Yolanda Ting
  • 72 years old
  • Date of birth: Nov 13, 1941
  • Place of birth:
    Nanjing, China
  • Date of passing: Feb 18, 2014
  • Place of passing:
    San Francisco, California, United States
Yolanda - your music, your encouragement, your faith, and your friendship remains with us - thank you

This memorial website is in honor of Yolanda Ting, pianist, mother, teacher and friend, who passed away on February 18, 2014. We will remember her forever.

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Ted Markam on 14th November 2015

"Yolanda - on this the day of your birthday, I remember you and the good times.  Every year you had a shelfful of cards from your well-wishers, from those you touched over the years.  I still hear your encouraging words at the piano - "bring out the music!".  Well, Yolanda, your spirit and light brought beautiful music to me and those around you.  Thank you, and cheers!"

This tribute was added by Sonoo Hiraoka-Petty on 24th May 2015

"I JUST found out about Yolanda's passing today (5/24/15).  I have been thinking of her over the years.  She was one of the Best Piano teachers at Music and Art Institute of San Francisco.  I was fortunate enough to learn from her and her wonderful son Bing. I had learned so much from both of them.  

After my graduation which was more than 20 years ago, I had not seen Yolanda.  I lost her phone number and did not know how to find the way to contact her.  Today, I just typed in "Piano Teacher Yolanda Ting" on google and found out about her passing.  I am shocked and sad.  I wish I had a chance to tell her in person how very much I learned from her and I love her very much.

So, now I'm telling you Yolanda.  Thank you for everything.  You have taught me SO MUCH.  Thank you for being patient with me when you were teaching me.  I was a slow learner but you were very understanding and patient.  You were my inspiration.


This tribute was added by Ted Markam on 19th February 2015

"Well, one year on from her passing, Yolanda has been in my thoughts much.   Reflecting on all the wonderful times at the piano, the concerts and Chinese restaurants.  She would take joy in the lives of others, in being a confidante and making one's heart light.  Yolanda, you certainly "brought out the music" for me.  Yours was a precious gift, and we loved you for sharing it.   Your spirit lives on."

This tribute was added by Richard Mani on 18th February 2015

"How appropriate that today, Ash Wednesday, when we are reminded of our mortality and the transience of life, is the one year memorial of Yolanda's passing.  There is not a day goes by that in some way, I am in mind of sweet Yolanda and her impish sense of humor and gentle intelligence. She prays for all of us...Richard"

This tribute was added by Jutta Dahn on 18th February 2015

"... for you, Yolanda..."

This tribute was added by bing liu on 13th November 2014

"Happy Birthday, Mom!
We miss you!"

This tribute was added by Keiko McKibben on 6th September 2014

"Yolanda was not only wise about music but about life. She knew what was important. And hearing about her difficult past in China and how she looked forward and not back is so fitting with her character.  She would tell me not to work too hard [at my job]. And we would laugh and enjoy every lesson.  She remains alive in music, much like my father does for me. I can never play the pieces I worked on with her again without thinking of her fondly."

This tribute was added by Jutta Dahn on 18th August 2014

"Missing you, Yolanda ..."

This tribute was added by Harriet Heyman on 9th March 2014

"Dear Bing and Mel,

I studied with your mother for many years.  She was an inspiring teacher. I’d played classical piano all of my life, but through her teaching, I attained a level of musicianship I, as a hard-working amateur, would not have thought possible. When I used to prepare for an adult recital, she encouraged me to go deeply into the fine details and nuances of the piece: “Pick out the bones from the egg!” was the rough translation from Chinese.  Yolanda’s pencil markings are all over my music—Bach, Beethoven, Chopin—with her ingenious way of re-fingering passages for small hands. Though I am studying jazz piano now, I return to the classical repertory. I hear her voice. I learned so much, not just about technique but also how to reach the heart of the music.  

Beyond what she taught me, I can hear her laughter. She had a wise and droll view of life. I never heard the slightest tinge of bitterness about what she went through during the Cultural Revolution. I admired her tenacity and drive.  Even toward the end, when my friend Julie Westcott and I visited, she was so frail but retained her mischievous sense of humor.  She was blunt, hilariously so, about human foible—but never cruel.  She was an amazing person.  I feel privileged to have known her.

Harriet Heyman


This tribute was added by Richard Mani on 7th March 2014

"Yolanda Ting was my teacher and friend for over twenty years. I am proud to say that I loved Yolanda Ting, and that she loved me. A piano lesson with Yolanda was a lesson in life. She was the Great Confessor, who allowed you to share with her your life experiences. But she also had a puckish sense of humor and especially when I made my God awful mistakes at the piano.  It was because of her gentle pushing (nagging?) that I first performed in two SF. Piano Teacher recitals.  I hated the experience (details upon request) and suggested to Yolanda one day that her other adult students might be more willing to perform in our own homes...thus the annual Yolanda Ting Adult Recitals that provided so much sweat, agony and pleasurable memories.  Yolanda and I spoke often of our shared belief in a good God and, although I miss her terribly, I am comforted that I will join her in the next life for some more sweet lessons in music making.  There was no one like her.  Rest in God, sweet Yolanda, and know that your legacy of kindness and joy will continue to radiate in the hearts of all your students and friends.  We miss you.... Richard"

This tribute was added by bing liu on 7th March 2014

"Jutta, Please allow me to translate the beautiful poem of Michelangelo into English (from the German version):

Fate sent me to sleep deeply.
But I am not gone, only changed places.
I am living in you, going into your dreams,
where we unite and transform.
You believe that I am gone, but in the world which I comfort, I shall live with a thousand souls, in this wonderful place -- in the heart of love.
No, I did not part from you,
for immortality of death had freed me."

This tribute was added by Ted Markam on 7th March 2014

"I have known Yolanda for twenty years here in San Francisco.  She opened my eyes and ears to beautiful music, gave me friendship and company and, when I needed it, the strength to carry on.  I miss the stories, I miss the smiles, I miss her words, to "bring out the music".
Yolanda - I miss you, dear friend."

This tribute was added by Jutta Dahn on 7th March 2014

"Ich bin nicht tot, ich tauschte nur die Räume ....

Qui vuol mie sorte c'anzi tempo i' dorma:
Nè son già morto: e ben c' albergo cangi,
resto in te vivo, c' or mi vedi e piangi;
se l'un nell' altro amante si trasforma.
Qui son morto creduto; e per conforto
del mondo vissi, e con mille alme in seno
di veri amanti: adunche, a venir meno,
per tormen' una sola non son morto.
(Michelangelo Buonarroti, 1475-1564 - Rime 194)

Es sandte mir das Schicksal tiefen Schlaf.
Ich bin nicht tot, ich tauschte nur die Räume.
Ich leb in euch, ich geh in eure Träume,
da uns, die wir vereint, Verwandlung traf.
Ihr glaubt mich tot, doch dass die Welt ich tröste,
leb ich mit tausend Seelen dort, an diesem wunderbaren Ort,
im Herzen der Lieben. Nein, ich ging nicht fort,
Unsterblichkeit vom Tode mich erlöste.
(übersetzt von Rilke)

Missing you ..."

This tribute was added by bing liu on 26th February 2014

"It´s been a week since mother left us, still can´t believe it, feeling saddened and shocked...

Mom has a tough and eventful life. Born into a wealthy family in china, after witnessing his family members persecuted and their properties confiscated, she left home to start a new life in the frontier province of the Northeast.

Even in such remote region Mom still could not escape the fury of the political persecutions of the regime, as punishments were meted out to her for being born into a "wrong family" She had to leave her teaching post to dig anti-aircraft bunkers. In an accident, Mom´s hand, which won her first prize in the national piano competition, was severely damaged. But Mom was not discouraged. She continue to teach and help her student secretly, as Western music was banned by the regime those days.

When Mom arrived in US, she had no money and little support. But she is such a fighter -- she believed hardworking and independence, which defines "American Dream". Mom worked night shift jobs while enrolling at the music conservatory, whose counterpart institution in China denied her entrance despite her winning the national competition. Mom worked hard and graduated with distinction. While continuing to work hard to improve her economic situation, she also did her best to support her children with their studies. Mom finally returned to the profession she really loved: teaching music. She is well loved by all her students, not only as an excellence teacher, but even more as a  compassionate human being and as a friend. Mom surely realized her American dream, and she did it in her own way.

In my childhood, Mom was not around much, and she seemed to be a distant and unfathomable person. But in retrospect, Mom was brought up by an authoritarian father who admired Prussian virtue and discipline. Perhaps she was just too afraid to open up herself, for she loved her children too much. Now I feel Mom´s presence more than ever, watching over us like the brightest star in the nightly sky. She will always be with us and inspire us in our life ahead."

This tribute was added by bing liu on 26th February 2014


One morning you no longer wake up,
But the birds still sing, as they sang yesterday.

Nothing changes in the daily routine on this new day.
Only that YOU have just left.

But you are now free,
and our tears that wish you luck.

--- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe"

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This memorial is administered by:

bing liu
Ted Markam


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