Born and raised in Shanghai, China, currently based in NYC, Du Yun is a composer, multi-instrumentalist and performance artist. Her music exists at an artistic crossroads of orchestral, chamber music, theatre, opera, orchestral, cabaret, storytelling, pop music, visual arts and noise.
Hailed by The New York Times as a leading figure in China’s new generation of composers, Du Yun’s music is championed by some of today’s finest performing artists, ensembles, orchestras and organizations. Selected commissions include the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Mann Center for the Performing Arts, American Composers Orchestra, Berkeley Symphony, Whitney Museum of American Art, Fromm Foundation, Meet the Composer/ Commissioning USA, Chamber Music America, and Shanghai Electronic Music Week. Du Yun’s music has also been presented by Festival d’Avignon (France), Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ (The Netherlands), Musica Nova Helinski (Finland), Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music (Norway), Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik Darmstadt (Germany), Festival Internacional Cervantino (Mexico), Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, BAMNextWave, violinist Hilary Hahn, cellist Matt Haimovitz, and flutist Claire Chase, Trinity Wall Street, Festival of New Trumpet, Ecstatic Music Festival, 21c Liederabend, the San Francisco Contemporary Chamber Players, and many more.
Her music has also been presented by Festival d’Avignon (France), Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ (Netherlands), the Nova Musica of Helinski, Ultima Contemporary Music (Norway), the Darmstadt Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik (Germany), Festival Internacional Cervantino (Mexico), Canadian Music Week, Nova Scotia Festival, Centro Nacional De la Música (Argentina), the Radio Kamer Filharmonie of The Netherlands, le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne of Canada, the Camerata Aberta of Brazil, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the New York City Opera – VOX, cellist Frances-Marie Uitti, among others. Other grants include the Civitella Raneiri Foundation, the Aaron Copland Award, Rockefellor Foundation – Bellagio, and Festival Aix-en-Provence.
As an avid performer, she has appeared in many assorted holes and halls, across New York, nationally and abroad. Her onstage persona has been described by the New York Times as “an indie pop diva with an avant-garde edge,” and “flamboyant” by the Chicago Tribune.
As a performance artist, solo engagements include the 2012 Guangzhou Art Triennial (China) at the Guangzhou Opera House, and the National Academy Museum (USA). Her ongoing collaborations of installation-performance-video with the Pakistani visual artist Shahzia Sikander have been on view at the Shanghai Rockbund Art Museum, the Tokyo Contemporary Museum of Art, San Francisco Art Institute, Pace Foundation (San Antonio), Hong Kong Art Fair 2012, the Sharjah Biennial (United Arab Emirate), Auckland Art Triennial (New Zealand) and Istanbul Biennial (Turkey), Auckland Art Triennial (New Zealand), Istanbul Biennial (Turkey), and Dhaka Art Summit (Bangladesh). ArtForum writes the collaboration as “standout, sound utilized to its best effect.”
Off Broadway credits:Original Music for David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu (Signature Theatre); Original Music for Chiori Miyagawa Hiroshima Mon Amour (Ohio Theatre)
Du Yun’s studio pop album, Shark in You, released on vinyl, CD and digital on New Focus, which has garnered critical acclaims. Her classical compositions can be heard on labels such as Shanghai Classical Music, ATMA Classique, Oxingale, New Focus, and Deutsche Grammophon for Hilary Hahn — In 27: the Hilary Hahn Encores, which won a 2015 Grammy Award in the category of Best Chamber Music/ Small Ensemble Performance.
An alumna of Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Oberlin College (BM), Harvard University (MA, PHD), Du Yun is currently on the faculty of SUNY-Purchase. Since 2014, she is named the Artistic Director of MATA Festival, a pioneering organization dedicated to commissioning and presenting young composers from around the world.