Born in Zhangzhou, a small city in southeast China, Sophia Shen is a pianist, composer, sound artist, pipa performer/ improviser and music teacher based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She holds an MFA in Electronic Music and Recording Media from Mills College where she also studied composition and improvisation. She received a BA degree in Music with High Distinction and a BA degree in German from the University of Virginia. Her teaching philosophy emphasizes on cultivating students’ musical interests by incorporating creative compositional and improvisational projects into their practice. She helps them open their ears to their daily life so that they gain new understandings of the world from a musical perspective. She values individual’s strengths and weaknesses, and designs the lesson accordingly to help them develop solid techniques and musicianship.
As a composer, Sophia's works have been performed frequently in the United States, China, Austria, Iceland, Japan, etc. She believes in the subjective, evocative, conceptual and ineffable nature of music and sound. She makes intangible connections with performers and listeners by creating music that evokes memory and imagination. She is interested in bridging the divide between cultures by using instruments to dissemble and synthesize new sounds.
Piano, Composition, Pipa Instructor