biography

Becky Lu began piano studies at the age of 3 and has since been invited to perform at    such venues as Jordan Hall, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Salle Pleyel, and the Bard Music Festival to critical acclaim from the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. The latter, in a review following her performance of Béla Bartók's Mikrokosmos, wrote, "it was both poignant and a revelation to hear selections [from Mikrokosmos] performed with technical brilliance and poise by Becky Lu..." Active as soloist and chamber musician, she has concertized with regional American orchestras, appeared on the National Public Radio program From the Top, in which she collaborated with pianist Christopher O’Riley and violinist Midori, and participated in chamber music festivals across the US and Europe, including Meadowmount, Kneisel Hall, Taos, Casals (France), and the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove (UK). Her teachers include Peter Frankl, Seymour Lipkin, Robert McDonald, Claude Frank, Melvin Chen, Paul Barnes, and she has worked with members of the Borromeo, Brentano, Juilliard, Guarneri, and Tokyo String Quartets.
 
Born in Guangzhou, China, Becky made her debut on national Chinese television at the age of 6, and four years later, had her American debut under the auspices of the Si-Yo Music Society at Kent State University and New York City. She went on to win the concerto competitions of the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra and the Omaha Area Youth Symphony Orchestra in Nebraska, where she spent most of her pre-college days. She was also the winner of Nebraska Public Radio’s Young Musician Competition. As a high school senior, she received the top prize as well as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts nomination at the Art Recognition and Talent Search Program in Miami, Florida, sponsored by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts.

Becky holds a B.A. from Yale University, where she graduated magna cum laude and received distinctions in the majors of Political Science and Musicology. She was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Sigma Alpha (National Political Science Honor Society), and was awarded a number of musical, academic, and community service prizes upon graduation. She earned a Master of Music degree and an Artist Diploma in Piano Performance from the Yale School of Music as the recipient of the Luther Noss Award. While at Yale, she was an active performer of new music as well as chamber music. Her violin-piano duo and piano trio swept the top prizes at Yale’s Friends of Music Recital Competition, and she founded a chamber music society that gave frequent performances on campus. She recently graduated with an M.Phil. in Musicology at the University of Oxford, where her research focused on the chamber music of Benjamin Britten and analysis of 19th- and early 20th-century instrumental music. At Oxford, she was a member of the new music group Ensemble Isis, which performed for Sir Harrison Birtwistle when he received his honorary doctorate from the university on his 80th birthday. As the 2013-14 winner of Oxford University Philharmonia's concerto competition, she performed Brahms' first piano concerto at the Sheldonian Theatre. 

In addition to performance, Becky is interested in musical education and outreach. As a participant of Cultures in Harmony, a nonprofit organization that sends musicians around the world to engage in cultural diplomacy, Becky performed and lectured at St. Scholastica’s College in Manila, the Philippines. Supported by USAID and local NGOs, she traveled to the Dominican Republic for a teaching residency at the Santo Domingo Conservatory of Music and performed at the residence of the US ambassador. As a Teaching Fellow for the Peking University-Yale University Joint Undergraduate Program, she taught musicology and chamber music performance at Peking University and Central Conservatory. At Oxford, she taught undergraduate seminars in musical analysis. Outside of music, Becky has worked on a winning US Senate campaign and interned in the House of Representatives. 

In truth, Becky would rather play in a string quartet than the piano and occasionally tries to learn the viola. Her nonmusical passions include anything food-related, globetrotting, Texas Hold'em, racquet sports, American politics, New York Times crosswords, and since Oxford, rowing. Her world views are heavily influenced by the television shows The West Wing and Alias. She made her uncredited Hollywood debut as a pianist in Mao's Last Dancer (2009), a film by award-winning director Bruce Beresford.