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Violinist | Tseng Yu-chien

  • Date:2024-02-16
Violinist Tseng Yu-chien

Chinese Name: 曾宇謙

Born: August 24, 1994

Place of Birth: New Taipei City (Northern Taiwan)

Did You Know That...?

Tseng Yu-chien greatly admires the violinist Jascha Heifetz, not only for his exceptional technical skills but also because of the vitality in his music. What’s even more remarkable is that Heifetz continued to practice and perform without interruption for decades, playing well into his eighties. Tseng Yu-chien holds deep respect for Heifetz’s dedication to his craft.

Tseng Yu-chien was born into an ordinary middle-class Taiwanese family. His father was a university lecturer, and his mother was a substitute teacher. With a natural talent for music, Tseng began learning the violin at the age of five. Despite not coming from a musical background, nor attending music or elite schools, he gradually pursued his passion with the love of his parents, support from his teachers, and sponsorship from various individuals in Taiwan. 


By the age of 11, Tseng had already performed with the Taipei Philharmonic Youth Orchestra at the National Concert Hall in Taiwan. He also began to make a name for himself in international competitions, earning third place at the Menuhin International Competition for Young Violinists in 2009. In 2009, Tseng Yu-chien won the top prize at the Pablo Sarasate International Violin Competition in Spain, becoming the first Taiwanese musician to achieve this honor. At the age of 13, he was accepted into the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in the United States. In 2012, Tseng achieved fifth place at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium, and in 2015, he earned the silver medal (as the first place was vacant) at the Tchaikovsky International Music Competition in Russia.

Although once hailed as a musical prodigy, Tseng Yu-chien mentioned in an interview that he does not consider himself a genius; he simply has a deep love for the violin. He emphasized that while Taiwan has many young and talented music students, the age of 15 is a crucial turning point. Many essential skills can only be developed after the age of 10, and rigorous practice is necessary. Once the fundamental skills are solidified, musicality and life experiences play a significant role in one’s development as a musician.