Music professor receives national recognition

Published: December 03, 2015 | Author: Michael French | Read Time: 3 minutes

Music professor Xun Sun receives national recognitionFor both his remarkable musicianship and activities as a promoter of international cultural exchange with his native China, SUU Associate Professor of Music Dr. Xun Sun has been named by as one of the top professionals of the year. This year the publication focused on “The Influencers” and selected 30 unique individuals for the honor from across the nation.

According to Susan Elliott, editor of and News and Special Reports, “The Influencers, defined as a people who are making a difference in our business, either by virtue of their positions, their creativity, and/or their dedication.” 

Dr. Sun was singled out for this year’s honor for utilizing his contacts on two continents to form cultural partnerships for members of the semi-professional Orchestra of Southern Utah (OSU) and students from Southern Utah University’s Department of Music. In 2011, he took 11 members of the orchestra on a tour of China introducing audiences to works that have been commissioned by OSU. His association with the Hubei Opera and Dance Drama Theatre enabled SUU music and dance students to perform in an original collaborative work, The Dream of Helen, celebrating the legacy of Cedar City, Utah native Helen Foster Snow for her humanitarian efforts in China during the 1930s. 

Adding her praise to Sun’s new recognition, Shauna Mendini, Dean of SUU’s College of Performing and Visual Arts and co-director/choreographer of The Dream of Helen, said “Dr. Sun has been the catalyst in advancing SUU's and Cedar City's partnership with China. In ways unpredictable and often surprising, his efforts have created educational and cultural opportunities for SUU and members of the Orchestra of Southern Utah with transformational results.”

Dr. Xun Sun serves as Director of Orchestral Activities at Southern Utah University, conducts SUU’s Symphony Orchestra and String Ensemble and teaches Advanced Instrumental Conducting and Applied Instruction of Violin at the Music Department. Dr. Sun continues to teach the master classes in conducting in Hunan, China. Mr. Sun has continually broadened his professional career as an orchestral conductor and has conducted the world premiere of the Dream of Helen, a collaboration between SUU and the Hubei Opera and Dance Drama Theatre of China. He conducted the world renowned China Philharmonic Orchestra in a recording called America Journey with music by American composers Marshall McDonald and Steve Nelson. In 2007, he was invited to conduct the Lviv Philharmonic in the 8th International Contemporary Music Festival in Ukraine. Mr. Sun has conducted opera performances including Carlisle Floyd's Susanna, Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's The Magic Flute and Don Giovanni. Dr. Sun serves as the Music Director/Conductor of the Orchestra of Southern Utah (OSU). Under his leadership, the OSU world has premiered the symphonic suite “Spanish Trail Suite” by Marshall McDonald and Steve Nelson. Born in the city of Taiyuan, China, Dr. Xun Sun began his formal music training and violin studies at Wuhan Conservatory of Music in China at age 11 through the government's scholarship program for exceptional music students. This substantial music training led him to successful graduate studies in the United States. Under the Evelyn Ryan Nelson Concertmaster Fellowship at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Conservatory of Music, he earned master’s degrees in Instrumental Conducting and Violin Performance. He holds a Doctor’s Degree in Education from Teacher's College, Columbia University, New York.

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