fbpx ArcoStrum | Krannert Center for the Performing Arts | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Comprised of international prizewinning artists guitarist Tengyue (TY) Zhang and violinist Strauss Shi, ArcoStrum captures the hearts of audiences with dazzling violin-guitar virtuosity and joyful on-stage chemistry. ArcoStrum’s exciting three-part program, Four Seasons, premieres their own transcriptions of beloved Latin American works by Sérgio Assad, Radamés Gnattali, and Astor Piazzolla as a prelude to the duo’s dramatic version of Vivaldi’s beloved Four Seasons. For a grand finale, Strauss takes up the Chinese erhu (Chinese two-string fiddle) and dizi (Chinese bamboo flute) while TY straps on his electric guitar to create an unforgettable concert experience of Chinese American instrumental rock.  


Zhang and Shi met at The Juilliard School and soon discovered shared passions in life and music-making. ArcoStrum commits itself to pushing boundaries and redefining the 21st-century violin-guitar art form, presenting a new chamber music that is mixed-genre, multi-cultural, and cross-era. Their compelling programs feature original transcriptions of beloved classical repertoire, traditional Chinese instrumental music infused with modern instrumentations, and virtuosic progressive rock. ArcoStrum received the Audience Prize and won the 2023 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition in New York, the first-ever violin-guitar duo to win the competition in its 72-year history. 


The Guitar Foundation of America recognized TY Zhang’s “tasteful and deeply expressive” (American Record Guide) artistry, awarding him the Grand Prize in its 2017 International Concert Artist Competition. Noted guitarist Sharon Isbin recognized Zhang as “one of the most extraordinary students I have ever taught…He is a highly regarded professional in his field today, and his influence has had major significance through his outstanding recordings performances, teaching and premiering of groundbreaking new works written for him.” 


With deep musical roots in Chinese traditional music on the erhu, gaohu, and dizi, and as a classically trained violinist, Strauss Shi is paving his way as an ambassador and multi-instrumental artist combining both genres on international stages and festivals. He has distinguished himself as a deeply probing musician and passionate educator with his renowned family ensemble Melody of China, as a founding member of the Monterey Piano Trio, and with ArcoStrum. He serves as Artistic Director of the North America Chinese Youth Orchestra and as a board member of the Asian-American Music Artists Alliance.   




Sérgio Assad: Summer Garden Suite 
Radamés Gnattali: Suite Retratos for Guitar and Violin 
Astor Piazzolla: Tango Suite for Guitar and Violin 
Antonio Vivaldi: Selections from The Four Seasons 
Zhihui Li: Ink Orchid Pavilion 
Haihuai Huang: Horse Racing 
Polyphia: Playing God 
All selections arranged by Zhang and Shi 

Salon-style performances offer a close connection between artists and guests as audience members sit in six rows of seats on stage with the performer. Light refreshments are served before and after the performance. Balcony tickets (without refreshments) are also available.

If you believe in the life-affirming experiences that Krannert Center and the performing arts at Illinois make possible, please make a gift: advancement@krannertcenter.illinois.edu, KrannertCenter.com/Give, or faa.illinois.edu/giving.

Event Details

Foellinger Great Hall
Su Feb 09, 2025 - 3:00pm CT