Julia Gao, 17, started her violin and orchestral studies at 5 with Shelley Livingston at Duke University String School. She had studied with Professor Richard Luby at the University of NorthCarolina, Chapel Hill, before his unexpected passing in 2013. Then she studied with ProfessorHsiao-mei Ku at Duke University. Her current teachers are Professor Eric Pritchard at DukeUniversity and Professor Fabian Lopez at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She occasionally still goes back to have a lesson with Shelley while her current teachers are out oftown or out of the country. Julia has also had her lessons and master lessons with teachers such as Professor Katrin Scholz, the Artistic Director of Berlin Chamber Orchestra, at Hochschule für Künste (University of the Arts), Professor Vladmir Ivanov, Dean of the School of Orchestraand Chairman of the Violin Department, at the Moscow Conservatory and Professor William Conable, an expert of Alexander Technique.Julia has served as the Concertmaster of the Duke Youth Symphony, Chapel Hill All City Orchestra, and school orchestras. She is a winner of the Alexander and Buono International Strings Competition, American Protégé International Music Talent Competition and AFAF Piano, Strings, Winds and Voice International Concerto Competition. She has performed twice at the Carnegie Hall. She toured Russia in the summer of 2015 and soloed with Kostroma Symphony Orchestra at the Kostroma Music Hall. Julia won Virtu Instrument Scholarship in 2015 and currently plays on a violin generously loaned to her by the Virtu Foundation. She has got accepted to the Tanglewood Institute and is going to join the Young Artists Orchestra and perform at Tanglewood in the summer of 2016.