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Condutor/Pianist Bio


Composer Bio

Born in Shanghai, China, Bright Sheng now holds the position of the Leonard Bernstein Distinguished University Professor of Music at University of Michigan. Over the past twenty-seven years, not only is he respected as one of the foremost composers of our time, whose stage, orchestral, chamber and vocal works are performed regularly throughout North America, Europe and Asia, Sheng has also developed an
impressive career as a conductor. He has guest conducted San Francisco Symphony, Seattle Symphony, New York Chamber Symphony, New West Symphony, Lexington Symphony, Orchestra 2001, Hartt Symphony, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, principles from the Chicago Symphony, and principles from the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall, and Mannes Orchestra at Lincoln Center. International engagements include leading the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Dortmund Philharmonic, the China National Symphony, the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, and led the Asian Youth Orchestra on a tour to cities in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Beijing and Shanghai. In addition, he has conducted his own opera The Silver River performances at Lincoln Center Festival, Spoleto USA, Prince Music Theater,
Theater Works Singapore, and University Musical Society.

This season, Bright Sheng made his conducting debut on a subscription concert series with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and received a tremendous success from the critics and audiences alike. His concert week was hailed as one of the highlights of the year in music by the Detroit Free Press. And the Detroit News reviewed his concerts with the headline “DSO and Sheng forged an epic!” His performance was also selected among one of the dozen to be nationally broadcasted.

Other recent and upcoming conducting engagements include Grand Rapids Symphony, Des Moines Symphony Orchestra, and Eastern Music Festival. Bright Sheng’s summer festival activities include conducting appearances at Tanglewood Music Center, Aspen Music Festival, Bowdoin International Music Festival, and Brevard Music Center.

During his guest conducting at festivals, Bright Sheng frequently appears as a guest pianist playing concertos and chamber music of his own as well as classical repertoire. As a pianist his engagements include appearances at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Tanglewood Music Center, Spoleto USA Festival, Brevard Music Festival, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, Bowdoin International Summer Music Festival, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, La Jolla Chamber music Festival, Seattle International Music Festival, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Eastern Music Festival; also a collaboration with musicians from Daedalus Quartet, St. Petersburg Quartet, Shanghai Quartet, Voice of Change, and Ne(x)tworks. Bright Sheng has also performed his capriccio for piano and orchestra Red Silk Dance with Hong Kong Philharmonic and Seattle Symphony Orchestra; and he later recorded the work with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra led by Gerald Schwarz on Naxos, released in March, 2009.

Beginning piano studies with his mother at age of four and after completing his Bachelor of Music degree at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in 1982, Bright Sheng immigrated with his parents to New York City and received his master’s and doctoral degrees in music composition from Queens College, CUNY, and Columbia University, respectively. One of his major influences during his earlier years in the U.S. was
his meeting with the composer/conductor/pianist Leonard Bernstein in 1985; who later taught him for five years (1985 to 1990) in composition and conducting and became his mentor and colleague.

As a composer, Mr. Sheng has enjoyed a collaborations with leading conductors including Leonard Bernstein, Christoph Eschenbach, Kurt Masur, Leonard Slatkin, Valery Gergiev, Charles Dutoit, Gerald Schwarz, David Zinman, Neeme Järvi, David Robertson, Hugh Wolff, Robert Spano, Marin Alsop, Bramwell Tovey, Eiji Oue, Jahja Lin, John Fiore, Jeffery Kahane, Shui Lan, Thomas Dasgaard, En Shao, Samuel Wong, Sakari Oramo, Muhai Tang, Maxim Valdes, Arthur Fagen, Carl St. Clair, Richard
Buckley, Tsung Yeh, Bundit Ungrangsee, Kenneth Jean, John Oliver, Gil Rose, John Neschling, Kenneth Kiesler, Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Josephine Lee, Xian Zhang, Barry Jekowsky, Bruno Ferrandis, David Loebel, Andre Raphel Smith, Jose-Luis Novo, Jonathan McPhee, as well as distinguished performers including Yo Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, Peter Serkin, Yefim Brofman, Evelyn Glennie, Richard Stoltzman, Cho-Liang Lin, Edgar Meyer, Andre Schub, Colin Currie, David Shifrin, Chantal Juliet, Hai Ye Ni, Jane Eaglen,
Elisabeth Futral, Joseph Kaiser, Lauren Flanigan, Lisa Saffer, Sheryle Woods, Juliana Gondek, Gil Shaham, Lynn Harrell, Truls Mork, and Alisa Weilerstein.

Sheng’s music has been commissioned and programmed by almost every important organizations in the world; among them are: the Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, St. Louis, San Francisco, Minnesota, Detroit and the National Symphony Orchestras; the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics; Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, City Opera of New York, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet; and internationally by Orchestra de Paris, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the BBC
Symphony Orchestra in London, Orchestra Sinfonica dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Hamburg Radio Symphony (NDR), Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Dusseldorf Symphony Orchestra, Dortmund Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, National Symphony of Russia, Warsaw Symphony, Danish National Radio Symphony, Finnish Radio Symphony, National Symphony of Spain, Tokyo Philharmonic, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, China National Symphony, Shanghai Symphony, Singapore Symphony, Malaysia Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, National Chinese Orchestra, and festivals throughout North America, Europe and Asia.

He has also received special commissions from The White House and he was one of the composers selectedby the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games to compose music for the opening ceremony. Sheng’s music has been recorded on Sony Classical, BIS, Delos, Koch International, New World, Telarc and Naxos labels. His music is published exclusively by G. Schirmer.



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