A native of Hong Kong, Karen Yu had her first percussion lesson with Heung-Wing Lung in early age. The sounds and the movements of percussion playing motivate her to become a percussionist who is able play her music for the audiences by connecting sounds and visuals. She was deeply inspired by her teacher and decided to pursue a degree in Bachelor of Music Performance at McGill University, major inPercussion and minor in Music Theory, under the tutelage of Shawn Mativetsky (Tabla), Fabrice Marandola and Aiyun Huang. With the support from McGill University, she studied aboard at The Royal Conservatory of The Hague, where she studied with Fedor Teunisse, Peppie Wiersma, Ali N’Diaye Rose (African Drumming), Rob Verhagen (Basler Drumming) and Han Zonderop. She is a winner and scholarship recipient of the Canadian Music Competition 2013 in the Percussion category. Upon graduating from her Bachelor degree, she will be continuing her studies as a student of Master in Music Performance at McGill University.
The idea of collaborating arts with different people always interests her and gives her motivations to work with different subjects such as film and live theatrical music. Since 2013, Karen plays many concerts with musicians from Asia over the summer. She was invited to perform in Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts and Thailand Silpakorn University. She commissioned composer Kota Nakamura, a piece for two saxophonists and one percussionist – Lin Koh, for a concert tour in East Asia. As a member of multiple McGill ensembles such as Contemporary Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble and Tabla Ensemble, she had premiered numerous pieces by McGill composers as well as professional composers. She plays with various groups of ensembles and performed in many countries around the world, such as China, The Netherlands, Thailand and United States. In 2014, she found the theatrical percussion trio Dressage Percussion with her colleagues from McGill University, Austin Lamarche and Katelyn King. In less than a year, the trio has already made debut concerts in Montreal, Hong Kong and China. Her recent performances include Orchestra of the 18th Century (Tour 119), Dressage Percussion trio debut concerts in Asia, and Etude pour Espace, by Edgard Varèse, Asian Premiere at University of Hong Kong.