Hai-Ye Ni


Hai-Ye Ni is the principal cellist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as a frequent soloist and chamber musician. Praised by the press as “soulfully expressive” (Washington Post) and having a “superbly focused sound” (San Francisco Chronicle), Ni has appeared as soloist with orchestras such as Philadelphia, the New York Philharmonic, Chicago, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and the Vienna Chamber Orchestra. Her recital credits include the Kennedy Center, Smithsonian Institute, Alice Tully Hall, and the Wallace Collection. She has collaborated with pianists Jeffrey Kahane, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and Yefim Bronfman; violinists Joshua Bell, Gil Shaham, Cho-Liang Lin, and Leonidas Kavakos; and the Miró and Shanghai quartets. Among her festival credits are the Green Music Center ChamberFest, Ravinia, Marlboro, Santa Fe, Aspen, Spoleto, and Kuhmo.

Ni recently performed the Dvořák Cello Concerto at Lincoln Center, the Brahms “Double” Concerto, Beethoven’s “Triple” Concerto, and John Williams’s Memoirs of a Geisha with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Marc-André Hamelin’s Four Perspectives at La Jolla SummerFest. Prior highlights include a Baroque concerti program with the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra as soloist and conductor, Ancient Paths, Modern Voices: A Festival Celebrating Chinese Culturewith Lang Lang at Carnegie Hall, and Tan Dun’s The Mapwith the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Ni has recorded a solo album on Naxos, Spirit of Chimes on Delos, and Shostakovich’s Seven Romances on Poems of Alexander Blok with the Philadelphia Orchestra on Ondine.

Born in Shanghai, Ni first came to international attention when she won the Naumburg International Cello Competition in 1990. Other awards include first prize in the 1996 International Paulo Cello Competition, second prize in the 1997 Rostropovich Competition, and the 2001 Avery Fisher Career Grant.

Ni has been featured on ABC’s 20/20, on NPR, and in The Strad and Strings magazines. She was a visiting professor at the Shanghai Conservatory and has given master classes at Curtis, Temple University, Mannes, Manhattan School of Music, and Beijing’s Central Conservatory. She served on the jury of the Fifth Paulo International Cello Competition in 2013 and the Naumburg Competition in 2015.

Ni was associate principal cellist of the New York Philharmonic (1999–2006). She began her studies with her mother and at the Shanghai Conservatory, then studied with Irene Sharp at the San Francisco Conservatory, Joel Krosnick at Juilliard, and William Pleeth in London.