The MacArthur Fellow Bright Sheng was born on December 6th, 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 the Distinguished Artist-in-Residence at Aaron Copland School of Music of Queens College, CUNY.
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, London BBC Symphony, Hamburg Radio Symphony, Danish National Symphony, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Santa Fe Opera, New York City Opera, New York City Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet.
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, Hong Kong Philharmonic, China National Symphony, among others; and has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, and many other international performing arts centers.
Since 2011, he has been the Founder and Artistic Director of The Intimacy of Creativity—The Bright Sheng Partnership: Composers Meet Performers in Hong Kong, an annual two-week workshop with new approach to creativity.