Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences has announced that Dong-Yi is the new director of the school’s Elizabeth Mandell Music Institute (EMMI). Dong-Yi replaces Mary Ann Cummins, who remains with the school as a faculty member, where she teaches music theory, a role she has held since the school’s founding in 1971.
Dong-Yi is a 1993 graduate of Crossroads’ EMMI program, where Cummins once trained and mentored him. Part of Crossroads since 1978, EMMI developed from the school’s unique music major program. Students are accepted into the program only after passing an audition and must have a strong passion to both study and perform classical music. EMMI music majors receive improvisational music training, perform their own work twice a year, participate in monthly solo recitals, and attend master classes that are guest-lectured by leading U.S. and international artists.
“I am very proud to be an EMMI graduate of Crossroads and even more honored to follow in the footsteps of Mary Ann Cummins to continue to help our students achieve their dreams,” Dong-Yi said.
Dong-Yi was discovered by famed composer Herbert Zipper in 1989, when Zipper, who was a music theory teacher at Crossroads, traveled to China. While there, Zipper saw Dong-Yi win first place in the professional category at the Pearl River National Piano Competition, which he was competing in while attending the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing.
Dong-Yi performed with members of the Boston Symphony, the Chicago Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He was a soloist with the Pacific Symphony and the Beijing Symphony.
Dong-Yi’s teaching career started at Yale University, where he taught secondary piano classes for college students. His students are frequent performers at New York’s prestigious Carnegie Hall and have played their way to achieving laureate status. Dong-Yi also is the founder of Opus119 Conservatory of Music in Irvine, Calif., and president of the Lake Como International Piano Foundation.
Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences is a private, progressive K-12 school located in Santa Monica.
The school was founded upon five basic commitments: to academic excellence; to the arts; to the greater community; to the development of a student population of social, economic and racial diversity; and to the development of each student’s physical well-being and full human potential.