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    Pianist Nicole Ying (Qingdongfang Ying) embarked on a transformative journey from her studies in Anthropology to fulfilling her lifelong passion for music. Graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology and a minor in Korean language from the University of California, Los Angeles, Nicole delved into the intricate tapestry of human nature, culture, and society, laying the foundation for her unique perspective on music. 

   Driven by her unwavering love for music, Nicole pursued her Master’s degree in Piano Performance at California Institute of the Arts, Performer Diploma in both Piano Performance and Collaborative Piano at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She is honored to become the very first Artist Diploma student in Collaborative Piano at the McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University, while simultaneously finishing her doctoral dissertation at University of North Texas in Collaborative Piano with a related field in Music Business. Her primary teachers and mentors are Anne Epperson, Jean-Louis Haguenauer, Steve Harlos, Kevin Murphy, Ming Tsu, Elvia Puccinelli.


    Nicole serves as the keyboardist of the Wind Symphony at UNT and substitutes with the Premier Lone Star Wind Orchestra under the baton of maestro Eugene Corporon. She explored new music with The Ensemble at CalArts under Nicholas Deyoe and Christopher Rountree, where she participated in premieres such as Jürg Frey’s Vielleicht bin rich wirklich veloren. She continues to push boundaries as a member of the new music ensemble NOVA at UNT, engaging in daring performances of works such as Peter Maxwell Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King and Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire

Nicole is a fellow at the Music Academy of the West and Eastern Music Festival. 


    As a fervent collaborator and devoted chamber musician, Nicole has had the privilege of performing alongside renowned artists including Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick, Allen Fogel, Lorenz Gamma, Adam Liu, Andrew McIntosh, Mark Menzies, Stephen Miahky, John Michel, Mitchell Newman, Phil O’Connor, and Dennis Parker. She has also received invaluable guidance from leading figures in collaborative piano such as Jean Barr, Jonathan Feldman, Martin Katz, Kathleen Kelly, Ana Maria Otamendi, and Howard Watkins, shaping her into the versatile and sensitive musician she is today. 


    Beyond her endeavors on the keys, Nicole's interests extend to the realm of choral singing. She was a member of the UCLA Chorale and Chamber Singers under maestro Donald Neuen, with whom she performed Brahms Requiem at Carnegie Hall. She also had the honor of performing Mahler Symphony No. 2 with the Cleveland Orchestra. When she's not immersed in music, Nicole finds joy in exploring the world through nature, literature, cinema, and food. Her multifaceted interests and diverse experiences enrich her artistic expression, making her a dynamic force in both the musical and broader cultural landscape.


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