A native of Hong Kong, Yee Kwan ‘Anna’ Lo began studying piano at the age of 4. In less than 2 years, she enrolled in the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) as a junior student under the guidance of teacher Katherine Huang. HKAPA provided a rigorous training in classical music, including performance and music theory, and Anna thus began her association with the school in 1992 until leaving for college 12 years later. As a young musician, she would spend every Saturday at the school, taking private piano lessons, as well as attending master classes, theory classes, as well as choir practices. 1992 proved to be an eventful year, as Anna not only began studying at HKAPA, but she also began competing in the annual Hong Kong Schools Music Festival, an activity she would continue to participate in up through 2004. Regular participation in the Music Festival competitions very quickly molded Anna into a diligent and disciplined young musician, and throughout her years of competing, she has won numerous awards in various categories.
In 1992, Anna also took up violin as a second instrument, and the move proved to be momentous towards her later musical development. The violin allowed her to join orchestras and to begin developing her interest in playing with other musicians. Never shy as a musician at school, she also began accompanying for her shttp://www.berkleemusic.com/images/rails/hint_style_hints.png?1265051861chool choirs, and by the end of primary school, she has taken up the oboe as her third instrument. This set the stage for Anna’s heavy involvement in her schools’ music scenes thenceforth.
During her high school years, Anna was an active member in almost all the school music groups. She was in the symphony orchestra, (first as a violinist and subsequently principal oboist), wind ensemble, (also as principal oboist), and accompanied the school choirs on the piano. As a subset of the wind ensemble, she also led a woodwind quintet to two wins at the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival. In addition, Anna took part heavily in the pit orchestra of the school’s musical productions. She was involved as pianist, oboist, and also had her first taste in conducting and editing music.
Along the way, Anna also completed a number of examinations offered by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM). In 2002, she was awarded the Diploma ABRSM in Piano Performing, and in 2001, the Grade 8 ABRSM Certificate with Merit for Violin. By 2004, she was also awarded the Grade 8 Certificate with Distinction for Oboe.
Anna began her undergraduate studies at MIT in 2004, but the notorious heavy workload did not slow her down in her musical endeavors. Immediately upon arrival at MIT, Anna auditioned as a pianist for the Emerson Scholarship, a program that provided private lessons, master classes, and performance opportunities. She was granted the scholarship and began studying with David Deveau. Throughout her four years at MIT, she was repeatedly granted the Scholarship, and during her junior year, was even granted the Emerson Fellowship, a higher-level program that culminated in a full-length recital. In addition to her classical piano studies, Anna was also accepted into the distinguished MIT Symphony Orchestra under Dante Anzolini as oboist, where she remained for 2 years. She then joined the Chamber Music Society, and for the next two years played in both a woodwind sextet and quintet.
Not content with just classical music, Anna also began branching out when she arrived at MIT. She joined MIT’s premier co-ed a cappella group, The Chorallaries of MIT, at the beginning of her freshmen year. A pop-focused group, Anna was given ample opportunities to work outside of the classical tradition. She began arranging regularly for the group, and became Musical Director during her sophomore year. During that year, she also led the group to win in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella Quarterfinals and Semifinal divisions. With the Chorallaries, Anna also took part heavily in recording their CD, Positive Chorallation, in 2007, which garnered them a Contemporary A cappella Recording Award in 2008 for Best Mixed Collegiate Song (Runner-up).
During her time at MIT, Anna studied with a number of music teachers in various areas, including theory and composing with Bill Cutter and Charles Shadle, music history with Lowell Lindgren and Michael Cuthbert, and musical analysis with Peter Child. She also began delving into jazz and studied history and arranging with Mark Harvey. Anna graduated form MIT in 2008 with a double degree in Music and Linguistics and Philosophy. She was also winner of the Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts in 2008.
Although completely classically trained, Anna has always had an interest in the non-classical. As her undergraduate career at MIT began winding down, she realized that music has always been one of the biggest parts of her life, and she had no intention of having it any other way. Her explorations into other musical styles have also sparked her interest further in pursuing a career in music, but not only as a classical musician, and this led to her decision to apply to Berklee College of Music.
Anna began her studies at Berklee College of Music in 2008, and is now pursuing a degree in Contemporary Writing and Production. She has since taken up composing, songwriting, arranging and conducting among other things. She has also continued playing piano and singing, and is now enjoying combining the two. She also a member of the World Peace Choir under the leadership of Ayumi Ueda in 2009, and performed with women musicians from over 50 countries around the world at the Berklee Performance Center in October 2009. Beginning in January 2010, Anna has also joined the Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra as an oboist. In the spirit of collaborations, Anna regularly works with other students at Berklee, participating in recording sessions and projects as performer, arranger, and writer. She has also been an active member of the Asian Students At Berklee club since her arrival at Berklee. Anna has not forgotten her classical roots however. She regularly crosses the river back to MIT and accompanies for classical singers and their performances, continuously building her repertoire as a classical accompanist all the while transforming into a crossover musician.
Experience & Education
BA in Contemporary Writing and Production at Berklee College of Music2008 to 2010 (2 years)