Adam Liu joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as assistant principal cello in 2003. Prior to this appointment, Liu held the position of associate principal cello with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra under Charles Dutoit for six seasons, including the entire 1999-2000 season as acting principal cello. He participated in many international tours and is featured on CD recordings with Montreal.
Liu was born in Tianjin, in north China. He came to the United States in 1986 after being offered a full scholarship from the Piatigorsky Foundation to study at Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore with Stephen Kates. After the completion of his studies in Maryland, he was offered a full scholarship to study further at the University of Southern California with Lynn Harrell. After completing his master's, Liu joined the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra where he met his wife, violinist Annette Liu, and where his two children, Karina and Kevin, were born.
Liu began his musical life at the age of 6 with intense study of the erhu - a two-stringed Chinese musical instrument. Taking the advice of his family, he switched to the cello, with the newly available study of western music. The erhu has always held a special place in his heart, as it represents his childhood and country of birth. He enjoys playing the erhu in his spare time.
Liu has been a featured soloist with many fine orchestras worldwide, including the symphonies of Montreal, Victoria, Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, San Antonio, Baltimore, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh.
He plays on a fine Italian cello made in 1759 by Paolo Antonio Testore.
Liu has held the artist in residence position at the Duquesne University Mary Pappert School of Music since 2009 and is a member of the Duquesne Piano Trio.