The distinguished Chinese-American violinist, William Pu, has served in key roles for two of the premiere orchestras in the United States. For the past twenty-five years, Mr. Pu was the Assistant Concertmaster for the Houston Symphony Orchestra and the Associate Concertmaster for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
Born in Shanghai, Mr. Pu graduated from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music before coming to the United States. He studied with renowned teachers like Fredell Lack, Camilla Wicks, David Cerone, and Emanuel Borok. Mr. Pu was the national winner of the 1990 Music Teachers National Association Competition (MTNA) and has received many awards in national and international competitions. At the age of twenty-three, Mr. Pu won the national audition and was appointed by Christoph Eschenbach to become the youngest ever to serve as the Assistant Concertmaster of the Houston Symphony Orchestra. In 2002, Mr. Pu again won the national audition to become the Associate Concertmaster of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. During his tenure with the Houston Symphony Orchestra and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Pu led both as acting concertmaster, on tours, and on recordings. He was featured as a soloist on many occasions and collaborated with distinguished artists such as Robert Spano, Christoph Eschenbach, Yo-Yo Ma, Lang Lang, and Itzhak Perlman, just to name a few.
Mr. Pu was invited as a guest concertmaster with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, and the Hong Kong Sinfonietta. In addition to his busy performing schedule, Mr. Pu actively played chamber music with his colleagues and friends in Houston, Atlanta, Hong Kong, and China. Mr. Pu was invited to be the featured soloist with the Wroclaw Philharmonic in Poland, the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, the Texas Music Festival Orchestra, the Moore School of Music Orchestra at the University of Houston, the Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra, etc. In 2005 and 2010, Mr. Pu was invited to perform in Beijing and Shanghai as a member of the orchestra comprised of the top one hundred Chinese musicians from around the world.
Teaching has long been Mr. Pu’s passion. In 1989, Mr. Pu received the Dorothy Starling Foundation Scholarship to become a teaching assistant to Fredell Lack at the University of Houston. For many years in the summer, Mr. Pu was invited to teach at the Texas Music Festival, the Asian Youth Orchestra in Hong Kong, the Harpa International Music Academy in Reykjavik, Iceland, and continues with the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra (NTSO) International Youth Orchestra Camp. His students are now in many professional orchestras and top music schools in the United States and abroad.
Since 2014, due to his love of music and deep commitment to providing educational opportunities for young musicians, Mr. Pu and his wife, Amy Chang, have founded the following educational institutions in Atlanta:
William Pu Music Academy (2014), a successful pre-college music school dedicated to providing high-quality lessons to all levels of students starting at age 4. The academy received the 2023 Music Industry Award from the American String Teachers Association (ASTA). This award recognizes the contribution of the William Pu Music Academy in providing excellence in music education.
To continue inspiring and training more young musicians, in 2019, he and his wife, Amy Chang, founded the nonprofit organization Atlanta Festival Academy (AFA). The AFA was successfully launched as an international platform for music collaborations and performances for young musicians around the world. Under the leadership of Mr. Pu and Amy Chang, AFA has grown into a year-round program that offers international competitions, youth orchestras and ensembles, and an annual summer festival. AFA also offers community outreach programs that provide free lessons to local public schools and bring quality music education to students as young as 7 years old.
In 2022, the Georgia State Senate had jointly signed a resolution recognizing and commending Mr. Pu and his wife for their contributions to providing high-quality music education in Georgia. Furthermore, Mr. Pu is a recipient of the “Outstanding Georgia Citizen” award from the Georgia Governor, Brian P. Kemp. Mr. Pu also actively engages in volunteering in his community by serving on the Legacy Center Task Force and as a board member for the Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra and Emory Johns Creek Hospital.
WPMA raises the bar of music education, with excellent commitment and mission to help students to achieve their higher creative potential.
Since 2014, it was due to his love of music and deep commitment to provide educational opportunities for young musicians, Mr. Pu and his wife, Amy Chang, have founded following educational institutions in Atlanta:
William Pu Music Academy (2014), a successful pre-college music school dedicate to providing high quality lessons to all level students start from age 4.
Atlanta Youth Orchestra (2016), a premium summer youth ensemble that provide professional orchestra training and performance opportunities for young musicians throughout metro Atlanta.
In 2019, together with his wife Amy Chang and long-time friend Mrs. Wei Lin, Mr. Pu co-founded the Atlanta Festival Academy. The Atlanta Festival Academy was successfully launched as an international platform of music collaborations and performances for young musicians around world.
Mr. Pu has been awarded as a recipient of the “Outstanding Georgia Citizen” by Secretary of State of the State of Georgia, Brad Raffensperger. Mr. Pu received the certificate of appreciation from the ambassador Roger Wise at the Opening Ceremony of the Inaugural Atlanta Festival Academy on July 21, 2019.
Mr. Pu was proclaimed by Mr. Wise to receive the award, given to Georgians who go above and beyond in their dedication to the well-being of the state. The award certificate text captures the nature of the honor: “May this Outstanding Citizen be afforded every courtesy as a Goodwill Ambassador from Georgia in his travels to other states, to nations beyond the borders of the United States of America, or wherever he may hereafter travel or reside. Thank you for your service to our State.”
Dr. Galilaias has been invited to teach violin and chamber music extensively in renowned institutions such as: The Julliard School, Oberlin Conservatory, University of Illinois, Northwestern University, University of North Carolina, New York University, Penn State University, University of Houston, State Conservatory of Thessaloniki and the thens Conservatory. Dr. Galilaias has held important administrative positions which include: Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Series at the Dimitria International Festival of Thessaloniki. Board of Directors of the State Conservatory of Greece and State Orchestra of Thessaloniki, Artistic Director of the Summer Music Academy in Athytos Halkidiki, and Executive Director of the Summer Anatolia Music program.
Highlighted appearances included the performance of the Brahms Double Concerto with Misha Maisky, and the collaboration with the Borodin Quartet and the George Enescu Philharmonic of Bucharest (Romania). Dr. Galilaias has appeared as a soloist at some of the world’s most prestigious concert venues such as the Kennedy Center (Washington D.C.), Carnegie Hall (New York), Musikverein (Vienna), Gasteig (Munich), Smetana Hall (Prague), Athenaeum (Bucharest). In 2007 Christos Galilaias joined the faculty at Georgia State University where he serves as Associate Professor of Violin. In 2015 Dr. Galilaias founded the Anatolia Summer Music Program in Thessaloniki Greece and also serves as Executive Director. Dr. Galilaias plays on a 1705 Joseph Guarneri violin.