The Composers

Headshot of Chinese-American composer Kui Dong seated on a wooden bench with watery reflections behind her in the background.

Kui Dong is a professor of Music Composition and Music department Chair (2018-2020) at Dartmouth College. Dong’s compositions span diverse genres and styles including ballet, orchestral, chamber, chorus, electro-acoustic music, film scores, multi-media art, and free improvisation. Her works written in the US increasingly show a unique synthesis of influences from Avant-garde experimental, jazz, electro-acoustic, and other ethnic music, but at the same time maintain profound respect to Western classical music and a deep cultural connection with her roots. She sometimes incorporates theatre, as well as Chinese and non-western instruments and musical concepts into contemporary settings. When she is not writing music, she occasionally performs free improvisation on piano and writes novels on the side. Her first novel The Story of a Little Soldier will be published by Knowledge Press under the Encyclopedia of China Publishing House in 2020.

Korean composer Jungyoon Wie smiles, standing before a lush backdrop of verdant green leaves.

Born in Seoul, South Korea, Jungyoon Wie is a composer, educator,  pianist, and producer. Themes of identity have been the center of her compositional journey, and her current research involves creating a short film in collaboration with filmmaker Toko Shiiki, dancers Rie Kim and Jun Wakabayashi, and Converge String Quartet which explores shifting dynamics of identity, otherness, and the marginalized experience of women. This film highlights a string quartet by Ms. Wie, han, which uses Korean, folk, traditional, European, American, and contemporary expressive modalities.

American composer, cellist, and vocalist Theresa Wong smiles while posed in darkness. The left side of her face is softly lit in this 3/4 profile view portrait.

Theresa Wong is a composer, cellist and vocalist active at the intersection of music, experimentation, improvisation and the synergy of multiple disciplines. She has followed inquisitive paths into song forms, video, just intonation, movement and visual media. Wong’s commissioned pieces include works for Vajra Voices, Splinter Reeds, Del Sol String Quartet and pianist Sarah Cahill. Wong is a CivitellaRanieri Foundation Fellow and has also been an artist-in-residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts and Yaddo. She currently works and resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Dressed in black, before a soft gray backdrop, Chinese composer Dr. Chen Yi smiles, while looking directly at the camera.

As a Distinguished Professor at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance, a prolific composer, and recipient of the Ives Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Dr. Chen Yi blends Chinese and Western traditions, transcending cultural and musical boundaries. Her music has reached a wide range of audiences and inspired peoples of different cultural backgrounds throughout the world. She holds a BA and MA in music composition from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, and a DMA from Columbia University in New York City, studying composition with Wu Zuqiang, Chou Wen-chung and Mario Davidovsky. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2019.

Chinese born composer Huang Ruo is seated on a red couch in the darkend room, holding a yellow pencil, as sheets of music, with some pages crumpled, lay at his feet.

Huang Ruo has been lauded by the New Yorker as “one of the world’s leading young composers” by the New York Times for having “a distinctive style.” His vibrant and inventive musical voice draws equal inspiration from Chinese ancient and folk music, Western avant-garde, experimental, noise, natural and processed sound, rock, and jazz. As a member of the new generation of Chinese composers, his goal is not just to mix both Western and Eastern elements, but also to create a seamless, organic integration. Huang Ruo’s diverse compositional works span from orchestra, chamber music, opera, theater, and dance, to cross-genre, sound installation, multi-media, experimental improvisation, folk rock, and film.

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