Here in the United States, the phrase “classical music” typically points to western European aesthetics and traditions, right? Well that’s not the case everywhere, you know. From India to the Caribbean, and even in Africa, “classical music” draws up different sounds and approaches than you might be used to hearing associated with that phrase, with one composer from China helping western audiences understand this through her music. ‘Ni Hao’, I’m Loki Karuna, and on today’s edition of Noteworthy it’s the music of composer Xinyan Li that we’ll be celebrating.

Xinyan Li was born in the Chinese city of Qiqihar, and earned music degrees about 15 hours south of her birth city in Beijing. Her studies in Chinese folk music inspire many of her compositions, with works highlighting the traditions of a variety of Chinese minority groups. This composition is a great example of her work, which shines a light on Mongolian aesthetics. It’s even titled as such – a piece here called Mongolian Impressions.

After earning a doctorate from the University of Missouri, Kansas City, Xinyan Li has continued her work here in the US, helping more and more people broaden their own ideas around “classical music”. Utilizing the perfect mix of tradition and innovation, Xinyan Li has shown listeners a world they could only imagine, making her among today’s most Noteworthy composers.

Noteworthy is a production of WDAV classical public radio.