Yann Besson, luthier Yann Besson, violin and viola maker

Yan Cong is a Chinese violist, who has had an exceptional journey. She plays a viola made by Yann Besson in 2008.

During Yan’s studies in China, she was an active musician, playing solo, chamber music, and symphony performances.

In July 1995, she entered the Department of Technical Secondary Education at Nanjing Arts Institute. There she studied the viola as one of the top eight entrants from East China and studied under Xidi Shen, one of the best viola professors in China.

In October 1996, she attended the 6th China Arts Festival during which she performed :

  • Schubert Arpeggione Sonata for Viola,
  • Brahms Viola Sonata Op.120 Nr. 1
  • and Beethoven Symphony No.9 with the renowned JiangSu Province Orchestra.

In April 2003, she took part in the festival Beethoven in Bonn with the China Youth Orchestra.

She was also a member of the Central Conservatory Quartet in China and followed master classes with the Tokyo Quartet, Seiji Ozawa and Yoyo Ma.

In March 2005, she was chosen by MalcolmLayfield, Head of the String Department at theRoyal Northern College of Music (RNCM) in Manchester, to study a Post Graduate Diploma of Viola Performance.

Whilst there she studied under the guidance of viola Professor Roger Bigley and also had lessons with Tomas Rible, Simon Rowland-Jones and MalcolmLayfield.

After receiving her Post Graduate Diploma from RNCM, she received full funding from theGuildhall School Trust for her Master’s degree.

During this time she worked under the direction of Sven Arnetepl and played with the Guildhall Orchestra conducted by Sir Collin Davis.

In September 2008, she finished her studies at the Guildhall with a distinction mark and soon became the assistant of viola professor Changhai Wang. Currently she is a viola tutor in the China Conservatory and viola coach in the Chinese Symphony Orchestra College.

Besides teaching, Yan Cong has recently played solo concerts in the cities of Beijing, Nanjing and Shanghai.