Byron Au Yong
Composer and educator Byron Au Yong (歐陽良仁) creates musical events Variety calls “claustrophobic and expansive, intimate and existential, personal and political all at once.” He was born to Chinese immigrants in Pittsburgh and raised in the Pacific Northwest. His upbringing informs an attention to the ways people gather to listen and connect with the places they call home.
Examples include Activist Songbook, to counteract hate and energize movements (Asian Arts Initiative, Hopkins Center for the Arts, International Festival of Arts & Ideas), The Ones, a.k.a. (Be)longing, a.k.a. Trigger, about coming of age in an age of guns (Virginia Tech Center for the Arts, MDC Live Arts), Piano Concerto—Houston, for 11 pianists (University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts), Stuck Elevator, about an undocumented Chinese food delivery man trapped in an elevator for 81 hours (American Conservatory Theater, Longwharf Theater, Nashville Opera), and Turbine, for more than 80 moving singers along the water (Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia and Leah Stein Dance Company). The Seattle Weekly says his “interdisciplinary works are as exquisite and imaginative as they are unclassifiable.”
Honors include a Creative Capital Award and Sundance Institute/Time Warner Foundation Fellowship. Au Yong holds degrees in theater, dance, and music from NYU, UCLA, and the University of Washington. He is an associate professor at the University of San Francisco