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Sun, Feb 07



Musical Mosaic: Three Generations of Asian American Music

Explore the connection between Asian American composers and the immigrant experience through the expertise and personal stories of Nancy Yunhwa Rao and Eric Hung.

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Musical Mosaic: Three Generations of Asian American Music
Musical Mosaic: Three Generations of Asian American Music

Time & Location

Feb 07, 2021, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM


About the event

Join Nancy Yunhwa Rao, professor at Rutgers University, and Eric Hung, Executive Director of Music of Asian America Research Center, to explore Asian American composers of symphonic music since the 1950s. Referencing their own journeys and careers, the presenters will reflect on how the immigrant experience has shaped the contributions of Asian American composers and their work. Featured pieces include Paul Chihara’s Forest Music (1969), Chen Yi’s Symphony No. 2 (1993), and Reena Esmail’s Black Iris (#metoo) (2018). This event is the third in our five-part virtual Discovery Series - Musical Mosaic: America’s Composers of Color. Guest speakers presented by Florence Bank.

More about our guest speakers:

Eric Hung is Executive Director of the Music of Asian America Research Center (MAARC), and Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Maryland.  His research focuses on Asian American music, music and trauma, and public musicology.  He is also an active pianist and conductor who has performed in Germany, Austria, Hong Kong, and Australia and throughout North America.  Prior to joining the nonprofit world full-time, he was a tenured professor at Westminster Choir College of Rider University.  He is co-director of the Westminster Chinese Music Ensemble and a long-time member of New York–based Gamelan Dharma Swara.  Hung holds a Ph.D. in musicology from Stanford University and an MLIS in Archives and Digital Curation from the University of Maryland.

Nancy Yunhwa Rao is professor of music at Rutgers University. Her work bridges musicology, music theory, Chinese opera and Sinophone studies. She has published on the use of musical gestures, singing, and percussion patterns of Beijing opera in contemporary music by composers of Chinese origin.  Her study on composer Ruth Crawford Seeger won the best article award from the Society for American Music in 2009. Rao’s study of Chinese in North America has led to writings on transnational issues in the production and opera performance in Chinatown theaters. Her book, Chinatown Opera Theater in North America, includes analysis of networks, playbills, aria and spectacles. It has received three book awards, from American Musicological Society, Society for American Music, and Association for Asian American Studies, and Certificate of Merit from Association for Recorded Sound Collection.  In addition, Rao has written about contemporary music by composers of Chinese heritage, including Chen Yi, Tan Dun, Bright Sheng and Zhou Long.  A recent article “The Concept of Shi: Chinese Aesthetics and Chen Yi’s Happy Rain on a Spring Night,” can be read in Music Theory Online.


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