Bright Sheng is respected as one of the leading composers of our time, whose stage, orchestral, chamber and vocal works are performed regularly by the greatest performing arts institutions throughout North America, Europe and Asia.
Proclaimed by the MacArthur Foundation in 2001 as “an innovative composer who merges diverse musical customs in works that transcend conventional aesthetic boundaries,” Sheng’s music is evident with a strong Asian influence. However, it is the synthesis with Western musical tradition that makes his work truly distinctive and original, an outcome from his profound understanding of both cultures, as Sheng admits: “I consider myself both 100% American and 100% Asian.”
In September 2016, the San Francisco Opera premiered Sheng’s commissioned opera Dream of The Red Chamber featuring a libretto by David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly and Chinglish) and Sheng, based on a beloved Chinese novel by the 18th-century writer Cao Xuequin.
In addition to composing, Sheng enjoys an active career as a conductor and concert pianist, and frequently acts as music advisor and artistic director to orchestras and festivals. He is currently the Leonard Bernstein Distinguished University Professor at University of Michigan, and the Y. K. Pao Distinguished Visiting Professor at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology where, in 2011, he founded and has been serving as the Artistic Director of The Intimacy of Creativity—The Bright Sheng Partnership: Composers Meet Performers in Hong Kong.