BM, MS, National Taiwan Normal University (Taiwan); DMA, Eastman School of Music
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
In the News
June 6, 2022
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
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.
November 19, 2019
RIT welcomes creative students with performing arts scholarships
In an effort to help RIT develop the leading performing arts program in the nation for non-majors, nearly 150 first-year students interested in performing arts this year received partial scholarships.