Kui Dong (董夔)
Described in publications such as Washington Post, Gramophone, San Francisco Examiner, Charleston Post and Courier, and The Boston Intelligencer as “ceaselessly compelling”, “exceptional beauty and imagination”, “a hybrid sonic labyrinth”, and “beautiful and haunting and thought-provoking,” and praised for its “21st century sensibilities,” Kui Dong‘s music has been performed and commissioned by numerous ensembles and has received honors and prizes from a wide spectrum of prestigious institutions, including the Central Ballet Group of China, The Orchestra and Chorus of the National Performing Art Center of China, Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television, Japan’s Public Interest Incorporated Foundation and Fukuyama Arts Foundation, Spain’s Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, Austria’s Ars Electronica, The Tanglewood Music Center and Festival, Nancy Karp Dance company, the Arditti Quartet, Del Sol Quartet, Volti, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Melody of China, the USA Commissioning Award, The IDEA Grants from the National Opera Center, The Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation in the Library of Congress, the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University, Meet the Composer, ISCM, and ASCAP.
Dong’s compositions span diverse genres and styles and include ballet, orchestral and chamber works, chorus, electro-acoustic music, film scores, multi-media art, and free improvisation. Her works written in the United States increasingly show a unique synthesis of influences from avant-garde experimental, jazz, and other ethnic music, and at the same time maintain a profound respect to Western classical music and a deep cultural connection with her roots. She sometimes incorporates theatre, as well as Chinese and non-western instruments and musical concepts into contemporary settings.
Her music can be found on three full-length albums: Pangu’s Song (New World Records 2004) and Hands Like Waves Unfold (Other Minds Records 2008), and Since When Has The Bright Moon Existed (Other Minds Records 2011), as well as included in compilation albums on a variety of labels. A collection of her chamber works was published in 2015 and a collection of her large choral music was published in 2021 by Central Conservatory of Music Press in China. Her two large choral works, Shui Diao Ge To & Song and Painted Lights are featured in the documentary film Su Tong Po which aired on China’s Central Television Channel 9 in July 2017. Her most recent work Spring, for orchestra, chorus, and organ (Commissioned by Phoenix Television) opened The Spring Festival Musical Gala for Chinese Around the World 2019; the concert was subsequently broadcast throughout Europe, North America, and Asia.
Kui Dong is a professor of Music Composition and served as Music department Chair (2018-2020) at Dartmouth College. When she is not writing music, she occasionally performs free improvisation on piano and also writes prose fiction. Her first novel The Story of a Little Soldier will be available through Knowledge Press under the Encyclopedia of China Publishing House later this year.
Hutong, opera in progress, for 5 singers and trio
Scattered Ladder, for two marimbas and four percussionists
Earth, Water, Wood, Metal And Fire, for piano solo
A Night at Tanglewood, for string quartet, glasses and musicbox