Yunn-Shan Ma Headshot

Yunn-Shan Ma

Assistant Professor

School of Performing Arts
College of Liberal Arts

585-475-5685
Office Hours
Monday:2:30-3:30 pm Wednesday: 2:30-3:30 pm Friday: 12:00-1:00 pm And by appointment
Office Location

Yunn-Shan Ma

Assistant Professor

School of Performing Arts
College of Liberal Arts

Education

BM, MS, National Taiwan Normal University (Taiwan); DMA, Eastman School of Music

Bio

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 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 orchestral live performances in an interdisciplinary manner, incorporating new media, visual content, and special themes to interact with musicians and audiences. At the Rochester Institution of Technology, 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 on the faculty of the Taipei International Choral Festival since 2015, led the Monroe All-County Senior High School Orchestra in 2018, and will direct the Monroe All-County Junior High School Orchestra in March, 2022. 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 following conducting, piano, and violin 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; and Music and Artistic Director of the Taiwanese Choral Society of Rochester

585-475-5685

Personal Links

Select Scholarship

Peer Reviewed/Juried Poster Presentation or Conference Paper
Ma, Yunn-Shan. "Infusing Taiwanese Elements in the Western Compositional Canvas: A Rhetorical Analysis of “Bacchanale” from the Orchestral Suite Recollection by Chih-Yuan Kuo." Proceedings of the 2022 Asian Classical Music Initiative International Conference. Ed. Conference Program Committee. Lawrence, Kansas: n.p..
Published Conference Proceedings
Ma, Yunn-Shan. "Interdisciplinary Project Based Music Theory Pedagogy for STEM majors." Proceedings of the Engineering and Liberal Education Symposium. Ed. Symposium Committee. Schenectady, NY: n.p., Web.
Ma, Yunn-Shan. "Integrating video game music in orchestral concert programs." Proceedings of the College Orchestra Directors Association National Conference. Ed. Conference Program Committee. Vancouver, Canada: n.p., Web.
Invited Keynote/Presentation
Ma, Yunn-Shan. "English diction for choral singers." Taipei Male Choir Symposium Series. Taipei Male Choir. Taipei, Taiwan. 31 Jul. 2021. Guest Lecture.
Ma, Yunn-Shan. "Choral Music from Taiwan." International Choral Music Series. University of Rochester. Rochester, NY. 23 Mar. 2021. Guest Lecture.
Ma, Yunn-Shan. "Effective Techniques for Choral Directors on Instrumental Conducting." Laureate Choral Symposium. Taiwan Choral Association. Taipei, Taiwan. 28 May 2021. Keynote Speech.
Ma, Yunn-Shan, et al. "Blurring Boundaries and Dissolving Silos: Developing an XR Museum Project in Collaboration." Educators in VR Series. Educators in VR. AltpaceVR, VR. 20 Oct. 2020. Guest Lecture.
Ma, Yunn-Shan, et al. "Conductors Meet Composers." Taipei International Choral Festival 2019. Taipei Philharmonic Foundations for Culture and Education. Taipei, Taiwan. 2 Aug. 2019. Conference Presentation.
Shows/Exhibits/Installations
Ma, Yunn-Shan and Symphoria. Halloween: Spooky Symphoria. 30 Oct. 2021. Inspiration Hall, Syracuse. Performance.
Geigel, Joe, Yunn-Shan Ma, and Juilee Decker. AR Fantasia. 19 Nov. 2021. RIT Magic Studio, Rochester. Performance.
Ma, Yunn-Shan and RIT Philharmonic Orchestra. Star Wars and Borodin. 16 Oct. 2021. Ingle Auditorium, Rochester. Performance.
Ma, Yunn-Shan, Yoojin Jang, and RIT Philharmonic Orchestra. Pirates on a Frozen Terrain. 1 Dec. 2021. Ingle Auditorium, Rochester. Performance.
Ma, Yunn-Shan and Bob Cowles. Mysterium: Mirabile. 3 Dec. 2021. St. Anne's Church, Rochester. Performance.
Ma, Yunn-Shan and Bob Cowles. Mysterium: Mirabile. 5 Dec. 2021. St. Margaret Mary's Church, Rochester. Performance.
Ma, Yunn-Shan and Taiwanese Choral Society of Rochester. Dabudaling. 14 Oct. 2020. Greater Rochester Choral Consortium Virtual Prism Concert, WXXI. Performance.
Ma, Yunn-Shan. A Whole New World. 1 Mar. 2020. Ingle Auditorium, Rochester. Performance.
Ma, Yunn-Shan and New York State Ballet. A Midsummer NIght's Dream. 13 Apr. 2019. Hochstein Performance Hall, Rochester. Performance.
Ma, Yunn-Shan and New York State Ballet. A Midsummer NIght's Dream. 14 Apr. 2019. Hochstein Performance Hall, Rochester. Performance.
Ma, Yunn-Shan and Dohnanyi Orchestra Budafok. Gala Concert - Bartók, Beethoven and Berlioz. 21 Jul. 2019. Pesti Vigadó, Budapest. Performance.
Ma, Yunn-Shan and Stephanie Maxwell. Fate and Destiny. 25 Nov. 2019. Ingle Auditorium, Rochester. Performance.
Ma, Yunn-Shan and Taiwanese Choral Society of Rochester. Childhood Memories. 28 Apr. 2019. Reformation Lutheran Church, Rochester. Performance.
National/International Competition Award Winner
Ma, Yunn-Shan and RIT Philharmonic Orchestra. The American Prize: celebrating American excellence in the arts. Honorable Mention - Orchestral Performance - College/University Division. Danbury, CT, 2021.
Ma, Yunn-Shan. The American Prize: Celebrating American excellence in the arts. National Finalist - Conducting Competition. Dansbury, CT, 2021.
Ma, Yunn-Shan. The American Prize: Celebrating American excellence in the arts. National Semi Finalist - Orchestral Programming / Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award. Dansbury, CT, 2021.
Ma, Yunn-Shan. Respighi Conducting Prize. Honorable Mention. Chamber Orchestra of New York, NY, 2019.
Ma, Yunn-Shan and F-sharp Chamber Ensemble. Taipei International Choral Competition. 1st Prize, Gold Medal, Sacred Music Category. Taipei, Taiwan, 2018.
Ma, Yunn-Shan and F-sharp Chamber Ensemble. Taipei International Choral Competition. 3rd Prize, Gold Medal, Mixed Choir Category. Taipei, Taiwan, 2018.
Journal Paper
Ma, Yunn-Shan. "The Chorus as a Dramatic Force in Wagner’s Operas." Choral Journal 60. 11 (2020): 20-32. Print.

Currently Teaching

FNRT-205
3 Credits
This course is designed for the student who has basic musical literacy (ability to read music notation). In addition to the writing of melody, two-part counterpoint and four-part harmony, some attention will be given to the analysis of form and style. Because it is important that theoretical understanding be coordinated with musical application, time will be devoted to the development of musicianship. Consideration will be given to individual skills and abilities, hopefully allowing for the maximum development of each student. (Elementary music reading ability)
FNRT-251
1 Credits
The RIT Orchestra performs three major concerts a year of standard orchestral repertoire from the 16th century to the present. In addition, students from the RIT Orchestra have the opportunity to play in a variety of chamber music ensembles. Auditions will be held to assess proper placement. Contact instructor for more information.

In the News

  • June 6, 2022

    woman conducting a student orchestra.

    Podcast: Creating a new School of Performing Arts 

    Intersections: The RIT Podcast, Ep. 59: In July 2022, RIT opens a new School of Performing Arts to offer additional creative opportunities for thousands of students who wish to pursue their passions in performance while majoring in a range of other fields. College of Liberal Arts Dean Anna Stenport talks with Thomas Warfield, director of dance at NTID, and Assistant Professor Yunn-Shan Ma, director of the RIT Philharmonic Orchestra, on ways RIT is making dreams come true for students interested in performing arts.

  • May 2, 2022

    woman conducting an orchestra.

    RIT’s performing arts teachers come with impressive backgrounds

    As RIT prepares to open a School of Performing Arts, the new instructors that will come with the school will join an already talented pool of faculty and staff members who have been helping students eager to pursue their passions of music, dance, and acting, for years.