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East Meets Pipes

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

East Meets Pipes Preview presents two newly-composed organ works inspired by Asian art and poetry, with the aim to promote cultural heritage awareness and musical expansion. Three students from the Shepherd School of Music (Valentina Huang, Victor Cui, and Katy Li) are sharing their musical journeys as international students and as performers/composers who fuse their backgrounds in both Chinese and American cultures. Collaborating with Chinese artist Yixiao Yao, this concert is surrounded by visual memories of landscape, land in motion, constantly changing. Sitting under the foliage, the audience can experience the magic of piano four hands from compositions originally written for organ. A light show will be accompanied with the music. This event seeks to express our unique and culturally informed musical voices, and visual speculations to enrich the organ literature.


Valentina Huang

Believing the magic and the joy that music can bring into peoples’ lives, Valentina Qishan Huang is a passionate performer and collaborator. She actively performs on-and-off campus and her most recent concert appearance was at the Piccolo Festival in 2023. As a young advocate of the instrument, Valentina seeks to fuse her cultural heritage into this extraordinary instrument, through the exploration of Eastern voices on the organ. Besides, Valentina strives to become a well-rounded musician not only as a professional organist, pianist, but also a church musician. Valentina holds degrees from Wesleyan College, Peabody Institute of Music, and Jacobs School of Music. Currently she is a doctoral student under the tutelage of Prof. Ken Cowan at the Shepherd School of Music.

Victor Cui

Praised as “fundamentally musical” by the Olga and Paul Menn  Foundation, composer Victor Cui finds inspiration from literatures, histories, linguistics, zoologies, and sounds in nature, and seeks to balance freedom and control, poetics and logic. Victor’s music captures his uniquely expression through his sensibility of motion and the physicality of sound.  Victor is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) student at the Shepherd School of Music of Rice University. He holds degrees from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Chicago. As a singer, Victor has performed works by many contemporary composers. (Tyshawn Sorey, David Lang, James, MacMillan, Oliver Dubon, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, etc.)

Jiaying (Katy) Li

Jiaying (Katy) Li is a composer, pianist, and educator whose music mainly focuses on amplifying the microscopic sound of the instrument itself, and combines electronic music with her cross-cultural background to create a poetic vocabulary and multi-sensory enjoyment. In addition, her works have been commissioned and premiered by numerous performers and ensembles all over the world, including JACK Quartet, MAMMOTH trio, Austin Wulliman, Alex Sopp, Suzan Peeters, James Alexandar, and have been performed in Carnegie Hall, Norfolk Music Festival in Yale, Atlantic Music Festival, New Music on the Point Music Festival, St. John’s Concert Hall, and Royal Danish Conservatory of Music. She is also the recipient of the “Martinu Composition Prize” for her orchestral piece.




Yixiao Yao

Yixiao Yao is a Chinese post-media artist/researcher. They utilize texts, sound, images, paint, clay, letters, common substances, and their own body in work. Using real, constructed, mediated materials in and out of archives they are able to compose, curate intra-actional exchanges, and invite the participation of active viewership, readership and thinkership. They have curated/participated/published work in Ohklahomo, Mayfield, Open Art Studio, SITE Gallery, CNL Project, The LGBTQ+ Intergenerational Dialogue Project, and No Nation Art Lab.


  • Type: Admission is free,Performance
  • Time: April 16, 2024 - 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
  • Venue:Studio Space

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