Du Yun, born and raised in Shanghai, China, currently based in New York City, is a composer, performer, advocator, working at the intersection of orchestral, opera, theatre, chamber music, cabaret, oral tradition, public performances, sound installation, electronics and noise. She has been hailed by the New York Times as a groundbreaking artist, listed by the Washington Post as one of their Top 35 female composers, and selected by Rolling Stone Italia in its decade review as one of the composers who defined the 2010s. Her body of work is championed by some of today’s finest performing groups and organizations around the world. Known for her “relentless originality and unflinching social conscience” (The New Yorker), Du Yun’s second opera, Angel’s Bone won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize (libretto by Royce Vavrek). Her collaborative opera with Raven Chacon Sweet Land won the 2020 Best New Opera by the Music Critics Association of North America. Other notable recognitions include Guggenheim, American Academy Berlin Prize, Creative Capital, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Grammys nomination in Best Classical Music Composition (Air Glow), shortlist for UK’s Royal Philharmonic Society’s 2021 Best Small Chamber Works (Every Grass a Spring). Her four studio albums were a New Yorker Notable Recording of Year in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2021 respectively. Her latest monodrama opera In Our Daughter’s Eyes was a 2022 Notable Performance of the Year by the New Yorker.
Du Yun is Professor of Composition at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. As an advocator for new music and art, she was a founding member of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), artistic director of MATA festival (2014- 2018), founded a FutureTradition initiative championing collaborations in oral tradition practices from ground up, and served as a curator-advisor for European’s SoundsNow Festival Alliances. She was Artist of the Year at the Beijing Music Festival in 2019, and the Asia Society in Hong Kong has honored her for her continued contributions to performing arts. The Carnegie Foundation and the Vilcek Prize in Music have honored her as an immigrant who have made lasting contributions to the American society. In 2023 Harvard University honored her the centennial medalist, the highest recognition for its alumni.
Du Yun is also very proud of her own band, Ok Miss. Some of the most rewarding projects with the band include a multi-year initiative with the First Generation School Children in Yushu, Tibetan Prefecture, where collaborations with the local musicians see the fruitions of education, re-imagination, and the publications of the local oral traditions.