Asian American Voices: Composing for History


Jindong Cai conductor
Del Sol Quartet
China Now Festival Chorus

Part of the China Now Music Festival
Presented by the US-China Music Institute of the Bard College Conservatory of Music

The opening concert of the fourth annual China Now Music Festival features brings two major new works by this year’s composer in residence, Huang Ruo, to the Fisher Center at Bard. Born in China in 1976 and based in the United States, Huang has become a major figure in contemporary American music. Huang’s work includes Chinese and Western influences in many genres and traditions; it often explores important historical and social subjects and integrates them into multidimensional soundscapes.


TŌN performs:
Huang Ruo
 A Dust in Time

Also on the program:
Huang Ruo Angel Island

China Now Music Festival

Now in its fourth season, the China Now Music Festival is a leading force in introducing music from contemporary China to the United States and in promoting musical exchanges between the US and China. This year, as we continue to pursue our vital mission, we are broadening our scope to include the voices of a wide array of Asian American composers, with the aim of exploring their importance in contemporary American music and society.

“Asian American voices are American voices, and Asian American music is American music. We should always cherish the cultural diversity in American society.”
—Jindong Cai, artistic director, China Now Music Festival

The festival arrives in the midst of a particularly challenging time, shadowed by the global pandemic and recent rise in anti-Asian discrimination and violence. Our repertoire thus reflects how Asian American composers have responded to this particular moment, as well as to the historical reception of Asians in America.

Featuring composer-in-residence Huang Ruo, and ensemble-in-residence the Del Sol Quartet, along with many more composers and musicians, the 2021 China Now Music Festival connects culture, history, contemporary society, and the arts through a vibrant series of musical programs and discussion.

“The recent spike in anti-AAPI hate reminds us that Asian Americans must lift up our voices and show the world who we are, in all our strength, complexity, and humanity.”
—David Henry Hwang, playwright

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