Chinese-American violinist Strauss Shi is quickly establishing himself as one of the most exciting multi-instrumental artists today representing music of the east and west. At the age of seventeen, Strauss made his major debut with the Utah Symphony under the baton of Vladimir Kulenovic, and since then has concertized in the United States, Europe and Asia. Most recently, Strauss and guitarist TY Zhang have been awarded the Winner and Audience Prize at the 2023 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition in New York, as ArcoStrum, becoming the first ever violin-guitar duo in its competition history to win.

Additional major solo prizes include First Prize at the USC Thornton Concerto Competition (2018), Grand Prize at the Mondavi Center Young Artists Competition (2017), First Prize at the United States International Music Competition (2016), and Second Prize at the inaugural Siqing Lu Futian International Violin Competition (2016), among others.

Recent 2023/2024 Season include concert debuts and community engagements with TY Zhang, as ArcoStrum. Hailed by Director Richard Patterson of the Omni Foundation as a “first rate ensemble of the highest level of technical excellence and musicianship among the new generation of performing artists,” ArcoStrum’s 2022/2023 Season include debuts at the Omni Foundation for the Performing Arts, Festival Cultural Zacatecas (Mexico), National Sawdust, Austin Chamber Music Festival, and Caramoor.

Highlights from previous seasons include solo debuts with the USC Thornton Symphony and Andrés Cárdenes, Downey Symphony Orchestra and Sharon Lavery across two seasons, Chamber Music Society of Colombo with Midori, and the Pacific Symphony at the invitation of Carl St.Clair in their Summer Series “Symphony in the Cities” in Mission Viejo, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Musco Center, and Irvine across 10,000+ audiences to major acclaim. Recital highlights include sold-out debuts in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York.

“After working with Strauss on several occasions, I find him to be a deeply probing musician who plays with passionate commitment and virtuosity. His honesty and personal charisma garnered him immediate respect from musicians and audiences. Making music with Strauss is pure joy.” 

 — Carl St.Clair, Conductor and Music Director, Pacific Symphony

“TY Zhang and Strauss Shi individually represent the highest level of technical excellence and musicianship among the new generation of performing artists. Together they have created a first rate ensemble with the ArcoStrum. Their concert here in San Francisco was at times moving, at times brilliant, and at times thrilling, but always compelling!”

— Richard Patterson, Founder and Director, Omni Foundation for the Performing Arts

As a chamber musician, Strauss has shared international stages with world renowned artists including Shmuel Ashkenasi, Midori, Lü Siqing, Kala Ramnath, Balla Kouyaté, Abeer Nehme, Carol Wincenc, Li Lin, Brian Lewis, Vera Tsu Wei-ling, and Qian Zhou. His festival appearances include Caramoor, Kneisel Hall, Heifetz Institute, Austin Chamber Music Festival, Silkroad Global Musician Workshop, and Juilliard Starling-DeLay Symposium. Strauss is the founding violinist of the Monterey Piano Trio with cellist Ben Fried and pianist Connie Kim-Sheng. Within months of the trio’s formation, they were invited as an Ensemble-in-Residence at the Heifetz Institute in 2022. Strauss also closely collaborates and shares the stage with guitarist TY Zhang, as ArcoStrum, ever since their roommate days traveling for outreach at Juilliard.

Strauss has established himself as a passionate educator of the violin and the Chinese instruments of Erhu, Gaohu, Dizi, Guzheng, and Yangqin. He has given masterclasses and workshops as a guest artist in many non-profit music organizations, community engagement programs, universities, and music festivals across the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York, Maine, Mexico, and China. Currently, Strauss maintains a teaching studio as violin faculty of the Fried Music and their Pre-College Program in Alhambra, and leads Melody of China’s community engagement activities in partnership with The LA Music Center.

Prior to studying the violin, his early years as a young boy were spent studying and performing on Chinese instruments, starting with the erhu and gaohu, with his acclaimed family ensemble, the Melody of China. Strauss continues to appear with the Melody of China across major venues and festivals, including Disney California Adventure Lunar New Year, Montana Folk Festival, S.F. International Arts Festival, The Juilliard School, Davies Symphony Hall, and San Francisco Herbst Theatre where he made his erhu debut at age 8. With deep musical roots in his Chinese instrumental folk music on the erhu/gaohu and as a classically-trained violinist, Strauss is paving his way as a young ambassador and artist combining both genres on international stages and festivals.

Born in China and raised in San Francisco, Strauss began his violin studies at the age of eight with Pan Zuohan, Elizabeth Liang, and later studied with Chen Zhao. Strauss earned his Bachelor’s degree studying with Catherine Cho at The Juilliard School on full scholarship. He recently graduated and obtained his Master’s degree as a Starling Fellow from the USC Thornton School of Music under Midori Goto and Pamela Frank. Strauss plays on an 1845 Georges Chanot violin, and a modern bow by San Francisco-based bowmaker John Greenwood.

"With Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto Number 1, Shi will repeat his dazzling appearance of two years ago when he was acclaimed with a standing ovation."

 The Downey Patriot

“Strauss Shi is a brilliant and versatile violinist plus being a most charming man whose path to enjoy a magnificent career as a soloist is unquestioned.” 

— Mary Bianco, President at MOCA Foundation

“It has been my pleasure to hear Strauss Shi perform several concerts with Pacific Symphony. I was impressed by his technique, his musicality, and the way he connected with the audience.” 

— Alan Chapman, Host at Classical KUSC, Los Angeles

“...a rising star.” 

— The Late Maestro Michael Morgan (1957-2021)


Carnegie Hall: Citywide Series

Queens, NY

Rancho La Puerta

 —  —

Tecate, Baja California

Le Salon de Musiques

La Jolla, CA

Concerts by the Pond

Cold Spring Harbor, NY

Madison-Morgan Cultural Center

Madison, GA

A Thousand Dreams

"We have an exciting collaboration this week! 'A Thousand Dreams' is a collaboration between Michael Kim-Sheng and David C. Shoults, with performances by Connie Kim-Sheng and Strauss Shi! 

This composition is a collaboration piece between David and Michael. David wrote the theme, and Michael extended the theme. Throughout the piece, the energy builds, and at its height, it slowly floats down. The theme is varied and played throughout, giving a strong sense of continuity between the different sections. This is a unique work developed between first-time collaborators from joint creative decisions. It is a meeting ground between two composers and their musical languages - one that connects and speaks of two aesthetic worlds. Melded with the fantastic performances of Connie Kim-Sheng on piano and Strauss Shi on violin, this piece is truly a unique collaborative art piece."

Scarlatti to Polyphia "Playing God"
ArcoStrum at 2023 Concert Artists Guild Finals

Ink Orchid Pavilion 水墨兰亭
ArcoStrum at 2023 Concert Artists Guild Finals

Horse Racing 赛马
ArcoStrum at 2023 Concert Artists Guild Finals

Piazzolla: Nightclub 1960
ArcoStrum at 2023 Concert Artists Guild Finals

Vivaldi Four Seasons: Winter (L'Inverno)

Horacio Fernández: Suite Latino-Americana (2020) II. João Gilberto | ArcoStrum

Chen Gang: Sunshine over Tashkurgan (1976)
featuring Melody of China

Chen Gang: Sunshine over Tashkurgan (1976) 
with Allison Freeman

Bach Violin Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004

San Francisco Symphony
CURRENTS Episode I: Podcast
with Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser

Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board

Debut with Downey Symphony Orchestra
2019-2020 Season


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