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Dr. Chen Yi
Dr. Chen Yi

Dr. Chen Yi

  • January 13, 2023
  • Marketing and Communications staff

Dr. Chen Yi, an internationally recognized distinguished professor of Music Composition, will return in February for her second residency during the 2022-2023 academic year as the inaugural Claudette Sorel Visiting Artist at the State University of New York at Fredonia.

The inaugural residency is made possible through a grant from the Sorel Charitable Organization through the Fredonia College Foundation, in collaboration with Chautauqua Institution. The Sorel organization has awarded the Fredonia School of Music a three-year grant to welcome women artists of international distinction to campus for a wide variety of open to the public interactive events with students and faculty.

On Thursday, Feb. 2, the residency will begin with a roundtable discussion about women in music and their experiences within the musical community at 8 p.m. in Rosch Recital Hall on the SUNY Fredonia campus. The roundtable will include Dr. Chen as well as Wende Persons (Managing Director of the Sorel Charitable Organization), Tamara Dworetz (Visiting Faculty Conductor, SUNY Fredonia) and Fernanda Lastra (Conductor Diversity Fellow, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra).

On Friday, Feb. 3, the residency will continue with a choral and chamber recital, “Celebrate the Chinese New Year with the music of Chen Yi,” at 7:30 p.m. in King Concert Hall featuring works by Dr. Chen and performances by Fredonia choirs under the direction of Drs. Vernon Huff and Adam Luebke and Fredonia School of Music faculty including Drs. Sarah Hamilton, Barry Crawford, Andrew Seigel, and Laura Koepke, Adjunct Lecturer Sarah Luebke, School of Music Staff Accompanist I-Fei Chen, current music student Erin Harrigan, and alumna Dr. Wenzhuo Zhang, who will play the traditional Chinese instrument, the yangquin.

Preceding the Friday and Saturday concerts, there will be a traditional Lion Dance performed by student percussionists under the direction of SUNY Distinguished Professor Kay Stonefelt. Dr. Chen’s residency will conclude with a second concert of chamber music on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 8 p.m. in Rosch Recital Hall performed by Fredonia faculty including Dr. Stonefelt, Associate Professor David Rose, Assistant Professor Jessica Tong and School of Music Staff Accompanist I-Fei Chen, as well as current music students Brandon Ryan, Aaron Mecham, Boaz Mecham, Jessica Slade, Katherine Wynn, Yijun Wu, Che Dixon, Mario Chai, Kimberly Rauch, Jodie White, Julia Gimenez, Mary Meyer and Elias Bayless.

Dr. Chen will also meet with the Fredonia College Symphony and the Wind Ensemble as they rehearse works by her in preparation for concerts later in the spring semester. In addition, she will lead a master class hearing works by student composers, and interact with international students.

A native of China, Dr. Chen’s music features a vibrant interaction of the cultural references of both her youth in China and her career in the United States, the result transcending musical and cultural boundaries.

Dr. Chen’s music has been commissioned and performed by many of the greatest artists and ensembles including Yehudi Menuhin, Yo-Yo Ma, Evelyn Glennie, the Cleveland Orchestra, the BBC and Singapore orchestras, the Seattle, Pacific and Kansas City symphonies, the LA Philharmonic, and many more.

Dr. Chen was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2019, has served on the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory and is currently the Lorena Searcy Cravens/Millsap/Missouri Distinguished Professor of Composition at the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory of Music. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Lieberson Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Charles Ives Living Award, First Prize in the Chinese National Composition Contest, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Stoeger Prize, the Lili Boulanger Award from the National Women Composers Resource Center, the Herb Alpert Award, the Eddie Medora King Award and the ASCAP Music Award.

A strong advocate for new music, American composers, Asian composers, and women in music, Dr. Chen has served on the advisory or educational board of the Fromm Foundation, Chamber Music America, Meet the Composer, the American Music Center, the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy, among others.