“Au Yong’s original music goes in surprising directions and tonalities.”
Jeff Smith, San Diego Reader

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 in 2020. Here are articles, interviews, and reviews of my music.

2020 Articles
Lucy Gellman. Arts & Ideas Gets An Activist Soundtrack. New Haven Arts
Christopher Arnott. George Takei talks about his acting, writing and activism. Hartford Courant
Jady Ojiri. Make The World Your Stage. USF News

2020 Interviews

2019 Articles
Kathy Leonard Czepiel. Melodies and Movements. Daily Nutmeg
Manami Okazaki. How Songs Became Powerful Weapons. South China Morning Post
Arvin Temkar. United We Stand. USF News
Mayumi Tsutakawa. Playwright Julia Cho weaves a brief but difficult tale. The Seattle Globalist


“... a soundtrack that chills one’s spine.”

“... adrenaline-pumping music.”
Lily Janiak. Cal Shakes “The War of the Roses.” San Francisco Chronicle

2018 Interviews
Peter Crimmins. Asian Arts Initiative celebrates past 25 years, new transitionWHYY NewsWorks
Dan DeLuca. Asian Arts Initiative's Activist Songbook. The Philadelphia Inquirer
Philippa Kelly. Of Forests and Metal: Interview with Composer Byron Au YongCal Shakes blog
Imani Roach. Byron Au Yong and Aaron Jafferis write useful protest musicArtblog

2017 Interviews

More from 2017
American Theatre Editors. 6 Theatre Workers You Should Know. American Theatre Magazine
Rebecca Fischer. Color, Water, Sound at Aster Montessori SchoolRebecca Fischer Violin Blog
Robbie Harris. 10 Years After Virginia Tech Shooting. NPR Weekend Edition
Robbie Harris. New Theater Piece Explores Gun Violence. WVTF Public Radio
Kim Hutchinson. Arts Performances Explore Gun Violence. I'm Not Your Boring Newspaper
Connie Ogle. Hip Hop Musical Trigger. Miami Herald
Frank Rizzo. Taking Aim at Violence at International Festival. Zip06
Brian Slattery. Hip Hop Oratorio “(Be)longs” at Long WharfNew Haven Independent
Phillip Valys. Anti-gun-violence Musical Trigger Comes to Miami.
Amanda Plasencia. March to End Gun Violence at Miami-Dade College. NBC Miami

2016 Interviews
Sharon H. Chang. In the White Frame. Multiracial Asian Families
Shin Yu Pai. Exit Interview: Byron Au Yong. CityArts Magazine

More from 2016
Rebecca Fischer. Becoming a more resonant body. Rebecca Fischer Violin Blog
Jen Graves. How Creative Capital Replaced the NEA. The Stranger
Robert Hurwitt. Explosions of Creativity at the Strand. San Francisco Chronicle
Ruby Lerner. The Art School of the FutureCREATIVEZ
Montalvo Announces New Lucas Artist Fellows in MusicMontalvo Arts Center
DDCF Awards $2.43 Million to Build Performing Arts Audiences. Philanthrophy News
Clinton Stark. New Strands Festival lineup announced. Stark Insider

“... it's hard to imagine that anyone walked away from Turbine unchanged.”
David Patrick Stearns. TURBINE stirs voice and movement into waterThe Philadelphia Inquirer

“... renders the invisible workings of the brain and the musical spirit visible.”
Lea Feinstein. (Im)materiel and The Marvelous Real. Art Practical

“How did creators from such different worlds come together?”
Nathan Christensen, Beyond Broadway: Long Distance Relationships. New Musical Theatre

More from 2015
Patricia Caswell. Sixteen Geniuses in January. The Hermitage Artist Retreat
Peter Crimmins. One of a kind performance at the Waterworks. WHYY NewsWorks
Hannah Fenlon. It Takes a Team: Five Questions for Byron Au Yong. Creative Capital The Lab
Kelsey Menehan. Commissioning Journeys: When the Place Shapes the Music. Chorus America
Miriam Seidel. Leah Stein, Dance Alchemist. Miriam Seidel
David Patrick Stearns. Getting Creative Down by the Riverside. The Philadelphia Inquirer
David Patrick Stearns. How many arms does it take to conduct the Mendelssohn Club Choir? WRTI
Lewis Whittington. Stein’s water-dances fuel TURBINEThe Dance Journal

“… engaging songs performed live that enhance the high-stakes tension and emotion.”
Pat Craig, Orphan of Zhao an epic and engrossing tale. San Jose Mercury News

“… a haunting mix of strings, gongs, percussion and even tones summoned from bowls of water.”
James Hebert, A rich and rewarding Zhao. The San Diego Union-Tribune

“Au Yong’s original music goes in surprising directions and tonalities.”

“... a complex and evocative score.”
Leo Stutzin, Revenge, Honor, Sacrifice in Ancient China. Huffington Post

More from 2014
Chad Jones. The Orphan of Zhao: It’s pageantry over passion. San Francisco Chronicle
Jean Lowerison. Theater Review: The Orphan of Zhao. San Diego Gay & Lesbian News
Jack Lyons. 2400 Year Old Chinese Drama Is Reimagined For The Stage. Desert Local News
David C. Nichols. The Orphan of Zhao: a skillful, specialized epic. LA Times
Jess Van Nostrand. Art and Technology. The Project Room
Rebecca Romani. The Orphan of Zhao: A masterful production not to be missed. KPBS
Diana Saenger. Exciting world of ancient China awaits in The Orphan of Zhao. La Jolla Light News
Clinton Stark. Celebrating San Francisco Theater–Awards announced. Stark Insider
Harmony Wheeler. Orphan of Zhao at ACT-SF is Intense Powerful Drama. Broadway World

“For opera and musical theatre enthusiasts, this was a rare artistic triumph.”
George Heymont. Review: Stuck Elevator. Huffington Post

“A vibrant opera-musical theater hybrid with a story both personally compelling and eye-opening.”
Robert Hurwitt, Stuck Elevator: Top-flight. San Francisco Chronicle

“... claustrophobic and expansive, intimate and existential, personal and political all at once.”

“Audacious, compelling and hugely imaginative.”
Leo Stutzin, Stuck ElevatorHuffington Post

More from 2013
Kedar Adour. Stuck Elevator at A.C.T. is ambitious. For All Events
Geneva Anderson. A.C.T.’s Stuck Elevator: a new musical-theatre-opera hybrid. Art Hound
Allan Appel. Stuck Elevator unsticks writer’s imagination. New Haven Independent
Greg Archer. Stuck Elevator explores downs of Chinese immigrant. The San Francisco Examiner
Sean Au. 81 hours stuck in an elevator? Sounds like a musical. Edge Media Network
Jay Barmann. Stuck Elevator at A.C.T. SFist
Andrew Beck. Stuck Elevator often soarsHartford Arts Examiner
Carol Benet. A theatrical stuck-in-an-elevator. Arts SF Blog
Alex Bigman. A very mild nightmare: ‘Stuck Elevator’ at A.C.T. The San Francisco Appeal
Matthew Blank. Photo Exclusive: backstage and around San Francisco. Playbill
David Brensilver. Stuck Elevator returns to New Haven. The Arts Paper
Adam Brinklow. Trapped man tries not to go crazy. SF Magazine
Donald Brown. No exitNew Haven Review
Richard Connema. San Francisco: Stuck Elevator. Talkin’ Broadway
Yunpu Chen. 啊!電梯卡住了. World Journal
Sujn Chon. Stuck Elevator impresses at world premiere. International Examiner
Geary Danihy. Angst in an elevator. CT Theater News and Reviews Blog
Richard Dodds. A life caught between floors. Bay Area Reporter
Jeffrey Freymann. The state of the arts. Classical KDFC SF
Lily Janiak. To Go. SF Weekly
Chad Jones. Story lifts A.C.T.’s elevator to great heights. Theater Dogs
Cy Musiker. Plays offer immigration insights to audiences and lawmakers. KQED Public Media
Joe Myers. Stuck Elevator presented by New Haven festival. Connecticut Post
Sasha Paulsen. What to do if you’re in a Stuck Elevator. Napa Valley Register
Frank Rizzo. Chinese deliveryman’s nightmare comes to stage as Stuck Elevator. Hartford Courant
Frank Rizzo. Entertaining Stuck Elevator at Long Wharf. Hartford Courant
Robert Sokol. A.C.T.’s Stuck Elevator pushes buttons. The San Francisco Examiner
Clinton Stark. Trapped in an elevator for 81 hoursStark Insider
Joy Tang. Is this my American dream? Stuck Elevator’ at San Francisco’s A.C.T. Hyphen Magazine
Woody Weingarten. Stuck Elevator’ is astute musical look at immigration. Mill Valley Herald
Suzanne Weiss. Stuck Elevator SF. Culture Vulture
Stephen West. Stuck Elevator Nightmare. Bloomberg Business Week
Lauren Yarger. The American Dream, immigration woes, super heroes. BroadwayWorld

“... toy pianos, shifting about the stage, banging on the sides of their instruments, and finally picking up a kazoo and slide whistle.”
Kristen Legg. Flashes of Brilliance. Seattle Dances 

“... stepped outside the string-tied box to make some unique sounds.”
Nate Watters. Magma Festival. CityArts

“The kora is an old, old instrument, and Au Yong has it almost vanish within a river of electronic, industrial sonic artifact, only to reappear here and there, never completely overwhelmed.”
Michael van Baker. The Mother of Us All. The SunBreak 

“... a cacophonous blur that adds to the chaos of the show.”

“... unexpected sounds that speak to how unpredictable our seasons have become.”
Alice Kaderlan. Preview: 3Seasons reSetCrosscut 

“... recorded material with Kane Mathis performing live on the kora (West African harp) and some laptop wizardry by Au Yong.”
Michael Upchurch. The Mother of Us AllThe Seattle Times 

“It’s a 21st century landscape, of timid trust in an unimaginable future warring against barely suppressed chaos and despair.”
Victoria Brown. 3Seasons reSet. Behind the Scenes Blog

More from 2011
Michael Upchurch. Spectrum Dance Theater’s The Mother of Us AllThe Seattle Times
Alice Kaderlan. Whim W’Him dazzles at
Michael Upchurch. Whim W’Him’s reSet makes good second impression. The Seattle Times
Omar Willey. Whim W’Him’s reSet: a new direction, A Higher Aim. Seattlest
Michael van Baker. Olivier Wevers & Whim W’Him: Dances to a different drummerThe SunBreak

“... racing through the possibilities of performance without a performance space.”
Zach Carstenson. Kidnapping Water at Town Hall Seattle. The Gathering Note

“Byron Au Yong, the Seattle composer who’s worked with Portland Taiko before, arrives with a score already in hand. He passes copies around the circle: it’s elegant, intricate notation.”

“... confronting his own questions of freedom and justice.”
Roxanne Ray. FarewellInternational Examiner 

“The sound—with its Chinese melodies, radio newscasts, Maoist propaganda and snippets of Beethoven—is all-enveloping.”
Michael Upchurch. FarewellThe Seattle Times 

More from 2010
Jeremy M. Barker. Whim W’Him’s winning debut weekendThe SunBreak
Jeremy M. Barker. Spectrum gives us dance about the neoliberal world orderThe SunBreak
Jeremy M. Barker. Spectrum’s Donald Byrd takes on the complex legacy of US-ChinaThe SunBreak
Mary Murfin Bayley. Why I won’t miss WeversCity Arts Magazine
Mary Murfin Bayley. A review of Donald Byrd’s FarewellCity Arts Magazine
Terra Leigh Bell. Farewell—a preview—Byrd and Bell on movement. seattledances
Heidi Broadhead. A subjective, dreamlike meditation on historyPubliCola
Joseph Dalton. Byron Au Yong: as big as all outdoorsMy Big Gay Ears
Team Diva. Spectrum’s Farewell delivers a truly fantastical journeyseattledances
Rosie Gaynor. Whim W’Him, On the Boards, SeattleFinancial Times
Leslie Holleran. Farewell—a dramaturgical previewseattledances
Denise Opper. Spectrum Dance Theater’s FarewellVala Dancewear
Marcie Sillman. Farewell, by Donald ByrdArtdish
Michael Upchurch. Spectrum’s ‘China’ is sound and fury - too much soThe Seattle Times
Michael Upchurch. Olivier Wevers’ fledgling dance company ready to flyThe Seattle Times
Michael Upchurch. Whim W’Him’s full-length debut is a breathtaking eveningThe Seattle Times

“From a few rows up, he patiently motions entrances and keeps the beat: It’s all in the timing.”
Bob Hicks. Recording Rhythms of Change. ArtScatter

“... painfully emotional parts are interspersed between comic bits.”
Jeremy Barker. NW New Works. Seattlest

More from 2009
Nancy Guppy. Art Zone: Visionary Composer Byron Au YongSeattle Channel
Blythe Lawrence. In ‘Moore Inside Out’ the theater is part of the show. The Seattle Times
Regina Hackett. Free Sheep Foundation—Moore Inside OutAnother Bouncing Ball
Kim Ruehl. Below the Boards. Sound Magazine
Ben Waterhouse. Risk/Reward New Performance Festival. Willamette Week

“... relevant and revelatory.” Gavin Borchert. Water MusicSeattle Weekly

More from 2008
Christopher DeLaurenti. Kidnapping Water: Bottled OperasThe Stranger
Misha Berson. A funny/sad portrait of teenage isolation. The Seattle Times
Jen Graves. Miniature operas in waterThe Stranger Slog
Roxanne Ray. A water opera splashes in Seattle. International Examiner
Jeremy Richards. Sound Focus: Kidnapping WaterKUOW NPR Radio
Kim Ruehl. Can’t miss it: sopping wet opera. Seattlest

Eric Bartels. Rhythms of Change. Portland Tribune
Gavin Borchert. Classical/Asian Music. Seattle Weekly
Gavin Borchert. Stuck Elevator opera. Seattle Weekly
Christopher DeLaurenti. The score—Friday June 29: Byron Au YongThe Stranger
Alan Lau. Highlights: Byron Au YongInternational Examiner
Caroline Li. Stuck in elevator, no way out. Northwest Asian Weekly
Judith van Praag. Byron Au Yong. International Examiner

“... interdisciplinary works are as exquisite and imaginative as they are unclassifiable.”
Gavin Borchert. Recommended Arts Events. Seattle Weekly

“... elegantly mingles traditional instruments and theatrical staging with an astute sense of the avant.”
Christopher DeLaurenti. Classical, jazz & avant: Byron Au YongThe Stranger

“... resurrecting the antique technology of the cassette tape recorder.”
Gavin Borchert. Electric IslandSeattle Weekly

“Byron Au Yong, more sensitive to natural sounds and the spiritual resonances of a place than perhaps any other local composer.”
Gavin Borchert. Baroque, Physics, PlaySeattle Weekly

More from 2006
Christopher DeLaurenti. The Score: Electric IslandThe Stranger
David Hayes. The sounds of Ishquoh. The Issaquah Press
Alan Lau. Highlights: Byron Au Yong International Examiner
Zdenek Slaby. Apokalypticky pohadkar za zrezavele lodi. Unijazz Magazin
Ann-Marie Stillion. Names in the news. Northwest Asian Weekly

2000-2005 Quotes
“... meditative music without the mush and just a hint of muscle.”
Christopher DeLaurenti. Music up and coming: Byron Au Yong (2005). The Stranger 

“... an orrery of memory, an attempt to chart the composer’s recollections and speculations about his musician grandfather who emigrated from China in the 1930s.”
Christopher DeLaurenti. YIJU 移居 (2004). The Stranger 

“He first worshiped Bach and Chopin, but gradually switched from piano to percussion, from reverence to questioning and from one cultural source to a melange.”
Jen Graves. Tao Te Ching texts inspire composer (2005). The News Tribune 

“Ongoing repetition and yet each time something totally different.”
Judith van Praag. Entering into a new dimension (2004). International Examiner 

“Critical to the elegiac mood was Au Yong’s original music, a shifting soundscape performed live.”
Misha Berson. Woman, Monkey & Kabuki Joe (2002). The Seattle Times 

“... apparently serene but with a surprisingly commanding undertow.”
Christopher DeLaurenti. Classical: Byron Au Yong (2001). The Stranger 

“There is the sense of field recordings and yet, compositionally, there is also an insistence of academic modernism.”
Jon Gierlich. Walking CD review (2001). International Examiner

More from 2000-2005
2004 Joseph Dalton. Chinese composers are making markAlbany Times Union
2004 Neal Schindler. YIJU: Songs of DislocationSeattle Weekly
2004 Pat Tanumihardja. The shared experience of dislocation. Northwest Asian Weekly
2002 E. Bae. Going with the flow: traditional music takes an impromptu style. Korea Now
2002 Alan Lau. Highlights: Byron Au Yong. International Examiner
2002 Christopher Blasdel. Pro Music Nipponia gives new life to contemporary. The Japan Times
2002 Antonio Perez. Woman, Monkey & Kabuki Joe review. International Examiner
2001 Bret Fetzer. The Stranger suggests: Three Ring CircusThe Stranger
2001 Sandra Ross. Performance pick of the week: Fresh Tracks. LA Weekly
2000 Mary Murfin Bayley. Film and dance unite in Asian-American festival. The Seattle Times

1994-1999 Quotes
“... beguiling hybrid of cultures.”
Joe Adcock. Rancho Grande review (1999). Seattle Post-Intelligencer 

“A clever cymbal piece introduced Au Yong, the new member from Seattle.”
Emily Gonzales & David Blasby. Stepping off the fractal ledge: Uzume Taiko (1999). e.Peak 

“The gentle sounds of sleepy Pacific nature are represented by a gusty excerpt from Byron Au Yong’s Edge (1994), for conch shell, prayer bowls, and string bass.”
Allen Gimbel. China Exchange CD review (1999). American Record Guide 

“Strong, evocative, engaging music.”
Art Lange. China Exchange CD review (1999). Fanfare Magazine 

“The music by Byron Au Yong is da bomb.”
Yayoi Lena Winfrey. Rancho Grande review (1999). Northwest Asian Weekly 

“Au Yong’s splendidly moving Holding included spatial effects, singers strolling around the perimeter of the hall. A large central section used only the sounds of stones being slowly rubbed together, an immensely soothing and imaginative sound.”
Gavin Borchert. The Esoterics review (1997). Seattle Weekly

More from 1994-1999
1999 Joe Adcock. Playwright’s ‘princesses’ struggle against oppression. Seattle Post-Intelligencer
1999 Sid Whelan. Breaking the great wall. NewMusicBox
1999 Yoshiko Saheki. China Exchange offers something for every taste. International Examiner
1997 Jin Ho Choe. A Bridge Home exhibition review. Asian Focus
1997 Charlie Ritts. Byron Au Yong interview. International Examiner
1994 Atsuko Fujimoto. Avant-garde American obsessions. Reflex