A concert of works by the first woman to receive a master’s degree in composition from a Chinese institution, and who is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, will cap a two-day event on music and globalization at the Eastman School of Music. The event, at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, in Kilbourn Hall, also features the premiere of a new work by acclaimed composer Chen Yi, who is attending the symposium and concert.
The recipient of numerous honors and commissions, Chen Yi combines Chinese and Western traditions in her music, transcending boundaries and inspiring people of different cultural backgrounds. Her works have contributed to the orchestral, choral, and chamber music repertoires and have been performed by such soloists as cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Yehudi Menuhin, and pianist Emanuel Ax, and by orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Singapore Symphony, and the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra.
Her many awards include first prize in the Chinese National Composition Competition, the Lili Boulanger Award from the National Women Composers Resource Center, a Grammy Award, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Elise Stoeger Award, and two Adventurous Programming and Concert Music awards from ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers).
Chen Yi began studying piano at the age of three, learning the music of Western composers such as Bach and Mozart. As a teenager during the Cultural Revolution, she spent two years performing compulsory labor in the countryside, where she experienced Chinese folk culture firsthand.
Chen Yi received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from the Beijing Central Conservatory and her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Columbia University, where she studied under Chou Wen-chung and Mario Davidovsky. She served on the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University for two years and has been the Lorena Searcey Cravens/Millsap/Missouri Distinguished Professor at the Conservatory of the University of Missouri at Kansas City since 1998. In 2001, she was named the second recipient of the prestigious Charles Ives Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005.
The concert of works by Chen Yi, which features performances by the woodwind quintet Antara Winds and Eastman’s new music ensemble Ossia, is part of a two-day Music and Globalization Symposium at the Eastman School. The event includes presentations and discussions on issues surrounding the meaning of cultural representation as world music grows in popularity and influence and artists adapt music from diverse cultures to their own sensibilities.
The events begin at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19, with the opening concert of this season’s Eastman World Music Series. Focusing on African music, the program features Cosmas Magaya and Beauler Dyoko, Zimbabwean masters of the mbira, an instrument of metal keys mounted on a hardwood soundboard. The concert also includes African Alchemies, an Eastman-based ensemble which performs traditional African music and new compositions on Western instruments using traditional African techniques.
Admission to the Music and Globalization Symposium and to the concert of Chen Yi’s works is free, but tickets are required for the World Music Series concert. Tickets are $8 to $18 and can be purchased at the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra box office, 108 East Ave., by phone at 585-454-2100, or online at https://www.esm.rochester.edu/concerts/tickets.php .
More information about the Music and Globalization symposium is available online at https://www.esm.rochester.edu/globalization/ .
The Music and Globalization Symposium at Eastman is presented by the Musicology Department at Eastman in conjunction with the Central New York Humanities Corridor, an initiative of the University of Rochester and Syracuse and Cornell Universities to enhance the profile of the humanities through collaborative interdisciplinary programming and research. The initiative is made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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World Music Series: Mbira Masters of Zimbabwe Cosmas & Beauler and African Alchemies
Kilbourn Hall, 26 Gibbs St.
Tickets are $8 to $18 (discount with UR ID); available at the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra box office, 108 East Ave., by phone at 585-454-2100, or online at https://www.esm.rochester.edu/concerts/tickets.php
Music and Globalization conference concert of works by Chinese guest composer Chen Yi performed by Antara Winds and Ossia. Features premiere of her Wind Quintet No. 3.
Kilbourn Hall, 26 Gibbs St.