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Du Yun

Pulitzer Prize-winner Du Yun, born and raised in Shanghai and currently based in New York City, is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, performance artist, activist, and curator for new music, working at the intersection of orchestral, opera, chamber music, theatre, cabaret, musical, oral tradition, public performances, sound installation, electronics, visual arts, and noise. Hailed by The New York Times as a “leading figure in China’s new generation of composers” and often cited as a key activist in New York’s “new movement in new music,” Du Yun’s music is championed by some of today’s finest performing artists, ensembles, orchestras, and organizations.

Describing her as “protean” and “chameleonic,” NPR voted Du Yun one of 100 composers under 40 in 2011 and The Washington Post named her one of the top 35 female composers in classical music. In 2017, she won the Pulitzer Prize in Music for her opera, Angel’s Bone. She is a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow, and the same year was named one of the 38 Great Immigrants by the Carnegie Foundation.

As an avid performer, she has appeared in many assorted holes and halls, sites and museums. Her onstage persona has been described by The New York Times as “an indie pop diva with an avant-garde edge.” She also leads her band, Ok Miss.

As a performance artist, solo engagements have included the 2012 Guangzhou Art Triennial at the Guangzhou Opera House, the National Academy Museum (USA), the inaugural Shanghai Project and Contemporary Arts Center Córdoba (Spain). Her ongoing collaboration works with the Pakistani-American visual artist Shahzia Sikander have been shown around the world, and as permanent collections at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.

Du Yun has also worked in the theatre, with original music for Kung Fu by David Henry Hwang and as the composer of the musical Dim Sum Warriors by Yenyen Woo and Colin Goh, on tour in China in 25 major cities in 2018.

Du Yun attended the PreCollege of Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Oberlin Conservatory (BM), and Harvard University (PhD). Du Yun is currently on the composition faculty at the Peabody Institute and the artist-in-residence at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. She was a founding member of International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), and in 2014-2018 the artistic director of MATA Festival. In order to champion more cross-regional collaborations, she spearheaded the inaugural Pan Asia Sounding Festival in 2018 in New York City, with future iterations in Hong Kong and London.

Du Yun’s music can be heard on New Focus, National Sawdust Tracks, Deutsche Grammophon, Pentatone, Oxingale, Shanghai Audio & Video Publishing House and ATMA Classique.