Resident Ensemble

Recognized as one of Chicago’s finest chamber music groups, ORION ENSEMBLE is the winner of the prestigious Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming. John von Rhein of The Chicago Tribune calls Orion “one of Chicago’s most vibrant, versatile and distinctive ensembles.” Orion offers exciting interpretations of standard repertoire, introduces audiences to rarely-performed masterpieces, and inspires composers to write new works.

Orion Ensemble unites four distinguished concert artists who have performed throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, as an ensemble and individually in solo, orchestral, and other chamber music roles. Renowned for their expressive cohesiveness and creativity developed over 25+ years together, Orion’s unique dedication to this intimate art form contributes to its preservation and accessibility, inspiring audiences of all ages, as well as composers and young musicians. The Orion Ensemble (“Orion”) has been the ensemble-in-residence of the OPUS Camp since 2007. Over 15+ years Orion provides a highly valuable resource to the camp community and an enriching musical experience for campers and their parents. Students have had opportunities to observe ensemble-in-residence performances and experience the creative intensity and excitement that is involved in world-class chamber music making.

Through educational recital and master classes, Orion Ensemble members will demonstrate and guide students in the processes and techniques used in chamber music performance. The Orion Ensemble includes violin, viola, cello, piano and clarinet. Its repertoire is comprised of trios, quartets, quintets, solos with accompaniment, and works written specifically for all or some of the five instruments. The Orion Ensemble is special because its unique instrumentation allows it to expand and diversify programming in creative new ways and open listeners’ ears to the exciting musical sounds that result. The Orion Ensemble is celebrating their exciting 28th season in 2021!  They feel blessed to have made music together for 25+ years, growing into the chamber music family they are today, and they look forward to seeing you at each of their concerts! Join them for this fantastic new season, full of great music and extraordinary guest artists.

Orion Member Cellist Judy Stone coaching a string quartet during OPUS Chamber Music Camp (left). The camper quartet performs IV. Presto, Quartet in D Major, op. 20, no. 4 by Franz Joseph Haydn in the Camp’s final concert (right).

Visit the Orion Ensemble website.


Yang Liu and I-Hsuan Olivia Tsai 劉揚-蔡宜璇
Global Music Silver Medalist Yang and Olivia are a violin-piano duo who create unforgettable storytelling programs featuring Chinese and western classical music. This married couple has performed and taught in the US, Canada, China, Taiwan, Portugal, Brazil, amongst other places. They are both faculty of Vandercook College of Music.
Yang Liu (violin) is a prize winner of the Twelfth International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and a first prize winner of China’s National Violin Competition. He has performed with many world-leading orchestras, with repertoire ranging from baroque to the most contemporary works. His award-winning album “Song of Nostalgia” showcases his virtuosity and musicality.
Dr. Olivia Tsai (piano) is a frequent presenter of MTNA, CMS and other music festivals and conferences. Her book “Schubert’s Piano Trios” was published by Scholar’s Press in Germany in 2014. Both Yang and Olivia are avid advocates of cultural exchange via classical music. To that end, they founded Yang and Olivia Foundation, to embrace diversity, equality and inclusion with presentations highlighting Chinese and Taiwanese influence. Check out their website: