Kui Dong

Kui Dong (董夔) is described by newspapers and magazines such as Washington Post, Gramophone International UK, San Francisco Examiner, Charleston Post and Courier, and The Boston Intelligencer as having “21st-century sensibilities”, “exquisitely… ceaselessly compelling”, “exceptional beauty and imagination”, “ a hybrid sonic labyrinth”, and “beautiful and haunting and thought-provoking,” music.

Her music has been performed and commissioned by numerous ensembles and received honors and prizes from a wide spectrum of prestigious institutions, including 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, UK’s Arditti Quartet, Austria’s Ars Electronica, the Netherlands’s Slawerkgroep Den Hagg, Other Minds Festival, The Tanglewood Music Center and Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, Nancy Karp Dance company, Del Sol Quartet, Volti, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, California EAR unit, CONTINUUM, Pianist Sarah Cahill, Melody of China, USA Commissioning Award, The IDEA Grants from the National Opera Center, The Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation and 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, and multi-media art and free improvisation. Her works written in the US increasingly show a unique synthesis of influences from Avant-garde experimental, jazz, electro-acoustic, and other ethnic music, and at the same time maintain 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.

Three full-length CDs include Pangu’s Song (2004 on New World Records), Hands Like Waves Unfold (2008 on Other Minds Records), and Since When Has The Bright Moon Existed (2011 on Other Minds Records). Other releases include Follow Me? for electronic and clarinet and Shall We Play? for string quartet, piano 4 hands and toy pianos. A collection of her chamber works was published by Central Conservatory of Music Press in May and the recording of Differences within Oneness for string quartet was digitally released by Other Mind Record/Naxo in November of 2015.

Her interview and her two large choral works Shui Diao Ge To & Song for mixed vocal ensemble, percussion and piano and Painted Lights for double chorus are featured in the documentary film Su Tong Po aired on the China Central Television Channel 9 in July 2017. A collection of her large choral music will be published by the Central Conservatory of Music Press this year.

Her most recent work Spring, for orchestra, chorus, and organ (Commissioned by Phoenix Television), was premiered and opened “The Spring Festival Musical Gala for Chinese Around the World 2019”, performed by the Orchestra and Chorus, and resident Organist of the National Performing Art center and the concert was repeatedly broadcasted to Europe, North America, and Asia from February 3-20, 2019.

Kui Dong is a professor of Music Composition and Music department Chair (2018-2020) at Dartmouth College. When she is not writing music, she occasionally performs free improvisation on piano, and writes novels on the side. Her first novel The Story of a Little Soldier will be published by Knowledge Press under the Encyclopedia of China Publishing House in 2020.

Black Tea Music handles promotion, commissions, and rental and sales for composer Kui Dong.

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Featured Works

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