A native of the northern coastal city Qingdao in China, oboist Mingjia Liu was born into a family of art and literature. At the age of 21, Liu won the position of Principal Oboe of the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Michael Stern in 2009. During that time, he collaborated with artists such as Gil Shaham and Emmanuel Pahud among many others. In 2010, Liu was appointed as Principal Oboist with the San Francisco Opera. In addition to playing with San Francisco Opera, Liu has appeared as a guest artist and soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, National Center for the Performing Arts, and the China National Symphony Orchestra. On his most recent tour of China, he was lauded as an emerging star of Western classical music.
Liu is recognized for being an outstanding performer and educator in the United States and abroad. He was invited by the Central Conservatory of Music to give regular recitals and master classes since the First Beijing International Oboe Festival in 2011. Liu also appears regularly as a special guest teacher at his alma mater, the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Prior to joining the Colburn School as Professor of Oboe, Liu was on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. In 2018, he was elected as the Vice President of the International Double Reed Society and joined the faculty at the Aspen Music Festival.
Liu studied with Weidong Wei, Professor of Oboe at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, and graduated with the highest distinction in 2006. He continued his studies in the United States at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where he studied with Robert Walters from the Cleveland Orchestra and Alex Klein, former Principal Oboist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He also appeared as a Fellowship Musician at the Colorado College Music Festival and at the Aspen Music Festival where he worked closely with Elaine Douvas and Richard Woodhams. In the fall of 2022, he joined The Tianjin Juilliard School as resident faculty.