Ann Yao plays the guzheng, a zither that is one of the most ancient musical instruments in China. Born into a family of musicians in Shanghai, Yao grew up immersed in Chinese folk and classical music. She moved to the U.S. in 1985, and two years later began performing with the group Music From China, an innovative ensemble that promotes modern Chinese music while preserving the traditional Chinese repertoire. Together, they have performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Yao moved to Orlando in 1990, where she has been a guzheng soloist at Disney’s Epcot Center in the China Pavilion. She also participated in a documentary project about the music of China’s Tang dynasty (618-907 A.D.), and has played at numerous prestigious institutions, including the Library of Congress and the Kennedy Center. Yao was a recipient of the Florida Folk Heritage Award in 2009.