2001 MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Award Winner
IAS Helmut & Anna Pao Sohmen Professor-at-Large
HKUST Jockey Club Institute for Advanced Study
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
The MacArthur Fellow Bright Sheng was born in Shanghai, China. He earned his undergraduate degree in music composition from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, before obtaining his MA from Queens College, The City University of New York, and his DMA from Columbia University. He is currently the Leonard Bernstein Distinguished University Professor of Composition at the University of Michigan, and IAS Helmut & Anna Pao Sohmen Professor-at-Large at HKUST.
Sheng has collaborated with distinguished musicians such as Leonard Bernstein, Kurt Masur, Christoph Eschenbach, Charles Dutoit, Jaap Van Zweden, Leonard Slatkin, Gerard Schwarz, David Robertson, David Zinman, Neeme Järvi, Robert Spano, Hugh Wolff, Yo Yo Ma, Peter Serkin, Emanuel Ax, Gil Shaham, Chao-Liang Lin, Yefim Bronfman, Evelyn Glennie, among others. He has been widely commissioned and performed by virtually all important musical institutions in North America, Europe and Asia, including the White House, the 2008 Beijing International Olympic Games, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestra de Paris, BBC Symphony, Hamburg Radio Symphony, Danish National Symphony, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Santa Fe Opera, New York City Opera.
His music ranges from dramatic to lyrical and is strongly influenced by the folk and classical music tradition from eastern and central Asia. Since 2000, he has been studying and researching the music phenomenon of the Silk Road culture. He has served as the Artistic Advisor to Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project Inc. Exclusively published by G. Schirmer Inc. in New York City, Sheng can also be heard on Naxos, Sony Classical, Talarc, Delos, Koch International, New World labels and Grammofon AB BIS.
As a conductor and pianist, Sheng has performed with, in the U.S., the San Francisco Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Seattle Symphony, New York Chamber Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, St. Petersburg Philharmonic in Russia, Dortmund Philharmonic in Germany, China National Symphony, among others; and has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center.