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Cellist Sihao He to Join the Shanghai Quartet

Sihao will join the ensemble at Tianjin Juilliard in September 2024, after stepping down from VC Artist Galvin Cello Quartet


Sihao He will join other members of the Shanghai Quartet — violinist Weigang Li, violinist Angelo Xiang Yu, and violist Honggang Li — later this year. He will succeed cellist Nicholas Tzavaras, who is returning to North America to devote more time to his family.

The Shanghai Quartet has been the resident ensemble at Tianjin Juilliard, in China, since 2020. Sihao will join his quartet colleagues as a full-time faculty member at the school.

“As we bid a grateful and fond farewell to Nicholas for his wonderful years in the quartet, we wish him our very best for his next chapter back in America, at the same time, we are very excited to welcome Sihao as our new colleague," the Shanghai Quartet said. "Sihao is a sensitive musician who has a unique and profound sound, which touched us deeply. Our musical chemistry was instant from the very first moment. He is a consummate cellist with so much to offer and share with our quartet and we are thoroughly impressed by his exceptional skills as an educator as well. His well-punctuated and inspiring teaching style makes him a perfect fit for Tianjin Juilliard, aligning seamlessly with the identity of our quartet as both performers and educators."

“As a Shanghainese native, it is an honor to return home to join the prestigious Shanghai Quartet as the newest member and the faculty of Tianjin Juilliard," Sihao writes. "I have always admired the Shanghai Quartet for being a trailblazer in chamber music in China for over 40 years. Returning to my roots after nearly a decade of studying and performing in the United States, I have come full circle. I am looking forward to my role as both performer and teacher at Tianjin Juilliard, in nurturing and raising the next generation of young musicians.”


As a member of the VC Artist Galvin Cello Quartet, Sihao won the 2022 Victor Elmaleh Competition and joined the Concert Artists Guild roster. With his new appointment and move to China, he will step down from the cello ensemble at the conclusion of the 2023-2024 season.

"Sihao has been with us since the beginning, believing in this crazy idea to create a professional cello quartet and heavily investing to make it a reality," the quartet wrote on social media. "While we are sad to see him go, we are incredibly happy for him and look forward to seeing him shine in this new stage of his career. Sihao has been not only a great colleague but an amazing friend, and we will be cheering him on in the same way he will for us.


Born in Shanghai, China, Sihao first came into international prominence in 2008 winning first prize at the International Antonio Janigro Cello Competition at age 14.

A graduate of the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University, Sihao also holds a master's degree from the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University. He is currently attending the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University for his D.M.A. degree under the tutelage of Hans Jørgen Jensen.

He is a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Bowers Program and serves as a faculty member at the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University, where he will stay through April.

As a soloist, he has performed with many leading orchestras including the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Munich Radio Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Brussels Philharmonic, Münchener Kammerorchester, Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, Orquestra Sinfônica de Piracicaba in Brazil, and the Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra in China.

He is a prizewinner at the National Cello Competition in China, the Gaspar Cassadó International Cello Competition, the Queen Elizabeth International Cello Competition, the Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians, and Munich’s ARD International Music Competition.

Before coming to the United States, his string quartet, Simply Quartet, won first prize at the Haydn Invitational Chamber Music Competition and “The Most Promising Young String Quartet” at the 4th Beijing International Chamber Music Competition.


Formed at the Shanghai Conservatory in 1983, the Shanghai Quartet performs Western music, traditional Chinese folk music, and contemporary works.

To celebrate its recent 40th anniversary, a new CD on Decca label will be released in April — including quartets by Barber, Dvorak, Penderecki, and Zhou Long. It was recorded at the Tianjin Juilliard Concert Hall. More information on their tour schedule can be found here.

Recent performance highlights include performances at Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Freer Gallery (Washington, D.C.), and the Festival Pablo Casals in France, and Beethoven cycles for the Brevard Music Center, the Beethoven Festival in Poland, and throughout China.

The Shanghai Quartet was Quartet-in-Residence at the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University for 19 years. The Quartet is also the Artist-in-Residence with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and visiting guest professors of the Shanghai Conservatory and Central Conservatory in Beijing. They are proudly sponsored by Thomastik-Infeld Strings and BAM Cases.

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