Citation: Zhang Xiaofu

“Graduations at DMU are an opportunity to bring into our university family talents from diverse fields and background who all hold something in common: they use what they have to add to the lives of others.

“DMU defines itself as an international community, committed to connecting people. That commitment inspires us to explore ever new ways of developing a greater understanding of communities, countries and cultures. History tells us football can be kicked over any border wall; food fits almost every plate, and invites us to share. But is there any more eloquent international language than music, with its profound ability to express our inner selves?

“The very distinguished guest we honour now is a composer, academic, researcher, teacher and performer whose career in music and education is rooted in his visionary creative connections, which draw completely new sounds into our world, and whose work has sound-tracked international openness and collaboration of boundless possibility.

“Professor Zhang Xiaofu is a pioneering figure of enormous stature in the field of electroacoustic music both in his home country, China, and worldwide. In our century, dominated by technology, he is seen by many as the genre’s key composition professor. His students and graduates work in every Chinese conservatoire, and in Europe and America; his humane sound cuts through 21st-century digital clutter. Inner Song, for Chinese flute, is acknowledged as an Asian arts masterpiece; DMU has hosted a performance of this piece. Nuo Ri Lang is his bold celebration of cultural diversity in China in its respectful and affirmative presentation of Tibetan and Buddhist themes,.

“Twenty-five years ago the festival curated by Zhang Xiaofu – Musicacoustica - began in China. It continues to thrive, opening indigenous electroacoustic music to the world, and bringing the world to a country closed and, it is said, ‘impoverished’ culturally during the composer’s youth. Again, “DMU has been honoured by involvement with Musicacoustica through our Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre – DMU’s own contribution to making innovative sounds accessible to a wide range of audiences.

“Deep in DMU’s DNA is an urge to ‘challenge convention’; in Zhang Xiaofu we are proud to have a fellow challenger, one rooted in his own culture but open to others; one bringing a new voice to the world; one who has shown talent thrives through discipline; and that talent comes with a responsibility to share. Electronic music begins, by definition, with ‘connection’. Much is said of the ‘power’ of creativity. Zhang Xiaofu’s music shows, often without words, that these are not mere words – creativity can touch people, and truly be an instrument for change.

“Zhang Xiaofu, for making music that speaks to the values we hold dearest – respect, community, challenge, change – we are proud to honour you today.”

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