Critical Acclaim for Joy Yu Hoffman

Alice Loeppert, The Admiral at the Lake, Chicago, March 23, 2006

Thank you for the wonderful program you shared with our residents. They enjoyed it very much and still talk about it. Your program was quite different from what they've experienced before, and thus very educational as well.

Laura Dudnik, Evanston Public Library, October 18, 2005

Your performance last Sunday was absolutely delightful. I'm so pleased that you were able to be here and I know that our audience had a wonderful experience. The Kong Hou harps you brought and played are beautiful and it was interesting to see their unique construction.

The Daily Herald. December 6, 2004

At St. Mark's, Hoffman used sweeping strokes and sharp plucks of the harp as she ventured through six songs, including the classic, "Silent Night". An attentive audience watched Hoffman's seemingly effortless motions create alternately soft and loud sounds.

The Chinese American News. April 12, 2002

Joy Yu's Kong Hou solo has developed a beautiful performance technique, which brings the far-away image into human reality. "Spring River in the Moonlight" and "Butterfly Dance" are attractive. The beauty of the music seems to be set in a sweet dream.

The Epoch Times. April 8, 2002

The concert began with the Kong Hou performance. This ancient instrument had disappeared for a few hundred years. In the 1980's, it was revived using a modern design. The music of "Spring River in the Moonlight" and "Butterfly Dance" flow smoothly through Joy Yu's hands, inspiring the audience.

The World Journal. November 5th, 1999

Joy Yu's Kong Hou concert sounds a new voice with an ancient instrument. After her performance of "The Cradle Song," arranged from her parent's work at the time of Joy's childhood, she received a standing ovation of the audience, mixed with tears.

Dr. An Jeng Wang, The Greater Cincinnati Music Society, February 7, 2001

You have provided the audience with a wonderful opportunity to learn about Chinese harp and music. You not only play beautifully, but you demonstrate the Taoist harmony so gracefully. I specifically like the piece "Cradle Song," composed by your parents; it really touches my heart. We feel fortunate that you made the whole concert so successful and memorable.

Darin Kelley, The Harp Column, "cd review" July/August 2001

Hoffman has produced a lovely collection of music, which she obviously holds very close to her heart, in straight-forward, conventional arrangements.

"Ballad" may be best suited to devotees of Chinese music and culture, the disc is a worthy choice, both for its lovely and heartful melodies, and for giving Western audiences a chance to hear the Chinese treatment given to the instrument brought to them long ago.

American Harp Society - Columbus Chapter, Jude Mollenhauer, November 1999

Quite a few of our members were treated to an enjoyable and educational experience on Monday, October 26th when Chicago harpist, Joy Yu Hoffman presented a recital on the Chinese Kong Hou at Bethel Presbyterian Church. One of the most obvious special effects achievable on this unusual instrument is the vibrato ... Scale-like passages with each hand slightly offset from the other were as fluid as a waterfall.

American Harp Society, July 10, 2000

Dear Joy,

On behalf of president Lucy Scandrett and the American Harp Society Board of Directors, I want to extend our thanks to you for giving workshop Twentieth-Century Harp Techniques in Multicultural Music. The Kong Hou is an interesting instrument and makes beautiful music, and no doubt the audience found the workshop very informative.

Thank you for sharing your gift of music with us and helping to make the conference a success!

Sincerely, Jan Bishop

John Tagliabue, American Poet February 26, 2000


You have be come part of a daily part my life, the harp music remembers the ancient Chinese in me.

How soothing , but not ponderous. how liberating. So I drift as educated by clouds in many Chinese paintings. Shadows of light on a stream made into sounds. Some from great distances. Non-possessive, how Buddhist, and in these tones & tempo something consoling. Debussy seems related to some of this & me.

Lucky Grace & I met Mario a long time age who met you. Thanks & best wishes,