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MP27: Asian Music Initiative


An initiative designed to shed light on overlooked or underperformed Asian composers with diasporic influences, focusing specifically on scholarship and performance of large-ensemble works.

Open to New People

Active since: 2023

  • Cornell University
  • Rochester Institute of Technology

Collaborative Goals

The Asian Music Initiative aims to introduce the scholarly and musical community of Central New York to a diverse range of underperformed Asian composers, focusing on composers with some diasporic element to their work. Harnessing our privilege as large-ensemble directors at Cornell and RIT, we aim to focus on works for orchestra, chorus, and large mixed ensemble. Large ensembles are a corner of the repertoire that goes overlooked as many projects celebrating AAPI music are constrained by the financial barriers of hiring large numbers of musicians.

To achieve this goal, we will develop a yearly series of symposia and concerts. The symposia will include lectures, discussions and panels on the music performed, drawing in scholars from other fields to have interdisciplinary conversations about issues manifested in the musical content or the composers' lives.

In the 2024-2025 year, we plan to investigate problems and issues in the performance of music by Asian and Asian Diasporic composers in westernstyle ensembles, using as a case study our first round of concerts and panels mounted in Spring 2023.

AMI will also be a launchpad for new collaborations and commissions of new works by AAPI composers. With new music, or music that is new to the ears of the audience, multimedia approaches and interdisciplinary engagement become even more important. Without the cache of the typical names of classical music, capturing audiences' interest with an experience using multiple points of creative and intellectual access becomes paramount. We hope to make more expansive performances through movement, visual art, engagement with poetry and text, connection to new research and musical pedagogical practices, and more.

Group Organizers

Joe Lerangis

Priscilla E. Browning Director of Choral Music, Assistant Professor, Cornell University

Yunn-Shan Ma

Assistant Professor of Performing Arts, Rochester Institute of Technology


Her Voice, Her Home

March 9, 2024, 7:30 p.m.