BRIGHT SHENG (b 1955 )
Born in Shanghai, Bright Sheng belongs to the generation of Chinese composers whose childhood and adolescence were seriously affected by the Cultural Revolution. The period of internal exile, however, brought knowledge of the music of the remoter countryside, a source of future musical inspiration. He was later able to study at the Shanghai Conservatory before continuing studies in the United States, where he is a professor of composition at the University of Michigan.
Vocal, Stage, Orchestral and Chamber Music
Sheng’s music remains firmly related to his Chinese origins. His vocal compositions include settings of Chinese poets, and his stage works include the chamber opera The Silver River and the two-act Madame Mao. His orchestral music includes China Dreams and a lament for the massacre at Nanking in 1937, making use of the pipa (Chinese lute) with a Western orchestra. Other compositions also make use of Chinese instruments, sometimes in conjunction with Western.