Born in Guangzhou in 1953, Chen Yi received her degrees from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and Columbia University in the City of New York, studying composition with Professors Wu Zuqiang, Chou Wen-chung, and Mario Davidovsky. She has been the Distinguished Endowed Professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance since 1998. She had also served as Composer-in-Residence for the Women’s Philharmonic, the vocal ensemble Chanticleer, and the Aptos Creative Arts Center in San Francisco (1993-96), supported by Meet The Composer, and taught on the composition faculty at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore (1996-98). Chen Yi has received the prestigious Charles Ives Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2001. She blends Chinese and Western traditions, transcending cultural and musical boundaries. She has composed over 150 works ranging from solo instruments and chamber groups (over 60), to chorus (over 30), and large ensembles (over 50, including orchestra or wind band, concertos, or mixed vocal and instrumental works), recorded in over 120 commercially released CDs on various labels. Her music has reached a wide range of audiences and inspired people throughout the world. Professor Chen has been a Visiting Professor of many music institutes in China since 2006, and awarded 5 Honorary Doctorates in the States since 2008. She is a strong advocate for new music and its composers in the past 3 decades. Chen Yi has been inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005.
Eric Moe, composer of what The New York Times has called “music of winning exuberance,” has received numerous grants and awards for his work, including the Lakond Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Guggenheim Fellowship; multiple commissions from both the Fromm and Koussevitzky Foundations; the Barlow Endowment, Meet the Composer USA, and New Music USA; fellowships from the Composer’s Conference and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; and residencies at MacDowell, Montalvo Arts Center, Yaddo, Bellagio, Camargo, VCCA, UCross, Aaron Copland House, Ragdale, Hambidge, Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians, and the American Dance Festival, among others. His music is available on New World Records (Meanwhile Back At The Ranch), Albany Records (Of Color Braided All Desire, Kicking and Screaming, Up & At ‘Em, Siren Songs), Koch International Classics (Tri-Stan), Naxos (Strange Exclaiming Music), bmop/sound (Kick & Ride), and Centaur (On the Tip of My Tongue). As a pianist, Moe has premiered and performed works by a wide variety of composers, including John Cage, Mathew Rosenblum, Jay Reise, and many others in addition to his own. Of his solo recording The Waltz Project Revisited - New Waltzes for Piano, Gramophone magazine said, “Moe’s command of the varied styles is nothing short of remarkable.” He founded and currently co-directs Pittsburgh’s Music on the Edge new music concert series. Moe studied at Princeton University and U.C. Berkeley and is currently the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Music at the University of Pittsburgh.
The Chicago-Based Fifth House Ensemble (5HE) is a versatile and dynamic group praised by The New York Times for its “conviction, authority, and finesse.” Having pioneered the art of narrative chamber music, Fifth House’s innovative programs engage audiences through their connective programming and unexpected performance venues. Through the ensemble’s heartfelt social and civic practice work, 5HE has co-created artistic projects with urban neighborhoods, social service organizations, and an agricultural community to spark conversations on issues that matter. Bringing its signature connective programming from the stage to the classroom, 5HE develops young audiences through curriculum-integrated interactive concerts and residencies for students grades K-12. This season’s residency sites include Chicago’s Lowell and Stowe Elementary schools. Fifth House also frequently performs for college audiences, including workshops, residencies, and performances at Yale College, Eastman School of Music, New England Conservatory, Indiana University, Northwestern University, DePaul University, and the Colburn School. In 2012, 5HE launched fresh inc, a one of a kind chamber music festival that brings together composers and instrumentalists for side-by-side performances, receiving creative presentation and entrepreneurship training. 5HE is currently an Ensemble in Residence at the Music Institute of Chicago.
The Iridium Quartet has been called a "superb group" by Fanfare Magazine and praised by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Michael Colgrass as giving “a stunning performance … with elegance and grace." Composers and audiences have commented “displaying an impressive balance of intense control and abandon with tremendous precision.” The quartet draws upon a rich history of over ten years of collaboration between saxophonists Paul Nolen, Marcos Colón, Paul Forsyth, and Eric Lau. Iridium has appeared as artists-in-residence upon invitation throughout the United States including the Festival of New American Music (FeNAM) in Sacramento, the John Donald Robb Composers’ Symposium in Albuquerque, and Texas A&M University Artist Series. Iridium has given tours and performances throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and the United Kingdom. A staunch supporter of new music, Iridium has commissioned and/or premiered major works by composers David Kirkland Garner, Peter Lieuwen, Roy Magnuson, Marcus Maroney, David Maslanka, Sonia Morales, David Rakowski, Ben Stonaker, and Carl Schimmel. Iridium has several recording projects in the works. The quartet released its first CD of new American music in July 2014, entitled Into Xylonia. Partnering with Blue Griffin Records, Iridium received a prestigious 2012 Aaron Copland Fund Recording Grant, allowing the quartet to make the recording. A second recording will be released in 2017 on Albany featuring David Maslanka’s Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Wind Ensemble. In the spring of 2016, Iridium recorded their 2nd full length CD. This recording is slated to be released in the fall of 2017.