Alex Ross, Music Reporter of the New Yorker wrote in his column 2007: “Ju-Fang Liu, the principal double-bass [of the ISO], played the solo in the third movement of the Mahler First Symphony as elegantly and hauntingly as I’ve heard it.”
Ju-Fang Liu was born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. She started playing the piano when she was five, and began her study of the bass at the age of nine – she originally wanted to play the viola, but her parents were told that since she was the tallest person in her elementary school, she was better suited to the bass. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from the Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University, where she studied with Bruce Bransby and Lawrence Hurst. Prior to joining the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in 2003, she was Principal Contrabass with the New World Symphony in Florida, under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas. She has also been a member of orchestras in Kansas City (MO), Owensboro (KY), and Evansville (IN), performed in summer festivals at Aspen, Marlboro, and Tanglewood, and has been heard as soloist with the Louisville, New World, and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestras. She has been the recipient of Indiana Governor’s Award (2005), and Creative Renewal Fellowship awarded by the Arts council of Indiana in 2007. And in 1999, Ju-Fang was the first person to win the competitions in both Solo and Orchestral categories of the “International Society of Bassists.”
Ju-Fang: “My bass I play on this CD is by the maker Rudolph Salvi, who was an Italian immigrant who moved to Chicago in the early 20th century. The bass was made in 1913 and will have its 100th birthday soon! I acquired this instrument with the one I use in orchestra, "the Panormo" (ca. 1750), from an amateur bass player who had lived on the east side of Indianapolis. He seemed to have had an interesting collection of basses and life -- he left behind him 6 awesome old basses and “lots” golf clubs!"
Special thanks to my teachers: Mr. Hurst, Mr. Bransby, Mr. Weller, Mr. Sankey, Ms. Claudia Chen, and my wonderful colleagues at the ISO and friends in the city of Indianapolis for their continuing supports and nourishment of my musical endeavors. Also a big “thank you” to the Arts Council of Indiana for giving me the support in Renewal grants to make this CD project possible.