The Asian Classical Music Initiative (ACMI) and the University of Kansas Center for East Asian Studies will present the world premiere of "Song of Spring Outing," a solo piano piece composed by Chen Yi, a distinguished professor of composition at UMKC Conservatory. The performance, to take place at 7:30 p.m. March 30 at the Lied Center of Kansas Pavilion, will be performed by Yi-Yang Chen, assistant professor of piano at the KU School of Music.
"Song of Spring Outing" is a part of the collaborative research project "Prelude," funded by KU's Racial Equity Research Grant. This project is a partnership between the KU Center for East Asian Studies and the KU School of Music. The performance will be preceded by the winners' concert of the Orbifold Global Music Competition, starting at 5:30 p.m. This concert is also sponsored by the KU Student DEIB fund.
Yi is a highly acclaimed composer who blends Chinese and Western musical traditions, transcending cultural and stylistic boundaries. She was a 2006 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Music and has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the Ives Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Since 1998, she has held a distinguished professorship at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Founded by Zhengyingyue (Elaine) Huang, the KU Asian Classical Music Initiative aims to create a platform for the recognition and celebration of the contributions made by Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander classical music composers This organization is focused on presenting diverse musical styles and traditions, including both classical and contemporary genres, to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of the rich and varied cultural heritage of the Asian and Pacific Islander communities.
Since its founding in the summer of 2021, KU ACMI has already produced several concerts and hosted an international conference, which brought together scholars, composers, performers and music enthusiasts from around the world to share their insights and perspectives on AAAPI classical music. The initiative is also engaged in outreach efforts to raise awareness of AAAPI music and provide educational opportunities for musicians and students who are interested in exploring this genre. Through its various activities, the KU Asian Classical Music Initiative seeks to build bridges between cultures and communities and to foster greater understanding and appreciation of the unique artistic expressions of the AAAPI communities.