Our Interim Director Yunn-Shan Ma, DMA
Taiwan native Yunn-Shan Ma is active as a conductor, pianist, and educator in both America and Asia. Praised as being “extremely musical” and “having the gift of keeping the orchestra tight with her hands,” Ma’s range of conducting experience bridges the gap between professional, semi-professional, collegiate, and youth ensembles.
With a passion for orchestral, operatic, choral, and contemporary repertoire, Ma has guest conducted select performances across Europe, Asia, and North America, including the Dohnányi Orchestra Budafok in Hungary; Cadaques Orchestra in Spain; North Czech Orchestra in the Czech Republic; Taipei Civic Orchestra; Evergreen Symphony Orchestra; and the Chin-Yun Choir in Taiwan. US engagements include the Symphoria; New York State Ballet; Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra; Genesee Symphony Orchestra; Greater Rochester Women’s Philharmonic; Geneva Light Opera; Syracuse Vocal Ensemble; Eastman School Symphony Orchestra; Eastman-Rochester Chorus; Eastman Chorale; and Eastman’s new music ensemble OSSIA. As co-founder and music director of the chamber vocal ensemble F-Sharp in Taipei, Ma led the ensemble to win the Gold Medal First Prize in the Sacred Music category, and the Gold Medal Third Prize for Mixed Choir category at the Taipei International Choral Competition in 2018.
Both on and off stage, Ma is committed to bringing new light to existing musical works. She is equally eager to present live performances in an interdisciplinary manner, incorporating new media, visual content, and special themes to interact with musicians and audiences. At her recent productions with the RIT Philharmonic Orchestra, Ma has collaborated with specialists from the fields of AR/VR, Audio Engineering, Film and Animation, Illustration, Game Design, Modern Languages, and Museum Studies.
A devoted educator, Ma has served as a frequent guest clinician and adjudicator at competitions and festivals. She has been a returning guest faculty of the Taipei International Choral Festival since 2015, led the All-County Orchestra Festivals, and gave guest lectures and conference papers on topics related to choral, orchestra performance practices, conducting studies and pedagogy, and DEI matters. Under her astute leadership, the RIT Philharmonic Orchestra was awarded an Honorable Mention in Orchestra Performance at the American Prize 2021, while Ma herself has been a finalist in the Conducting Competition and a semifinalist for the Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award for Conductors' Orchestral Programming.
Ma received her Doctorate of Musical Arts from the Eastman School of Music with a full-scholarship, following conducting, piano, violin and vocal performance education at the National Taiwan Normal University and the pre-college division of the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna, Austria. Her current conducting positions include Music Director of the RIT Philharmonic Orchestra; Music Director of the St. Kateri Parish in Irondequoit NY; Music and Artistic Director of the Taiwanese Choral Society of Rochester; and the co-director and co-founder of the semi-professional chamber ensemble Mysterium.
In her spare time, Yunn-Shan enjoys collecting hot sauces, reading and watching detective fictions, traveling, and visiting zoos.