Kevin Yu – 1996

1996 graduate, Kevin Yu

Life After GDYO, with Kevin Yu

by Megan Wright, GDYO Alumna and Intern

Kevin Yu

  • is a graduate of UT Austin McCombs School of Business and attended the National University of Singapore with a focus on international business
  • was concertmaster of the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra
  • Performs in the Las Colinas Symphony
  • Principal Violinist of Masters Sinfonia in San Fransico
  • CEO of Coregami, alternate comfort concert wear
  • worked in energy field
  • heart set on music, but did not major in it because of various circumstances
  • still pursued music in school

“After my senior year in high school (1996), I had my heart set on music school. That dream was intercepted by many different circumstances. So I ended up in the Business School at UT Austin.  Once landing on campus, I immediately received a phone call from the violin professor who demanded “please be at my studio tomorrow morning at 8am.” He was a Galamian student born without a smile. I flew under his iron wings and he made a better musician of me. I became the concertmaster in school and shortly after, found a back door as a substitute in the Austin Symphony. Music is a craft that is learned via doing. The early professional exposure was invaluable. While my musical dream kept playing out, I was attending business school by day and working for a tech startup by night.”

Q&A with Kevin

1. Looking back on your college experience, what is one piece of advice you’d give to a college student pursuing a music degree? (besides practice 🙂 )

Music is one of the hardest things you will ever do in life. It sharpens the mind, body, and spirit. At the same time, it is incredibly sedentary and myopic with long hours spent alone in a practice room.

I would encourage all college students to explore highly unrelated subject areas while in college. Beyond broadening the individual’s life experiences which will lend itself to becoming a better musician, it could turn into a viable second career or occupation.

2. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever been paid to do as a professional musician?

I was invited to perform for the president of Taiwan. After the performance, I was asked to step onto a game show where I won women’s lingerie on national television.

3. Looking back on your time outside of school, what are one or two things that have most surprised you about your adult life?

(Diversity of things I pursue) Today, I run a startup, teach 35 students, play with a professional symphony, and serve on two non-profit boards. When I grow up, I hope to save classical music.

Two things that have surprised me:

  • life enhances music – music describes life. and as I have lived more, I have more musical expressions
  • music enhances life – through music, I have traveled the world and met some of the most interesting and important people I have ever known. life without music would not be the same.