Prof. Dr. Chen Yi

Distinguished Professor of Composition, University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory

Born in Guangzhou in 1953, Dr. Chen Yi received her composition degrees from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and Columbia University in New York, studying with Profs. Wu Zuqiang, Chou Wen-chung, and Mario Davidovsky. She has been the Distinguished Endowed Professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory 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 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, and received the prestigious Charles Ives Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2001. Published by Theodore Presser Company, her music has reached a wide range of audiences and inspired people around the world.

As a strong advocate for new music with diversity and inclusion, particularly for women in music, Prof. Chen has been awarded 5 Honorary Doctorates in the States and Distinguished Visiting Professorship from many music institutes in China. She has been inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2019.