Pianist, Improviser/Composer, Artistic Director
Kit Young recently returned to Washington, DC from living twenty years in Asia. She pursued a career as solo and collaborative pianist, composer and teacher organizing concerts, festivals and exchanges with Asian colleagues in both contemporary and traditional music from Thailand, Burma, Malaysia and China.
Ms. Young’s absorption in particularly Thai and Burmese music originate from her childhood living in Thailand studying Thai instruments, and a lifelong quest to answer the question of how to hear and perform music from another culture, informing one’s own musical trajectory. Since 1987, Ms. Young studied the Burmese Sandaya tradition: Burmese traditional music styles performed on the piano. She studied with Burma’s greatest composer and sandaya player, Gita Lulin U Ko Ko among others and has performed extensively with Burmese musicians and dancers. Her 1991 debut performances of Burmese music at New York’s Metropolitan Museum and Symphony Space with Burmese colleagues were covered by the Voice of America and the New York Times.
Buckner and Roscoe Mitchell in San Francisco, Yangon, Beijing and New York. Her work for choir For the Real Question was performed by Gitameit Voices on tour at Yale University and with Joan Baez at the Herbst Theater in San Francisco in 2009.
While living in Beijing, China, Ms. Young formed a duo with Wu Na, an award-winning gu qin player exploring modalities of improvisation and T’ang dynasty repertoire. The Thai Embassy in Beijing sponsored Ms. Young and Wu Na to perform concerts in Beijing and Hang Zhou with Thai dancer Pichet Klunchon in 2011. Ms. Young composed music for a Chinese production of Harold Pinter’s “Betrayal” directed by Li Jiang Jun for the third China Fringe Festival in 2010 and was a member of the Beijing New Music Ensemble from 2009 to 2011.
Ms. Young studied piano with Lional Nowak, Patricia Zander, Theodore Lettvin, Robert Helps, and composition with Henry Brant and Vivain Fine. She holds degrees from Bennington College, New England Conservatory and did doctoral work at University of Michigan and Peabody Conservatory. She was awarded a NACUSA prize at the Arnold Shöenberg Institute in Los Angeles and a Rackham award from the University of Michigan to perform concerts in Thailand and Burma in 1987. In America, she has taught on piano faculties at the University of Richmond and University of Maryland Baltimore Camp