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"a real talent"

- The Seattle Times

"vivid, dramatic"

- San Francisco Chronicle



"an incredible span of compositional tool box"

- American Record Guide


- Gramophone

When the Purple Mountains Burn (5-min promo)

When the Purple Mountains Burn (5-min promo)

Music by Shuying Li Libretto by Julian Crouch Commissioned by Shanghai Conservatory of Music Yvette Keong, Iris Chang Hidenori Inoue, Shiro Azuma S: Andrea Bickford, Tabatha Hogan, McKenzie Rybka A: Kendra Brislawn, Ruby Gibford, Rachel Steinke T: Robert Waltenbaugh B: James Heer, Fengyue Zhang Glen Adsit, conductor Four Corners Ensemble: Erika Boysen, flute Joshua Anderson, clarinet Christina Adams, violin Allan Hon, cello Mi-Eun Kim, piano Paul Raymond, percussion Operation Opera Festival, Myrtle Woldson Performing Arts Center, Gonzaga University, June 10th, 2022 Opera When the Purple Mountains Burn involves collaboration between composer Shuying Li and librettist, stage designer and director, Julian Crouch. The opera explores the connection between Iris Chang and Shiro Azuma with the Nanking Massacre that happened in China during World War II. Iris Chang, an American Chinese best-seller author whose book, “The Rape of Nanking” forever changed the way people view the Second World War in Asia. By uncovering the cruel truths to the world, she got trapped in depression later and committed suicide at age 36; Rooted in a different time at a different space, Shiro Azuma was a Japanese soldier who openly admitted his participation in Japanese war crimes against the Chinese during the World War II. The opera explores the following question on social justice and humanity: what is it in us humans that could unleash the catastrophic power for one part of humanity to massacre and defile another part of humanity? We intend to present a story that’s told by the seemingly unrelated Iris and Shiro, waved with a journalist’s powerful message and a soldier’s deep confession, to a universal song that will resonate with all human beings. When the Purple Mountains Burn was commissioned by the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. The development of When the Purple Mountains Burn received funding from OPERA America’s Opera Grants for Female Composers program, supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. The piano-vocal workshop was hosted by the Houston Grand Opera on Feb. 22-25, 2022.
Sweeping and Weeping

Sweeping and Weeping

Shuying Li, composer Performed by Alarm Will Sound Live at the 2021 Mizzou International Composers Festival, July 29, 2021 Note from the composer: "Sweeping and Weeping" was written in April 2020, when the pandemic hit and everything was canceled, postponed, or shut down. In an effort to find something positive, I initially thought of “sweeping” as a representation of the virus storm that took over our lives in the most unexpected ways. “Weeping” represents my reaction to the devastating loss that so many experienced. Like most of my pieces, "Sweeping and Weeping" began from these initial impressions, but the music itself navigated a way out with its own logic. The work explores rhythmic drive, lyrical tension, and release, with different timbres and colors. The music alternates between fast and slow passages that ultimately mingle into one. Alarm Will Sound: Alan Pierson, conductor and Artistic Director Erin Lesser, flute Christa Robinson, oboe Bill Kalinkos, clarinet Elisabeth Stimpert, clarinet Michael Harley, bassoon Laura Weiner, horn Tim Leopold, trumpet Michael Clayville, trombone Matt Smallcomb, percussion Chris Thompson, percussion John Orfe, piano Courtney Orlando, violin Stefan Freund, cello Miles Brown, bass Daniel Neumann, audio engineering Executive Director, Gavin Chuck General Manager, Annie Toth Production Manager, Jason Varvaro Assistant Director of Artistic Planning, Peter Ferry Librarian, Chihiro Shibayama Special thanks to Kyle Lombard (violin), Ayane Kosaza (viola), Eli Lara (cello), Lawrence Faucett (percussion), Gina Cuffari (bassoon), and Amanda Collins (horn).
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