Aiyun Huang


Aiyun Huang enjoys a musical life as soloist, chamber musician, researcher, teacher and producer. Globally recognized since winning the 2002 First Prize and Audience Prize of the Geneva International Music Competition. She is a champion of existing repertoire and a prominent voice in the collaborative creation of new works. Huang has commissioned and premiered over two hundred works in her two decades as a soloist and chamber musician. The Globe and Mail critic Robert Everett-Green describes Huang’s playing as “engrossing to hear and to watch” and her choice of repertoire as capable of “renovating our habits of listening.” Her past highlights include performances at the Victoria Hall in Geneva, Weill Recital Hall in New York, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra’s Green Umbrella Series, LACMA Concert Series, Holland Festival, Agora Festival in Paris, Banff Arts Festival, 7éme Biennale d’Art Contemporaine de Lyon, Vancouver New Music Festival, CBC Radio, La Jolla Summerfest, Scotia Festival, Cool Drummings, Montreal New Music Festival, Centro Nacional Di Las Artes in Mexico City, Cervantino Festival, and National Concert Hall and Theater in Taipei. Her recent highlights include performances with St. Lawrence String Quartet, L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Taipei Symphony Orchestra and San Diego Symphony Orchestra. Her recent premieres include works by Philippe Leroux, David Bithell, Nicole Lizée, George Lewis, and Eliot Britton.

 Beyond her acclaimed body of creative work, Huang’s research focuses on the multidisciplinary exploration into the performing body in media technology, theatre, dance and music using percussion as the central voice. Her publications in the Cambridge Companion to Percussion and her Saving Percussion Theatre DVD have provided valuable reference guides on how to unpack ambiguous notation in contemporary music and they have renewed interest in the performance and performance practice of percussion theatre. She was the PI in “Memory in Motion: Percussion Ensemble as a Lab” (funding: FRQSC Appui à la recherche-crèation), a program studying how percussion ensembles learn to perform music from memory using existing and new repertoire. Huang has published in leading peer-reviewed journals (Contemporary Music Review), industry magazines (Percussive Notes), and book chapters (Cambridge). Her creative work has also been the subject of scholarship in the Oxford Handbook. She is a researcher at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology (CIRMMT) in Montreal and co-directs Centre for Brain, Performance and Music Creative with Michael Thaut (neuroscience and music therapy) and Eliot Britton (music technology and composition) at the University of Toronto.

 Besides her performance career and creative outputs, Huang pursues a wide array of activities to integrate performance and research, and to support emerging artists and peers internationally. In 2015, Huang led the inaugural edition of Transplanted Roots: Percussion Research Symposium gathering international performers and scholars from four continents to discuss and reflect on the current state of contemporary percussion. Transplanted Roots takes place on a different continent every other year with 2017 in Brisbane (Australia) and 2019 in Guanajuato (Mexico) and 2021 will take place at UC San Diego (USA). In 2019, Huang was a member of the Grand Jury for the Geneva International Music Competition. In 2018, Aiyun was the keynote speaker to Multidisciplinary Conference (U Toronto). In 2017, she hosted PASIC Focus Day and was the conference director for Illuminations: Brian Cherney at 75 at McGill University, Montreal. In 2016, Huang was the keynote speaker for Australian Percussion Gathering where she met over 400 percussionists from across Australia.

 Born in Taiwan, Huang holds a DMA from the University of California, San Diego. Between 2004 and 2006, she was a Faculty Fellow at UCSD. Between 2006 and 2017, she led the percussion program at McGill University and held the position of William Dawson Scholar. She currently holds the position of Associate Professor of Music at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto where she heads the percussion area and directs the percussion ensemble. Since 2019, Aiyun serves as the Artistic Director for soundSCAPE Festival in Cesena, Italy.




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