Music Professor Irene Shiao to Perform at King of England’s Coronation

Shiao conducts String Orchestra

May 02, 2023 - 10:57 AM

Irene ShiaoA decade ago, Music professor Irene Shiao had one of the most prestigious honors a classical musician can attain: To play for Queen Elizabeth at her Diamond Jubilee. 

Shiao performed so well that she has been invited back to perform at King Charles’ coronation celebration  this Friday at 7:30 p.m. London time at St. John’s Smith Square. The coronation is arguably the most important ceremonial event in England in more than half a century. 

Shiao (far left) plays at the Diamond Jubilee

“The performance for Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee was an incredible experience,” Shiao said. “I am so thrilled to bring back what I saw and learned to my students.” 


According to the official event page for the coronation, “The professional orchestra of Musique Sur La Mer …. will be performing a WORLD PREMIERE of A NEW COMPOSITION BY AMERICAN COMPOSER, PAUL GIBSON - composed for Musique Sur La Mer in honour of the double coronation of HM King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla.”

musique-sur-la-mer-orchestraThe Musique Sur La Mer Orchestra is conducted by renowned Director Marcy A. Sudock, who has twice handpicked Shiao as a violinist for these “performances of a lifetime.” The orchestra is comprised of top professional musicians representing both the USA and the UK. The orchestra will get only one chance to rehearse with all the musicians together in London.

Shiao leaves this Wednesday for London and she is bringing Shiao conducts String Orchestraher favorite violin to play, which was made in France in 1803. Shiao has played it since she was in high school. 

“I have known Marcy for years, and we have appreciated each other’s musicianship,” Shiao said. “For the Queen’s Jubilee, I was so excited; I could not sleep. And now, 10 years later, I am honored that she chose me twice to do performances for such historical events. It is very exciting.” 

Shiao conducts String OrchestraShiao grew up in Taiwan and has been playing the violin since age 10. In newspaper articles published about her performance at the Jubilee, she explained how she challenged cultural traditions in Taiwan as a child, since boys were supposed to play the violin, while girls were expected to play the piano. Shiao moved to America in 1989 and earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees as well as numerous awards and honors for her string skills. 

Shiao with String OrchestraToday, Shiao is the conductor and director of Mt. SAC’s String Orchestra, which will hold a free concert on Monday, May 22 at 7:30 p.m. at Feddersen Recital Hall. Previous performances are available to watch on their YouTube channel. Shiao also teaches the violin and viola to music students and is eager to pass on her love for music, hoping to inspire students with her music journey. 

“You have to dream big because everything is possible,” Shiao said. “You practice hard and then one day, you never know, and you get the call to have such an opportunity. It’s all about persistence and patience.” 

The coronation event is scheduled to be broadcast on the Sky News YouTube channel. While events have already begun leading up to Saturday’s actual crowning, Sky News may be the best way to view Shiao’s performance on Friday evening.Shiao conducts String Orchestra