Dr. Fengshi Yang, composer, conductor, pianist and harpist, originally came to the United States as an undergraduate student from Shanghai Conservatory of Music in China. In 1990, she graduated from the University of Chicago and became the first Mainland Chinese woman to earn a Ph.D. in music composition in the West. Since then, she has composed numerous pieces including symphonic, chamber and vocal music in various styles. With a dream and a sense of mission to use her creativity and knowledge to build a bridge of understanding between the cultures of East and West, she founded East Meets West Music Arts (EMW) in 1993 as a pioneer nonprofit performing group promoting the concept of “East Meets West”. Serving as music director, Fengshi has led this group to present numerous genres of musical programs in the Chicago area over the past 15 years, and provided special performance opportunities to many highly skilled professional and amateur musicians. EMW concerts have enhanced understanding and appreciation of people’s differences, and won excellent acclamations from local communities throughout Chicagoland. Being grateful that this phenomena of “East Meets West” has spread to nearly every corner of the musical world in recent years, Fengshi now, intends to concentrate on creative writing and her passion for teaching through which to continue her mission of bridging East and West.
Fengshi is also on the faculty of Columbia College where she teaches composition and music theory.