- D.M., Piano, Indiana University, 2021
- M.M., Piano, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, 2015
- B.M., Piano; B.A., Chinese, University of Washington, 2013
Elizabeth Yao is lecturer in music in piano at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she coordinates its secondary piano program and codirects the Young Pianists program and the Summer Piano Academy.
Yao has been praised for her sincerity of expression and the “intelligent, emotional coherence” of her musical interpretations. She has been featured as guest soloist with the Coeur d’Alene Symphony and as a guest artist on Spokane Public Radio’s From the Studio.
Other distinctions have included prizes and awards from the Southern Illinois Young Artists Organization Instrumental Competition, Indianapolis Matinee Musicale Collegiate Scholarship Competition, Lima Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition, and Ladies Musical Club of Seattle Award Tour Competition. As a collaborator, she has played with the University of Washington Symphony Orchestra and the modern music ensemble Inverted Space.
As an educator and a music advocate, Yao has worked with students of all ages and levels, with an emphasis on accessibility, student self-efficacy, and student wellness.
She has toured with the San Francisco Symphony Adventures in Music educational outreach program, performing to and teaching thousands of elementary school students throughout the San Francisco Unified School District. She has presented her research at the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Collegiate Chapters Symposium and has been invited as a guest panelist at the Jacobs School’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Career Development and the CCM collegiate chapter of MTNA.
Yao earned a doctorate from the Jacobs School of Music, with double minors in music theory, and music history and literature, under the tutelage of André Watts. Her dissertation, “Let the Record Show,” analyzes historical and recent recordings as an entry point for contextualizing and understanding the evolution of performance practices over the past 100 years.
She earned a master’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music under the guidance of Mack McCray and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Washington with double bachelor’s degrees, in piano performance (with honors) and Chinese.
Yao lives in Bloomington, Indiana, with her husband and dog.