Artists and Bios

Bios of CPAA Core Artists

Ann Woo - For her outstanding services to the community, Ms. Woo was awarded:
1999 - Citizen of Achievement by American Association of University Women, Cupertino Branch
2002 - Women’s Achievement in Art by San Jose Mercury News
2003 - CREST Award by City of Cupertino
2003 - Asian Hero 2003 by County Supervisor Liz Kniss
2004 - Community Hero by World Journal
2006 - Local Asian Hero by KQED TV Station
2008 - Malonga Casquelourd Lifetime Achievement Award by World Arts West
2014 – Featured Artist in KQED’s SPARK - Silicon Valley Businesswoman Builds a Future for Ancient Arts. Link:

Ms. Woo, dancer, choreographer, playwright, and entrepreneur, has long been instrumental in introducing Chinese performing arts in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ms. Woo served as Executive Director and the principal dancer of the Chinese Folk Dance Association of San Francisco from 1979 to 1987; co-founded Asian Heritage Council in 1984; founded Chinese Performing Arts of America (CPAA) in 1991 and has served as the Executive Director ever since. Under Ms. Woo’s direction, CPAA is the only company in US with the artistic resources and expertise to produce professional and diverse Chinese programs on an ongoing basis. Since 2004, Ms. Woo has led her company with its flagship production, Dances of China – A Journey of 5,000 Years, comprised many CPAA’s original creations, touring California, Hawaii, Nevada, Florida, Texas, Idaho, New York, Washington State, Massachusetts, Alaska, British of Columbia, and Ontario. In 2004, Ms. Woo established CPAA Academy, an art and culture school for youth. In 2008, the academy was moved to International Performing Arts Center (IPAC,) a 14,000 sq. ft. facility in West San Jose. The center has grown to become a multi-culture and multi-discipline incubator for over 40 local artists who teach 2,500 students of Chinese, Indian, Latino, Caucasian, Korean, and other ethnic groups. In 2014, Ms. Woo established the International Arts Council – Silicon Valley (IAC-SV) with a purpose to provide a platform for international professional artists to showcase their and to promote world harmony through international culture exchange.

Shude Wu - Graduated from the China Conservatory of Music, majored in Suona and minor in composition, Mr. Shude Wu is an accomplished performer and composer. He integrates Chinese traditional instruments with Western symphony as well as Chinese traditional orchestra. Mr. Wu received Excellence Award on Suona from various Chinese Instrument Competition, including Korea-Asian Music and Dance Arts Festival in 2012, Singapore International Chinese Instrument of Competition in 2014, and Best New Age Music Album and Best Soule Music Album of 2014. Mr. Wu performed for heads of states in China and abroad. Mr. Wu is the the newest member of CPAA's International Arts Council - Silicon Valley. He will focus on the international culture exchange between CPAA and Artists and arts organizations in China.

Phil Young - Mr. Young was a staff composer for the Beijing Song and Dance Group in China. Immigrating to the U.S. in 1981, Mr. Young studied composition at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and graduated in 1986. His symphonic music “Fantasy for Orchestra” won The 1985 Conservatory Composition Competition. Mr. Young was interviewed by the KQED station before the premier concert at Herbst Theater. Since 1991, Mr. Young has served as the Music Director of Chinese Performing Arts of America and composes in various forms, including symphonic, chamber, electronic, vocal, and film. His 90-minute symphonic Middle Kingdom - Ancient China and the 60-minute Dragon2000 are among the many works well received by the media and audiences. Mr. Young composes music in various forms, including symphonic, chamber, electronic, vocal, and film. His ability of fusing Chinese and western elements in his music enriches his originality. Mr. Young’s ballet music “Middle Kingdom Ancient China” for Ballet San Jose and the Chinese Performing Artists of America is one of many works well received by the audiences and the media. His works have been performed by Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley Orchestra, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, South Bay Chamber Orchestra, San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra, Toledo International Youth Orchestra and internationally by Thuringer Symphony of Germany, Beijing Symphony of China and Taiwan National Chinese Orchestra. His commissioned piano solo piece “Reflection on a Tang Poem” was premiered by pianist Dr. Clara Yang in England (King’s College) and Spain (Mas i Mas in Barcelona) in Oct 2014, which ever since has been very well received by both the audience and the media. The music is included in Yang”s CD album “Folding Time” published by Albany Records which has been released world-wide and the CD won the Global Music Awards gold medal.

Ching Shyu - is a fine arts professor, painter, and principal engineer living in San Jose. In 80’s Ching came to US from China to study at UC Berkeley and UNM, and received his master’s degree with US international graduated student fellowship award. Combining Eastern and western arts he developed a unique drawing and painting style to capture moving images. Many mediums (including CCTV) in USA and China credited him as “the Artist of Movement”. Mr. Shyu was selected to create artworks for 2002 Winter Olympic Game and 2003 World Cup Soccer Game, and won the “Olympic Artist Recognition Award”. He is also titled as the Artist of 2012 Asian Game, 2013 World Universiade Olympics, and the research fellow of Guangzhou National Fine Arts Institution of China. In 2011 and 2015 his paintings won the highest prizes of the World Peace Fine Arts Exhibitions. His artworks were collected by many national museums, companies and collectors in China, Taiwan and US. For the past two decades, Mr. Shyu has created many dance drawings, paintings and designs for CPAA. Mr. Shyu's costume design is especially impressive in CPAA's productions such as Dragon2000, Middle Kingdom, and Dream of the Butterfly.

Yang Yang - started her Chinese dance training at Yunnan State Arts Academy when she was 11 years old. The same year she was scouted by the committee from Beijing Dance Academy on a national talent hunt tour. Then Ms. Yang left home and got admitted to the Middle School of Beijing Dance Academy with a scholarship. Graduating as a top student of the class in the Middle school, Ms. Yang was admitted to the College to pursuit a BA degree. With a BA degree, Ms. Yang was hired by Dance Drama and Opera House of China in Beijing. As a professional dancer of the top performing art company in China, Ms. Yang achievements include Gold Prize winner of the 1999 International Arts Festival in Korea and 2001 Chinese Arts Festival in Holland. In 2002, she toured with her company to Asia, Europe, and North America. At the end of 2002, Ms. Yang immigrated to USA and worked as the principal dancer of CPAA. During the past 10 years, Ms. Yang portrayed many leading roles in CPAA’s productions. The most memorable roles were Nu Wo (Goddess of Earth) in Middle Kingdom – Ancient China in 2005, a collaboration of CPAA and Ballet San Jose, and in 2009 as Tian Sui (wife of the Chinese philosopher Zhuang Zhou) in New Dream of the Butterfly, a Chinese legend of 2,300 years. Both productions won the standing ovation from the audience. Ms. Yang also an outstanding choreographer. Her works such as the Court Dance of the Tang Dynasty in 2013 and Blue-Vase Spirit in 2015 have won high praises.

Zhou Hui - Ms. Zhou was selected to receive formal training in dance at the young age of six. She graduatedfrom the Beijing Dance of Academy with honors. She was the winner of the “Best Dancer” title at the Beijing Dance Competition. Since 1988, she toured Hong Kong, Singapore and the United States with the Chinese Young Artists Delegation. Ms. Zhou joined CPAA in 1991 and was the most beautiful and best-known Chinese dancer in the Bay Area in the following decade. In 1996, Ms. Zhou was a featured soloist in the Ethnic Dance Festival of San Francisco. In the following decade, she played many principal roles in CPAA’s productions such as Sorry of the Great Wall, Moon Aloft, and Moonlight. Ms. Zhou was the featured soloist in the 1996 Ethnic Dance Festival in San Francisco.

Ling Gao – Born in Hebei Province, Mr. Gao graduated from the prestigious Beijing Dance Academy. After graduation, Mr. Gao was hired as a soloist by the Dance Drama & Opera of China for four years. Mr. Gao toured many countries in Europe and Asia. In 2002, Mr. Gao was hired by CPAA as one of the principal dancers. His major works include the Yellow River! Butterfly Lovers, Bow Dance, Middle Kingdom – Ancient China, and others. Mr. Gao was among the five teachers who helped to build the CPAA Academy in 2003 and now serves as the director of the CPAA Dance Department.

Pearl Wang - is a graduate of UC Berkeley majored in dance and business, Ms. Wang studies Chinese dance under the direction of Master Yong Yao for 16 years. She has performed in many leading roles in CPAA’s productions. She is versatile and skillful. Her most memorable performances are Butterfly Lover and the solo in Yellow River. Ms. Wang is an accomplished dancer as well as an outstanding teacher of modern dance, Chinese dance, and yoga.

Allie Jiwen Dong - a graduate of the prestigious Beijing Dance Academy with a BA degree, Ms. Dong is an accomplished dancer specialized in Chinese classical and folk dance. Before she immigrated to US, Ms. Dong was a dance instructor with Shenzheng Dance Academy. In 2012, Ms. Dong competed in the International Silicon Valley Dance Competition and won the Grand Champion Award. In 2013 she was hired by CPAA as one of the principal dancers and a choreographer with CPAA. Her choreography of several minority dances such as Korean Fan Dance, Drum Dance of the Uighurs, and others have received rave reviews. Her other important responsibility is the master teacher of CPAA Dance school. She follows the same training guidelines that she learned from the Beijing Dance Academy. The basic training includes ballet technique, Chinese dance technique, modern dance technique, etc.

Xingjiu Liu - Nationally ranked first class dancer of China, Mr. Liu is the former principal dancer, choreographer, and instructor at Shangyang Dance Troupe. He received his degree in Choreography from Beijing Dance Academy. Mr. Liu has performed many of his own works which are often both poignant and humorous. He has won the highest honor for individual performing artists award by Ministry of Culture, and is listed in Who’s Who of Contemporary China. Mr. Liu immigrated in 1999 to US and joined CPAA as the principal dancer. His memorable roles in CPAA’s productions are the Taoist Zuangzi of the New Dream of the Butterfly, the Han Emperor in Middle Kingdom – Ancient China, and the turtle Prime Minister of the Legend of the Dragon King. In the Bay Area, Mr. Liu is a frequent guest performers for other local groups because of his versatile talents.

Sherlin Chan - completed her Bachelor of Arts at Hong Kong Baptist University, majoring in Music Education. Ms. Chan received her Master Degree in Voice Performance from the Notre Dame de Namur University of California. Ms. Chan is a music educator and a music teacher. She is the founder and executive director of Star Valley Children’s Choir in the North Bay and CPAA Children Choir in the South Bay as well as the artistic director of Harmonic Chorus. Ms. Chan is a soprano and gives recitals yearly. In 2007, she was one of the soloists of the “Lyric of Overseas Chinese” Concerts performed in China. April 2009, she was one of the soloists who performed “Concert of King Yu” in Xiamen and Taipei. She is a frequent guest performer in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Xiao Ming He - a music director, conductor, composer and concert pianist who earned his Master degree in conducting from Welsh College of Music and Drama, U.K and his B.A. in composition and piano from National Wuhan Academy of Music P.R China. He also composed many pieces of orchestral and vocal music for both cinema and television. Currently, he is a member of Music Teachers Association of California and Chinese Music Teacher Association of Northern California; conductor of the California Chinese Orchestra; the music director and conductor of Rong Rong Singers, and CPAA’s International Silicon Valley Youth Orchestra.