Hai-Ye Ni joined The Philadelphia Orchestra as principal cello at the beginning of the 2006–07 season after having served as associate principal cello of the New York Philharmonic since 1999. She first came into prominence after her critically praised New York debut at Alice Tully Hall in 1991, a result of her winning first prize at the Naumburg International Cello Competition. Other awards include first prize in the 1996 International Paulo Cello Competition in Finland and a 2001 Avery Fisher Career Grant. In the summer of 2023, Ms. Ni performed at the Sarasota Music Festival in Florida, Chamber Music Dolomiti in Italy, and gave a recital at the New England Conservatory. Upcoming performances include an appearance with the Apollo Orchestra in Washington, D.C., playing the Barber Concerto. She made her solo debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra in 2010 in Saint-Saëns First Concerto. She was also featured in Tan Dun’s The Map, Concerto for Cello, Video, and Orchestra; Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations; the Brahms “Double” Concerto; and the Beethoven “Triple” Concerto.
Among the ensembles with which she has appeared as soloist are the Chicago, San Francisco, Vancouver, Shanghai, Singapore, and Finnish Radio symphonies; the Orchestre National de Paris; the Vienna Chamber Orchestra; and the Hong Kong and China philharmonics. Her recital credits include the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Smithsonian Institute, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, and the Wallace Collection in London. She has performed at festivals such as Ravinia, Marlboro, La Jolla SummerFest, Kuhmo (Finland), Spoleto (Italy), Aspen, and the Pacific Music Festival. Highlights of Ms. Ni’s past performances include an all-Baroque concertos program with the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra as soloist and conductor. She also played with Lang Lang at Carnegie Hall for Ancient Paths, Modern Voices: A Festival Celebrating Chinese Culture. She has been featured in Strad magazine, Strings magazine, and on NPR. Her 1998 debut solo CD on the Naxos label was named CD of the week by Classic FM London, and her CD Spirit of Chimes (Delos) is a collaboration with violinist Cho-Liang Lin and pianist Helen Huang of music by Zhou Long.
A respected musician, Ms. Ni served on the jury of Finland’s V International Paulo Cello Competition in 2013 and has given master classes at the Curtis Institute of Music, the Mannes College of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, the Shanghai Conservatory, and the Central Conservatory in Beijing. Additional honors and awards include second prize at the Rostropovich competition in 1997. Born in Shanghai, China, Ms. Ni began cello studies with her mother and at the Shanghai Conservatory. She continued her musical education with Irene Sharp at the San Francisco Conservatory, Joel Krosnick at the Juilliard School, and William Pleeth in London.
Photo by Pete Checchia