Columbia University's Miller Theatre Presents Composer Portrait of Chen Yi

On December 2, 2017, New York's Columbia University's Miller Theatre presented Composer Portraits:  Chen Yi. 

Chen Yi is the UMKC Conservatory's Lorena Searcy Cravens/ Millsap/ Missouri Distinguished Professor of Composition. She received her DMA from Columbia University. The Curtis 20/21 Ensemble performed Chen Yi's chamber works.  

"Shaped by her experience coming of age during the Cultural Revolution, Chen Yi’s early influences included Chinese traditional music and Western classical music.  She is a master of contemporary technique and a strong advocate for music’s power to connect audiences of different cultural backgrounds. The spirited Curtis 20/21 Ensemble will take on Chen’s impressive chamber works, including the evocative Happy Rain on a Spring Night."

The New York Times review by Seth Colter Walls notes, "Last Saturday, the Miller Theater at Columbia University presented the latest in its series of Composer Portrait concerts, this one focused on the work of an alumna, Chen Yi, who graduated in 1993. Players from the Curtis Institute of Music’s 20/21 Ensemble showed how Ms. Chen’s blending of Chinese modes and Western classical styles has powered her career, right from the start. “Near Distance” was composed in 1988, when she was in her second year at Columbia, and she was already finding dramatic new possibilities for the familiar “‘Pierrot’-plus-percussion” modern-music ensemble. One of the most haunting transitions in the work comes in the final minutes, as the players move from cries of modernist unease to sustained tones and whispery percussive effects." 

The evening's repertoire:
Shuo Chang (2013)
Three Bagatelles from China West (2006)
Happy Rain on a Spring Night (2004)
Qi (1997)
Sparkle (1992)
Near Distance (1988)

Congratulations, Chen Yi!

Published: Dec 12, 2017