In March 2024, Asheville Symphony presents its first-ever Artist Residency, celebrating the impact and the legacy of the violin and featuring world-renowned violinists Noah Bendix-Balgley and Shanshan Yao. 

The biennial residency initiative honors and explores one musical instrument in collaboration with a preeminent musical artist. Through an exploration of genre, instrumentation, solo performance, and more, this week-long residency offers programmatic content for a wide range of audiences with an emphasis on education. At each residency, Asheville Symphony audiences will discover new ways to appreciate and understand a musical instrument and its role in an orchestra. 

The Asheville Symphony’s Artist Residency: A Celebration of the Violin will include a classical concert as part of the Masterworks Series, an ALT ASO performance showcasing the diverse genres of the violin, a solo recital, a historical lecture, and a workshop for strings students in Buncombe County or Asheville City Schools and members of the Asheville Symphony Youth Orchestra. 

For the first year of this exciting new project, the Asheville Symphony is delighted to welcome violinists Noah Bendix-Balgley and Shanshan Yao as its inaugural guest artists in residence.

An Asheville native, Bendix-Balgley is First Concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic, widely regarded as one of the greatest orchestras in the world. He tours both as a soloist and as a chamber musician. A laureate of the 2009 Queen Elisabeth Competition, he also won top prizes at the Long-Thibaud Competition in France and the Postacchini Competition in Italy. 

Shanshan Yao, who joined the roster of the New York Philharmonic in 2013, has won numerous competitions including the Calgary Concerto Competition and the Morningside Music Bridge Concerto Competition. As a soloist, Yao has performed with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra and more. 

Whether you are a music student who is new to the violin, a music lover who is curious to experience how an instrument is employed across genres, or a longtime Symphony patron with a favorite violin concerto, the Artist Residency will deepen your insight and increase your esteem for this amazing instrument’s place in the musical canon. 

Explore the Artist Residency