Ming Gao, associate concertmaster, has served as concertmaster of the Nanjing Experimental Orchestra in his native China, the Eastman Philharmonia in the Heidelberg Castle Festival, Germany and acting concertmaster of the Youngstown and Harrisburg symphony orchestras and MOSSPAC Chamber Orchestra. Gao is currently a first violinist of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra of New York in the summer months.
Before moving to Naples, Gao was with the Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet Orchestra. He also appeared in a number of music festivals in the United States, Germany and China, including Sunflower Music Festival, Pine Mountain Music Festival, Buzzards Bay Musicfest, MOSSPAC Music Festival, Heidelberg Castle Festival and the Spring of Xuan Wu Hu Festival. In 1999, 2002, 2006, 2007and 2009, he was invited to play chamber music concerts in Nanjing, Wuxi, Zhenjiang, Suzhou and Beijing, China. Some of these concerts were broadcast live by Jiang Su Provincial TV station and CCTV (China national television station). He is also a guest violin professor of Nanjing Conservatory of Music, offering violin master classes in China during the summer. He has recorded solo and chamber music for Nanjing radio and television stations, Jiang Su Provincial radio and television stations and QRS Music Rolls, Inc.
Gao’s appearances as a soloist include the Naples Philharmonic, Orchestra Nova, Nanjing Experimental Orchestra and Jiang Su Provincial Symphony Orchestra, among others. He has been a member of the Naples Philharmonic since 1993.
Name: Ming Gao
Hometown: Nanjing, China
At what age did you begin playing your instrument? 14
Who has been your greatest musical influence? Pan Yi-Lin, a Chinese solo violinist.
Who are your favorite composers? Mozart and Dvorak, to name two.
What career path would you have taken had you not chosen music? Chemistry.
What’s currently playing on your iPod or CD player? Haydn quartet.
Your hobbies and interests: Ping-pong, movies and reading.
Some little-known, yet interesting facts about you: I play a number of Chinese instruments including the Er Hu and the Hu Lu Si.
Funniest concert moment: Once when I was playing a solo as a student, my bow got caught between my strings and I couldn’t play. I’m not sure if that's funny or tragic.
Daily practice rituals: 2-3 hours a day if I feel like it.
The question you’re asked most often about your instrument (and your answer): They don't ask about my instrument; they ask if I’m the second violinist of the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra, to which I respond, knowing they mean second chair, “Yes.”
Your favorite part about playing in the Naples Philharmonic: Having great colleagues with whom to play.