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Photo: Annette Hornischer

Composer, Performer, and Advocator; Professor of Composition, Peabody Institute, Johns Hopkins University

Deutsche Bank Fellow in Music Composition - Class of Spring 2022

Du Yun was born and raised in Shanghai, China and currently based in New York City. She is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, performance artist, activist, and curator for new music, who works at the intersection of opera, orchestral, chamber music, theater, cabaret, oral tradition, public performances, sound installation, electronics, visual arts, and noise. She is known for her “relentless originality and unflinching social conscience” (The New Yorker). Du Yun’s opera, Angel’s Bone, won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize; in 2018 she was named a Guggenheim Fellow; and in 2019, she was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Classical Composition category. Her collaborative opera Sweet Land with Raven Chacon, librettist Aja Couchois and Douglas Kearney (for opera company The Industry) was the 2021 Best New Opera by the North America Critics Association. As an avid performer and bandleader, her onstage persona has been described as “an indie pop diva with an avant-garde edge.” A community champion, Du Yun was a founding member of the International Contemporary Ensemble; served as the Artistic Director of MATA Festival (2014-2018); conceived the Pan Asia Sounding Festival; and founded FutureTradition, a global initiative that illuminates the provenance lineages of folk art and uses these structures to build cross-regional collaborations from the ground up. In 2018, Du Yun was named one of “38 Great Immigrants” by the Carnegie Foundation, and in 2019 the Beijing Music Festival named her “Artist of the Year.” In 2022, she was granted a Creative Capital Award for an AR inter-generational Kun-opera project. Four of her feature studio albums were named The New Yorker’s Notable Recordings of the Year, in 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021, respectively.


Du Yun is also professor of composition at Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University and a distinguished visiting professor at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.  Her concert works are exclusively published by G. Schirmer, Inc.


At the Academy, among her projects, she will be working  with the Humboldt Forum for her recording project with the First Generation School Children from Yushu, Tibetan Prefecture, and an installation work using AR technology  engaging the Chinese Kunqu opera and inter-generational community opera troupes. Both of them are under her FutureTradition Initiative.

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