Olivia was born on December 1999 in Monterey Park, California. She studied piano at the age of five at Yamaha Music school, where she received many awards. Her father James Chiang, a self-taught musician, guitarist and composer from Taiwan, began to teach her classical guitar when she was seven. Olivia received an educational award from the White House and was the student of the year at Vejar Elementary School.
Giving her first public performance for both piano and guitar at Mt. SAC at the age of seven, Olivia continued her study with her father, and received the Music Diploma of Theory and Performance at the Royal School of Music, London, England (ABRSM) when she was 11. She was also selected to attend Christopher Parkening’s masterclass in 2010 and Roland Dyens’ master class in 2011. Olivia was the 2nd place winner of the National Solo Competition from American Strings Teachers Association (ASTA) in 2015. She is also member of American Guitar Foundation, American Guitar Society and Orange County Guitar Circle, where her father James Chiang is the Showcase Director.
Many composers have begun to compose classical guitar pieces for her, including Richard Glenn (USA), Alex Chudnovsky (Australia), Carlos Atilano (Venezuela), Maurice Sherbanee (France), Amir Abbasi (Iran), Ricardo Boppre (Brazil), and her own father James Chiang. She has also been interviewed by Emma Wang for the Chinese Daily News and Bill Piburn from Fingerstyle Guitar Journal.
Olivia performed Vivaldi’s Lute Concerto (RV 93) with Seraphim Symphony/Irvine Classical Players at the age of 13, with Conductor Maxim Eshkenazy. Soon after, Olivia performed Concierto de Aranjuez and Classical Gas with Dr. Buddy Clements’ symphony orchestra at Walnut High School, where she is also the feature editor of the school newspaper.
One of the many guitar-related projects that Olivia is involved in is the “A Taste of Spain” series, featuring Richard Foss, a speaker for Spanish culture, Jessica Pacheco, a renowned international flamenco dancer, and Olivia on guitar performing the music of Francisco Tárrega, Joaquín Turina and Isaac Albéniz.
At the age of twelve, Olivia made her first video recording – a performance of Bach’s ‘Prelude & Allegro (BWV 998)’ here at GSI – and she followed that with a more recent video, recorded in 2015, of her playing Bach’s ‘Chaconne’– a historic point in her musical career thus far. She is also the first in classical guitar history to video record Barrios’ ‘Variation on a Theme by Tarrega (Lagrima)’, which was recorded on a Teodoro Perez guitar. Olivia continues to stop by our showroom and perform annually on very prestigious guitars such as Hauser, Teodoro Perez, Matt Chaffin, Edmund Blochinger and Greg Smallman; and we’re always glad to hear her next great performance.
Olivia has been performing at the Fret House, Bowers Museum, Altadena Library, Yorba Linda Library and many other local guitar communities. She also continues to perform with the symphony orchestra at Walnut High School and has recently released her first CD titled Sweet Sixteen, which showcases recordings she has made in our showroom, mastered for CD.
“It is always such a distinct pleasure to hear Olivia Chiang. In addition to having a clear talent and a love for the instrument, she also brings an elevated approach to the music that is uncommon in one so young.”
- David Grimes
"Olivia Chiang is on the rise to be a star in the guitar world. Her understanding of the intricacies and sonic possibilities of the instrument belie her age and maturity. A refreshing approach and highly recommended."
- Gregg Nestor
"Like many others, I have watched her grow in technical skill and individual artistry for years. Always moving forward, taking on very difficult repertoire, Olivia stands out among the best teenage classical guitarists today."
- Daniel Roest
"Of the tracks I liked especially well: the famous "Chaconne" by J.S. Bach and "The streets of Rio" by Maurice Sherbance. But also all the other tracks are worth listening to. Bravo Olivia."
- Jovan Pesec