People

Bright Sheng

Artistic Director

The MacArthur Fellow Bright Sheng was born on December 6, 1955, in Shanghai, China, and moved to New York in l982. He is currently the Leonard Bernstein Distinguished University Professor at University of Michigan, and Y. K. Pao Distinguished Visiting Professor at HKUST.

Sheng has collaborated with distinguished musicians such as Leonard Bernstein, Kurt Masur, Christoph Eschenbach, Charles Dutoit, Leonard Slatkin, Gerard Schwarz, David Robertson, David Zinman, Neeme Järvi, Robert Spano, Hugh Wolff, Yo Yo Ma, Peter Serkin, Emanuel Ax, Chao-Liang Lin, Yefim Bronfman, Evelyn Glennie, among others. He has been widely commissioned and performed by virtually all important musical institutions in North America, Europe and Asia, including the White House, the 2008 Beijing International Olympic Games, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestra de Paris, BBC Symphony, Hamburg Radio Symphony, Danish National Symphony, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Santa Fe Opera, New York City Opera.

Exclusively published by G. Schirmer Inc. in New York City, he can also be heard on Naxos, Sony Classical, Talarc, Delos, Koch International, New World labels and Grammofon AB BIS.

His music ranges from dramatic to lyrical and is strongly influenced by the folk and classical music tradition from eastern and central Asia. Since 2000, he has been studying and researching the music phenomenon of the Silk Road culture. And he also has served as the Artistic Advisor to Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project Inc.

As a conductor and pianist, he has performed with, in the U.S., the San Francisco Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Seattle Symphony, New York Chamber Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, St. Petersburg Philharmonic in Russia, Dortmund Philharmonic in Germany, China National Symphony, among others; and has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center.


Matthew Tommasini

Associate Artistic Director

Matthew Tommasini (b.1978) has been awarded top prizes including the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the ASCAP/CBDNA Frederick Fennell Prize and grants from the ASCAP Foundation’s Leonard Bernstein Fund and the American Music Center’s Composer Assistance Program, among others.

Recently, he was named Finalist in the International Composition Competition Città di Udine and awarded Top Prize in the Professional Division of the Foundation for Modern Music’s Robert Avalon International Competition for Composition. His has been commissioned by organizations including the New York Youth Symphony, the Milwaukee Ballet, and the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings/Oberlin Conservatory/University of Michigan Consortium, among others. His orchestral works have been performed at the Munich Chamber Orchestra HKUST Reading Sessions, the Underwood Reading Sessions of the American Composers Orchestra and at the Riverside Reading Sessions of the Riverside Symphony, and by the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, and New York Youth Symphony, among others.

His chamber works have been performed by Daedalus Quartet, Parker Quartet, Antares, violinist, Gary Levinson, and pianist, Adam Neiman, among others. His work has been reviewed in the New York Times, Detroit Free Press, and South China Morning Post, and featured on Radio Television Hong Kong, TVB Pearl (Hong Kong), and WCNY (Syracuse), among others. Mr. Tommasini is Co-Founder and Composer-in-Residence of the critically-acclaimed, Connections Chamber Music Series. Currently, he lives in Hong Kong where he is Associate Artistic Director of the internationally-acclaimed composers/performers workshop, The Intimacy of Creativity, and Composer-in-Residence/Visiting Associate Professor of Music at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology where he also coordinates the HKUST Music Alive! concert series. Mr. Tommasini holds degrees in composition from the University of Michigan (DMA, MA) where he studied with Bright Sheng, William Bolcom, Michael Daugherty, and Leslie Bassett; and UCLA (BA) where he studied with Paul Chihara and Ian Krouse.