloist with Lyric Theatre at Illinois at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts 2016-Golden Lyre Award, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 2012-5th Province of Jiangsu College Student Musical Skills Competition-1st Place in Piano, Voice, and Piano Accompanying
Dr. Yichen L. is a diverse musician whom has won numerous awards as a countertenor, pianist, and piano accompanist. Dr. L. is an active performer and has recently appeared in leading roles such as Oberon in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Nerone in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, and Nero-Caligula in Ilya Demutsky’s Black Square with Lyric Theatre at Illinois. Past performances also include Purcell’s King Arthur, Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and Yang Ming’s Sister Jiang. Additionally, Dr. L. has performed as a soloist with Sinfonia da Camera Chamber Orchestra and Cencerto Urbano Baroque Ensemble. In March 2018, Dr. L. presented his doctoral thesis Gao Weije’s Three Love Songs: A Guide for the Countertenor and the Nan Dan at his lecture recital.
In addition to Dr. L.’s career as a vocalist, he has earned many achievements as a pianist. Highlights of Dr. L.’s piano accomplishments include 1st place in solo piano and 1st place in piano accompanying at the 5th Jiangsu Collegiate Music Competition. Dr. L. has also worked as a collaborative pianist at the Conservatory of Central Illinois and as a student accompanist at Illinois State University. Dr. L. earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education (piano concentration) from Nanjing Normal University, where he served as a teaching assistant in piano, voice, and music theory. He received a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Illinois State University and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Performance and Literature at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His primary teachers include Professor Wang Bing, Professor Liu Yixin, Professor Тадияна Ивановна, Dr. Daniel Schuetz, Dr. Ollie Watts Davis, and Dr. Charlotte Mattax Moersch.
As an educator, I am dedicated to the next generation of musicians. My experience as a music teacher includes my appointment as an Adjunct Professor of Music at the University of Illinois at Springfield, Illinois College, and a piano accompanist for the inaugural session of Black Chorus directed by Dr. Ollie Watts Davis at the Illinois Summer Youth Music (ISYM). At the University of Illinois at Springfield, I am teaching applied voice lessons. At the Illinois College, I am teaching applied voice lessons, conducting and accompanying the Blue Tie Affair Choir. During my time at ISYM, I offered voice lessons, taught Western singing diction classes, led choral rehearsals, and taught musicianship classes. Additionally, I worked as a teaching assistant in music appreciation, music theory, music history, and aural skills at the Jiangnan University and the Nanjing Normal University.
Highlights of my artistic endeavors as a countertenor include casting Nerone in Claudio Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea with Lyric Theatre at Illinois, soloing in G. F. Handel’s Messiah with Sinfonia da Camera Chamber Orchestra, and soloing with Concerto Urbano Baroque Ensemble. My experience as a vocal coach and collaborative pianist include playing in voice and instrumental lessons during my graduate studies at the Illinois State University.
Creativity is the core of my teaching philosophy because I find that creativity is the foundation of a student’s interest in learning music. I hope to inspire students to want to learn more and improve their skills. By helping them find their passion, they will become intrinsically motivated to create music. Additionally, collaborative work is an important experience to aid the student’s growth. The process involved in group work helps students learn to be humble, patient, and respectful. I encourage students to work with their peers and guide them throughout the process via coachings. Last but not least, I emphasize the importance of practicing in a healthy and efficient manner. It is necessary for students to take care of themselves in order to not only produce the best music but also promote the their overall well being.
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