KuanFen Liu has profoundly shaped the performing arts community since her arrival in Ventura in 1999. She was instrumental in the formation of not only the Channel Islands Chamber Orchestra, but also the Channel Islands Choral Association – with both groups advancing her vision to nurture the next generation of musicians. As the Artistic Director and Conductor of both organizations since their inception, KuanFen has created unique concert series with innovative programming, commissioned new works from local composers, and initiated outreach and mentorship programs in Ventura County school districts.
The most recent example of KuanFen’s achievements occurred this past summer, when KuanFen led a 108-member choir – comprised primarily of Ventura County singers aged 14 to 80 – and the New England Symphonic Ensemble in a performance at Carnegie Hall. The audience reaction was a resounding standing ovation, and program management at Carnegie Hall likewise swiftly extended an invitation for KuanFen to return in 2024.
In addition to her conducing career, KuanFen is an Associate Professor in Music at the CSU Channel Islands University where she teaches music theory, music history and performance related courses. It was through KuanFen’s academic pursuits and connections that she was able to spearhead a professional recording session for the Channel Islands Chamber Orchestra. Over two days in July 2022, the orchestra recorded two works at the legendary Newman Scoring State at Fox Studios: the Channel Islands Orchestral Suite (by Ashley Hoyer, premiered by CHICO in October 2019) and the Santa Monica Mountains (by Bevan Manson, scheduled to be performed by CHICO in December 2022).
Originally from Taiwan, KuanFen began music studies at the age of five. She is a graduate of the prestigious Eastman School of Music (M.M.), and Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California (D.M.A.). She has studied under William Dehning, William Weinert, Mark Gibson, and David Effron, and has participated in masterclasses and workshops with renowned conductors including Robert Shaw, Charles Dutoit, Helmuth Rilling, Joseph Flummerfelt, James Jordan and Dale Warland. KuanFen’s conducting career has enabled her to work with choirs and orchestras throughout the United States and worldwide, including Bangkok, Thailand, Auckland, New Zealand, and Taiwan.
A resident of Camarillo, KuanFen was the recipient of the 2016 Ventura Mayor’s Arts Awards for “Artist in the Community.” She and her husband Jimmy Huang have a daughter Terilyn Huang.