Shaina Pan


Hometown: Yangzhou, China & Carmel, IN

Alma maters: Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, San Francisco Conservatory of Music

Instagram: @shaina__pan

Photo 1 by Matt Dine


Appearances: Lucerne Festival Academy, 2019; Atlantic Music Festival, 2018; Aspen Music Festival, 2016

What is your earliest memory of classical music? One of the few classical music CDs I grew up with was a Erik Satie collection, complete with birdsong and rain sounds. I was probably four or five when I first heard it. Listening to Gymnopédie No. 1 always makes me nostalgic!

Who is your biggest inspiration? My parents, my grandpa, and my cat

What is your favorite piece of music, and why do you love it? I’m not good at choosing favorites but recently I’ve been listening to the Biber violin sonatas, which are lovely, strange, and full of surprises.

What has been your favorite experience as a musician? Playing both Brahms sextets in a house concert, performing with Saul Williams, and performing in Mexico City with IU’s New Music Ensemble. 

Do you have any embarrassing performance stories? I once forgot my music for a graduate school audition and had to scramble for some photocopies at the very last minute—needless to say, people were not pleased.

What is some advice you would give to your younger self? Get off Myspace and go outside! 

Favorite non-classical musician or band: Juicebumps, 100 gecs

If you could play another instrument, what would it be? Erhu or mandolin. It would also be cool to learn how to shred on guitar.

If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing? Something music-adjacent

Which three people, dead or alive, would you like to have dinner with and why? Hildegard von Bingen, John Cage, and Marina Abramović. I feel like they would have things to talk about.

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us: I have an English degree and at one point fancied myself a writer!