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Fusion Series

How World Class Innovators Create the Unexpected

China-West – The Forbidden Music of The Cultural Revolution

Symphonies Commissioned & Played by the World's Top Orchestras



Dr. Chen Yi – Multinational, Multi-Genre Composer

She was taken from her parents to haul rocks and mud during the Cultural Revolution in China. She slept with her violin and played for the farmers, introducing Western techniques in secret. That was how her composing career began. She grew a love for the village people and nature, and when she resumed her music studies, she integrated mountain music & symphony, classical & contemporary, east & west, jazz, rap, rock -- even non-musical elements like calligraphy and the Fibonacci Series. She absorbs everything around her and combines it in new ways. To compose like Chen-Yi, you must do the same – be open, integrate, and compose like yourself.

For more information on her work, see her faculty bio at UMKC, as well as: