Byron Au Yong
Byron Au Yong (歐陽良仁) composes songs of dislocation, music for a changing world. Variety calls his work “claustrophobic and expansive, intimate and existential, personal and political all at once.” Highlights include Activist Songbook (Asian Arts Initiative, Hopkins Center for the Arts, International Festival of Arts & Ideas), Stuck Elevator (American Conservatory Theater, Long Wharf Theater, Nashville Opera), Kidnapping Water: Bottled Operas (Bumbershoot Festival of the Arts) and Piano Concerto–Houston (CounterCurrent Festival).
Au Yong’s research and teaching incorporate acoustic ecology, ethical entrepreneurship, global sustainability, music theory, and the performing arts.
He has been an artist-in residence with the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU, Lucas Artists Residency, and Yale Institute for Music Theater. Honors include a Creative Capital Award and Sundance Institute Time Warner Foundation Fellowship. The Seattle Weekly says Au Yong’s “interdisciplinary works are as exquisite and imaginative as they are unclassifiable.”
- New York University, MFA in Musical Theatre Writing, 2005
- University of California, Los Angeles, MA in World Arts and Cultures/Dance, 2003
- University of Washington, BA/BM in Music Composition/Theory, 1996
- Adjunct Faculty, Cornish College of the Arts
- Teaching Fellow, University of California, Los Angeles
- Public Program Manager, Wing Luke Museum
Awards & Distinctions
Artist Trust Fellowship
Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award
Creative Capital Award
MAP Fund Award
Sundance Institute/Time Warner Foundation Fellow
Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Award
Time Warner Foundation Fellowship
Au Yong, Byron. "Making Activist Songbook Virtual," Journal of Interdisciplinary Perspectives and Scholarship, Vol. 4, No. 4 (2021).
Au Yong, Byron. "Mò Shēng 墨声 Ink Sound." UCLA: Music Library. (2020).
Au Yong, Byron. "Welladay! Welladay! Wayward Love Songs." UCLA: Music Library. (2020).
Rao, Nancy Yunhwa. “Asian Americans in Opera: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives” Oxford Research Encyclopedias, January 2020.
Au Yong, Byron. “Challenging Nostalgia: Unveiling the Ghosts of Seattle's Nippon Kan.” TDR/The Drama Review 48, no. 2 (2004): 91–107.
- Arts & Ideas Gets An Activist Soundtrack, New Haven Arts, May 2020
- How Songs Became Powerful Weapons, South China Morning Post, December 2019
- United We Stand, USF News, October 2019
- Of Forests and Metal: Interview with Composer Byron Au Yong, Cal Shakes, September 2018
- Byron Au Yong and Aaron Jafferis write useful protest music, Artblog, May 2018
- "New Theater Piece Explores Gun Violence,” NPR Weekend Edition, April 2017
- Commissioning Journeys: When the Place Shapes the Music, Chorus America, Sept 2015
- Water Music, Seattle Weekly, August 2008