May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month and to celebrate, members of CYSO’s Social Media Team collaborated on a Spotify playlist of works by AAPI composers and performers. AAPI musicians are underrepresented in nearly all areas of music professions, and celebrating AAPI culture and heritage is even more vital given the disturbing rise in AAPI discrimination and hate crimes in recent years.
AAPI is a broad group, encompassing those who’s families came from the continent of Asia and throughout islands of the Pacific. Asia itself includes more than 48 countries and there are 15 recognized independent Pacific Islander countries. And let’s not forget Central, South and Western Asia, which includes countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan, that are sometimes left out of discussions of the Asian experience.
Our playlist features a sampling of the vast world of works by AAPI music and musicians, including Vivian Fung, Mohammed Fairouz, Unsuk Chin, Reena Esmail, Nina Keali’iwahamana, and many more! There’s something there for all listeners.
A few honorable mentions that aren’t available on Spotify:
- Saunder Choi, Leron, Leron Sinta
- Tan Dun, Concerto for String Orchestra and Zheng
- Vivian Fung, Concerto for Trumpet (Performed by CYSO’s Symphony Orchestra featuring CYSO alum Mary Elizabeth Bowden ’00)
- Saad Haddad, Mai
- Soon Hee Newbold, Medieval Kings (Performed by CYSO’s Overture Strings)
- Shuying Li, Kung Fu
- Kareem Roustom, Dabke (Performed by CYSO’s Symphony Orchestra)
- Zhou Tian, Transcend (Performed by CYSO’s Symphony Orchestra)
Interested in programming works by AAPI composers on your next recital or just curious? Check out this great resource about AAPI composers put together by the Curtis Institute of Music.