CAMD Student Spotlight: Chuanyuan Liu

Victoria Alvarez

Chuanyuan Liu

Year: 4th

Major: Music (Performance concentration)

Hometown: Changchun, China


For Chuanyuan, a Miller Arts Scholar, classical music energizes him - it is his calling. He views art as a way for him to stay grounded and look ahead.


How did you get started with art?

“I started singing when I was 4, but I had never seriously studied music until college. It was a long process… realizing that this is what I want to do, what I ‘have to’ do, and trying to convince my parents who are not involved in art at all.”

“I met many kind people along the way, both professors and peers who encouraged me to follow my dream.”


Current involvement in the Arts:

“I am a member of the University Singers and Chamber Singers and I am really taking as many music classes as I can before I graduate. During my first semester in the USingers, we performed Bach’s St. John Passion, and I was humbled by the power of classical music for the first time. I simply answered the calling.”


What inspires you?

“A lot of my inspirations come from the works themselves. Before I am a performer, I am an audience to those pieces, and through the learning process, I can develop an interpretation of the work that is unique to myself. This is exciting and keeps me motivated.”


What are you trying to accomplish with your art?

“I think as a singer, my ultimate and absolute goal is to affect the audiences. I know it sounds vague and cliché but it is actually a really hard thing to do.”

“If we dare to call ourselves artists instead of performers and consider what we do as artistic instead of unimaginative, a certain degree of creativity and uniqueness is required.”


Favorite art piece?

Chopin’s Ballade No.1 in g minor - “I don’t really play piano but I love listening to it. The first Ballade, only 9 minutes, has everything I need: love, hate, calmness, turmoil... It flows perfectly and is really one of the finest works out there.”


What else are you involved in at UVA?

  • Sound Designer, Lingxi (Chinese Theatre Group) 
  • Student Librarian, Music Library

“I discovered the composer side of me and it was very fun!”


Advice to other aspiring artists:

“Be curious. Be humble. Be yourself. The best artists out there are the ones that are so kind that you can’t even believe they are real.”


Plans for the future:

“I plan to get a Master's degree in vocal performance in a conservatory. After that, there are many possibilities: more school, young artist programs, opera houses, competitions, ensembles… I guess I’ll know by then!”


Fun Fact:

“I have probably lost every pair of headphones I have owned, one by one.”



Come see Chuanyuan at his Distinguished Major Voice Recital at 8:00 pm on Sunday, March 31st, 2019 at Old Cabell Hall.