I am an avid amateur musician and like to play the piano, trumpet, and sing. As an undergraduate at Caltech, I had the wonderful opportunity to perform with the Caltech Jazz Band, directed by Bill Bing (and later Barb Catlin). I also participated in Caltech Chamber Music and directed the Caltech Keytones a cappella group. My undergraduate music experience culminated in a performance with the Caltech-Occidental Symphony Orchestra, where I had the incredible honor of performing Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major. I’m currently singing with the UC Berkeley Chamber Chorus, directed by Dr. Magen Solomon.
I also like to arrange music and compose from time to time. In Munich, I sang with MiCapella (the Munich International Choir), and composed a choral piece for them. Titled Will There Really Be a Morning?, based on the poem by Emily Dickinson, the piece was an absolute joy to write and perform. Now that I’m at Berkeley, I hope to continue writing music during my graduate studies and take advantage of the wonderful musical scene of the Bay Area.
For me, music is a necessary complement to my scientific work. It provides an artistic contrast to the precision of physics, powerfully appealing perhaps because of its emotional subjectivity. By performing music, I hope to share the wonder that music gives me with my audience.
Below are some of my recorded performances that were especially fun to do. I hope that you take a listen and enjoy.
Piano Concerto in G – Maurice Ravel, performed by Jonathan Liu with the Caltech-Occidental Symphony Orchestra
Symphonic Dances (for 2 pianos), 1st mvmt – Sergei Rachmaninoff, performed by Jonathan Liu and Ian Wong
Will There Really Be A Morning – Jonathan Liu (text by Emily Dickinson), premiered at MiCapella Summer Concert – Morgen und Abend, July 2016