Dr. Chen Yi is inaugural Claudette Sorel Visiting Artist at Fredonia

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Dr. Cheni Yi

Dr. Chen Yi (photo by Beijing Kuandi)

Dr. Chen Yi, an internationally recognized Distinguished Professor of Music Composition, is the inaugural Claudette Sorel Visiting Artist for the 2022-2023 academic year at the State University of New York at Fredonia, in partnership with Chautauqua Institution.

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, and 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 a Distinguished Professor 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.

In addition to the events held on the SUNY Fredonia campus, all of which are free and open to the public, the School of Music is partnering with Chautauqua Institution for an evening of Dr. Chen's music.

Dr. Wenzhuo Zhang with a traditional Chinese instrument, the yangquin
Fredonia alumna Dr. Wenzhuo Zhang with the yangquin.

A chamber music recital will begin the residency on Thursday, Sept. 15, at  4 p.m. at the Lenna Recital Hall on the grounds of Chautauqua Institution, featuring works by Dr. Chen and performances by Fredonia School of Music faculty including Drs. Natasha Farny, Eliran Avni, Andrew Seigel, and Anne Kissel; Associate Professor David Rose, Adjunct Lecturer Isabel Ong, Adjunct Lecturer Tiffany Nicely, SUNY Distinguished Professor Kay Stonefelt, Drs. Sarah Hamilton and Wildy Zumwalt, Adjunct Lecturer Sarah Luebke, School of Music Staff Accompanist I-Fei Chen, and alumna Dr. Wenzhuo Zhang, who will play the traditional Chinese instrument, the yangquin. The recital will be followed by a celebratory dinner at The Athenaeum including a question and answer session. The recital is a ticketed event for at $25 adults, free for SUNY Fredonia students. The celebratory buffet dinner following the recital at the Atheneum is $42. 

On Friday, Sept. 16, the residency will continue on the SUNY Fredonia campus with a panel discussion about the influences of Chinese music and culture within Dr. Chen’s composition, at 6 p.m. in Rosch Recital Hall, moderated by Dr. Rob Deemer, with Dr. Chen, Dr. Zhang, and School of Music faculty members Assistant Professor Jessica Tong and Dr. Michael Markham.

On Saturday, Sept. 17, the chamber music program originally performed at Chautauqua will be repeated at 8 p.m. in Rosch Recital Hall on campus.

Dr. Chen will also meet one-on-one with student musicians who will be working on compositions for the second part of Dr. Chen’s residency in February. She will attend composition classes to work with students and student performers, and interact with international students.

For more information on Dr. Chen’s residency and the developing event schedule, visit online. The residency will resume on Feb. 1 to 4, 2023.

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.

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