Bright Sheng is a composer, conductor, and pianist. In April of 1999, he received a special commission from the White House to create a new work for a state dinner, hosted by the president, honoring the Chinese Premiere Zhou Rongji. In October 2001, Sheng was named a MacArthur Fellow. He was also invited to compose music for the opening ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Sheng’s music has been regularly and widely performed throughout the world by such prestigious groups as the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Symphony, New York Chamber Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and many others. His work has been performed by many distinguished musicians including Leonard Bernstein, Christoph Eschenbach, Kurt Masur, Charles Dutoit, Leonard Slatkin, Michael Tilson Thomas, Yo Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, Peter Serkin, Yefim Brofman, Evelyn Glennie, Lynn Harrell, Richard Stoltzman, and Edgar Meyer.
Sheng has appeared as conductor and solo pianist with the San Francisco Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra (Russia), Dortmund Philharmonic Orchestra (Germany), Hong Kong Philharmonic, Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, and China National Symphony, among others, and has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and the Tanglewood Music Center. He has also collaborated with such eminent ensembles and individuals as the Emerson Quartet, Takacs Quartet, Shanghai Quartet, St. Petersburg Quartet, Colin Graham (librettist and stage director), Ong Keng Sen (stage director), David Henry Hwang (playwright/librettist), Andrew Porter (librettist), Stan Lai (stage director), Helgi Tomasson (choreographer), and Christopher Wheeldon (choreographer).
In addition to many national and international awards, Sheng has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, Guggenheim Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Naumberg Foundation, Copland Foundation, Michigan Arts Award, and a Rackham fellowship and a fellowship from the Institute for the Humanities from the University of Michigan.
Sheng’s music is exclusively published by G. Schirmer, Inc. and records on the Sony Classical, Decca, Naxos, Telarc, Delos, Koch International, and New World labels. Among his important teachers were Leonard Bernstein (composition and conducting), George Perle, Hugo Weisgall, Chou Wen-Chung, and Jack Beeson.
He is married to Pam Sophie Chen and lives with their daughter Fayfay between Ann Arbor and Manhattan.
Missy Mazzoli was recently deemed “one of the more consistently inventive, surprising composers now working in New York” (The New York Times) and “Brooklyn’s post-millennial Mozart” (Time Out New York), and has been praised for her “apocalyptic imagination” (Alex Ross, The New Yorker). Mazzoli’s music has been performed all over the world by the Kronos Quartet, eighth blackbird, pianist Emanuel Ax, Opera Philadelphia, Scottish Opera, LA Opera, Cincinnati Opera, New York City Opera, Chicago Fringe Opera, the Detroit Symphony, the LA Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, JACK Quartet, cellist Maya Beiser, violinist Jennifer Koh, pianist Kathleen Supové, Dublin’s Crash Ensemble, the Sydney Symphony and many others. In 2018 she made history when she became one of the two first women (along with composer Jeanine Tesori) to be commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera. That year she was also nominated for a Grammy in the category of “Best Classical Composition” for her work Vespers for Violin, recorded by violinist Olivia De Prato.
Mazzoli is currently the Mead Composer-in-Residence at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. From 2012-2015 she was Composer-in-Residence with Opera Philadelphia, Gotham Chamber Opera and Music Theatre-Group, and in 2011-2012 was Composer/Educator in residence with the Albany Symphony. Mazzoli was a visiting professor of music at New York University in 2013, and later that year joined the composition faculty at the Mannes College of Music, a division of the New School. From 2007-2011 she was Executive Director of the MATA Festival in New York, and in 2016, along with composer Ellen Reid and in collaboration with the Kaufman Music Center, she founded Luna Composition Lab, a mentorship program and support network for female-identifying, non-binary, and gender nonconforming composers ages 13-19.
Mazzoli has received considerable acclaim for her operatic compositions. Her third opera, Proving Up, written with longtime collaborator Royce Vavrek, was commissioned by Washington National Opera, Opera Omaha, and New York’s Miller Theatre. Mazzoli’s second opera, Breaking the Waves, a collaboration with librettist Royce Vavrek commissioned by Opera Philadelphia and Beth Morrison Projects in 2016, was described as “among the best 21st-century operas yet” (Opera News), “savage, heartbreaking and thoroughly original” (Wall Street Journal), and “dark and daring” (The New York Times). She is an active television and film composer, and recently wrote and performed music for the fictional character Thomas Pembridge on the Amazon TV show Mozart in the Jungle. Mazzoli's music has been recorded and released on labels including New Amsterdam, Cedille, Bedroom Community, 4AD, and Innova. Mazzoli is an active pianist and keyboardist, and often performs with Victoire, a band she founded in 2008 dedicated to her own compositions. Their debut full-length CD, Cathedral City, was named one of 2010′s best classical albums by Time Out New York, NPR, The New Yorker and The New York Times, and was followed by the critically acclaimed Vespers for a New Dark Age, a collaboration with percussionist Glenn Kotche.
Mazzoli is the recipient of a 2019 Grammy nomination, the 2017 Music Critics Association of America Inaugural Award for Best Opera, the 2018 Godard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a 2015 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award, four ASCAP Young Composer Awards, a Fulbright Grant to The Netherlands, the Detroit Symphony’s Elaine Lebenbom Award, and grants from the Jerome Foundation, American Music Center, and the Barlow Endowment. She has been awarded fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Ucross, VCCA, the Blue Mountain Center and the Hermitage.
Her music is published by G. Schirmer.
The award-winning h2 quartet has been wowing audiences since 2002. h2 takes advantage of the great expressive capacity of their instrument by programming traditional, avant-garde, minimalist, and jazz-influenced works in surprising and compelling ways. h2 has performed throughout the United States, in Europe, the UK, and in Asia.
The ensemble has released five critically-acclaimed recordings: Generations, Times & Spaces, Groove Machine, Hard Line, and Enrapture. Each of these albums introduces audiences to a different side of the saxophone, with the latter three comfortably bridging the gap between the popular and avant-garde sides of American music.
The h2 quartet has been featured on NPR and PBS programs, including the nationally-syndicated Backstage Pass. Along with demonstrating a mastery of traditional quartet repertoire, h2 is dedicated to the commissioning and performing of new works. The quartet has commissioned works by Drew Baker, Claudio Gabriele, Takuma Itoh, David MacDonald, Victor Marquez-Barrios, Roger Petersen, Forrest Pierce, David Rakowski, Jesse Ronneau, Bill Ryan, Matthew Schoendorff, Daniel Wohl, and has premiered works by John Mackey, Marc Mellits, Mari Takano, and Amy Williams.
The h2 quartet has won prizes at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition (First Prize, Gold Medals) and the North American Saxophone Alliance Saxophone Quartet Competition (first prize), among others. The group was also finalists in the Concert Artists Guild Competition and earned Honorable Mentions at the Plowman Chamber Music Competition, the Chesapeake Bay Chamber Music Competition, and the Coleman Chamber Music Competition. h2 is also the recipient of several Aaron Copland Fund grants.
The h2 quartet is a Vandoren and Yamaha Artist Ensemble.
Called “contemporary chamber trailblazers” by the Boston Globe, Hub New Music–composed of flute, clarinet, violin, and cello–is forging new pathways in 21st-century repertoire. The ensemble’s ambitious commissioning projects and “appealing programs” (The New Yorker) celebrate the rich diversity of today’s classical music landscape. Its performances have been described as “gobsmacking” (Cleveland Classical), “innovative” (WBUR), and “the cutting edge of new classical music” (Taos News).
Hub New Music's debut album, Soul House, released on New Amsterdam Records in 2020 was called ”ingenious and unequivocally gorgeous” by the Boston Globe. The ensemble’s upcoming recording with Silkroad’s Kojiro Umezaki (shakuhachi) and Asia-America New Music Institute (AANMI) will be released on Tōrō Records.
Recent projects include Terra Nova with composer/songwriter collective Oracle Hysterical; The Nature of Breaking, a 30-minute collaborative work with composer/harpist Hannah Lash; and a choreographed production of Robert Honstein’s Soul House with Boston’s Urbanity Dance. Upcoming projects include Requiem for the Enslaved, an evening length mass by Carlos Simon supported by Georgetown University’s GU272 Project that honors the lives of 272 African American slaves and their descendants; a new ‘modular’ work by Sō Percussion’s Jason Treuting; and new works by composers Nina C. Young, Nathalie Joachim, and Laura Kaminsky. For its visionary programming, Hub New Music was named one of WQXR’s “10 Cutting-Edge Artists that Have Captured the Imagination” in 2016.
Residency activities have brought Hub New Music to the New England Conservatory, Princeton, Harvard, University of Michigan, University of Texas-Austin, UC Irvine, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Stetson University, Bowling Green State University, Boston Conservatory, University of Hawaii, and others. In 2020-21 the ensemble introduced HubLab, a K-12 residency program that uses graphic scores and improvisation to create group compositions with students of all levels.