Composition Tutor & Composer
Born in 1977 in Shanghai/China. Du Yun, currently based in New York City, is a composer and performer, working at the intersection of orchestral, opera, theater, chamber music, cabaret, oral tradition, public performances, sound installation, electronics and noise. She has been hailed by the New York Times as a groundbreaking artist, listed by the Washington Post as one of their Top 35 female composers, and selected by Rolling Stone Italia in its decade review as one of the composers who defined the 2010s. Her body of work is championed by some of today’s finest performing groups and organizations around the world. Known for her “relentless originality and unflinching social conscience” (The New Yorker), Du Yun’s second opera, “Angel’s Bone”, won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize (libretto by Royce Vavrek). Her collaborative opera with Raven Chacon “Sweet Land” won the 2020 Best New Opera by the Music Critics Association of North America. Other notable recognitions include Guggenheim, American Academy Berlin Prize, Creative Capital, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Grammys nomination in Best Classical Music Composition (Air Glow). Her four studio albums were a New Yorker Notable Recording of Year in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021 respectively. Her latest monodrama opera “In Our Daughter’s Eyes” was a notable performance of the year in 2022 by the New Yorker.
Du Yun is Professor of Composition at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. As a curator and advocator for new music and art, she was a founding member of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), artistic director of MATA festival (2014–18), founded a FutureTradition initiative championing collaborations in oral tradition practices from ground up, and served as a curator-advisor for European’s Festival Alliances. She was Artist of the Year at the Beijing Music Festival in 2019, and the Asia Society in Hong Kong has honored her for her continued contributions to performing arts. The Carnegie Foundation and the Vilcek Prize in Music have honored her as an immigrant who have made lasting contributions to the American society. In 2023, Harvard University honored her as centennial medalist, the highest recognition for its alumni.
Du Yun is also very proud of her own band, Ok Miss. Some of the most rewarding projects with the band include a multi-year initiative with the First Generation School Children in Yushu, Tibetan Prefecture, where collaborations with the local musicians see the fruitions of education, re-imagination, and the publications of the local oral traditions.