Composer

“Audacious, compelling and hugely imaginative.”
~Leo Stutzin, Huffington Post

Sometimes a song can mean freedom or death. I create musical events to hold tension between these extremes. My songs of dislocation honor the challenges and rituals of people who gather to listen.

As the child of immigrants, I listen to stories from hard-working individuals who work hard not to regret. As a queer Asian American, I acknowledge the privileges and responsibilities of being a U.S. citizen by birthright. Musicalizing ways out of oppression informs my process as an American composer on the brink of 2020.

Nature grounds my music. I witness trees and waterways connect earth and sky while living on Ohlone land. In the midst of a climate crisis, I combine music composition, ecology, and protest as an Assistant Professor in Performing Arts & Social Justice at the University of San Francisco. Thank you for visiting. I hope we can work together on music for a changing world.

Byron Au Yong
Biography | CV

photo of soloist singing in a boat

Upcoming

December 14, 2019
Chan Family Picnic [sold out]
Chinese Historical Society of America · San Francisco

January 13-17, 2020
Livable Futures Climate Gathering
The Movement Lab at Barnard College · New York

June TBA 2020
Activist Songbook
International Festival of Arts & Ideas · New Haven
→ more in Calendar

photo of singers and ducks

Highlights

The Ones, a.k.a Trigger or (Be)longing
A music theater forum about coming of age in an age of guns performed at the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech, International Festival of Arts & Ideas, MDC Live Arts, NYU, and other venues

photo of (Be)longing at the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech

Stuck Elevator
A comic-rap-scrap-metal-opera about a trapped man performed at American Conservatory Theater, International Festival of Arts & Ideas, and other venues

Mò Shēng 墨声 Ink Sound
A string quartet calligraphy installation performed at the Frye Art Museum

photo of score excerpts from Mo Sheng Ink Sound

Turbine
For 80+ moving voices along the water performed by the Leah Stein Dance Company and Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia for the 200th anniversary of the Fairmount Water Works

Piano Concerto–Houston
An interview installation for 11 pianists and one piano presented at the CounterCurrent Festival of the University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts

→ more in Music

photo of Welladay! Welladay! Wayward Love Songs performance

Articles

  1. (Be)longing Explores Gun Violence, 10 Years After Virginia Tech Shooting on NPR
  2. Turbine stirs voice and movement into water in The Philadelphia Inquirer
  3. Commissioning Journeys: When the Place Shapes the Music in Chorus America
  4. A trapped man is the unlikely subject of a moving musical in Variety
  5. Stuck Elevator: Top-flight in the San Francisco Chronicle

Interviews

  1. Philippa Kelly War of the Roses Interview for Cal Shakes
  2. Imani Roach Useful Protest Music Interview in Artblog
  3. Shin Yu Pai Exit Interview in CityArts
  4. Art Zone Composer Video Interview on Vimeo
  5. Gavin Borchert Water Music Interview in the Seattle Weekly
→ more in News

Awards

Residencies

Service

→ more in CV

photo of the dance music theater performance called Farewell: A Fantastical Contemplation on America’s Relationship with China

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