Bright Sheng Wiki
Bright Sheng Biography
Who is Bright Sheng ?
Bright Sheng is a Chinese-born American composer, pianist, conductor, and pedagogue. Sheng has earned many honors for his music and compositions, including a MacArthur Fellowship in 2001; he also was a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist. Wikipedia
A University of Michigan music professor was removed from his teaching position after a university student complained that he was showing the 1965 film Othello, starring Laurence Olivier with a black face.
Bright Sheng, who teaches composition at the School of Music, Theater and Dance in Ann Arbor, Michigan, showed students the film, which garnered four Oscar nominations, last month.
Shortly after the screening, one of those who attended the class complained to the higher ups at the university.
Professor Sheng, who was born in Shanghai, China and has been in college for 26 years, wrote an apology in which he proceeded to list occasions when he had worked with ‘people of color’ throughout his career in an effort for showing diversity. but that was also rejected by the students.
Sheng, who is an accomplished conductor, composer, and pianist, has earned many honors for his music and compositions over the years and has been a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist.
His music has been commissioned and performed by virtually every major American symphony orchestra, as well as the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the New York City Ballet Orchestra, and the China National Symphony Orchestra.
The first time Sheng knew something was wrong with his teaching was after the film’s screening on September 10, which earned Olivier an Oscar nomination, as part of a class on Shakespearean plays.
Sheng wanted “to show how the opera composer Giuseppe Verdi had adapted Shakespeare’s play into an opera.”
How old is Bright Sheng ?
He is December 6, 1955 (age 65 years), Shanghai, China
Olivia Cook, a freshman, said she thought there was something ‘weird’ about the film and noticed how Olivier, a four-time Academy Award winner, was black-faced as he played the title role as a Moorish king. .
“I was stunned,” Cook told the Michigan Daily. “In a school that preaches diversity and makes sure they understand the history of people of color in America, I was shocked that Sheng would show something like this in something that is supposed to be a safe space.”
What surprised Cook even more was the fact that the students were simply shown the film without any warning or context as to why they were going to see the work that some might find offensive.
One graduate student said they thought Sheng’s resignation was “the least” he should do.
“ I feel like what we really needed (was) a true, honest and genuine understanding that he did something wrong, not just (him) trying to defend himself. I feel like there’s still a lack of confidence there because none of us think he’s really sorry. ”
Hours after class, Sheng apologized, acknowledging that the film’s cast and performance were “racially insensitive and outdated.”
The following week, David Gier, the dean of the music school, sent an email to the department, including all students, apologizing for what happened.
“Professor Sheng’s actions do not align with our school’s commitment to anti-racist action, diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Gier.
Almost a week after the screening, Sheng addressed a second apology to the department, noting how after conducting “more research,” including the impact of racism on American culture, he failed to recognize the racist connotations of blackface.
“In a classroom, I am a professor representing the university and should have thought about this more diligently and fundamentally; I apologize that this action was offensive and has angered you, ” Sheng wrote. “It has also made me lose (sic) your confidence.”
Last month, a Portland State University professor resigned in a scathing public letter in which he criticized the university for not allowing any kind of thinking that does not suit its liberal agenda, calling it a ‘social justice factory’ that it drives ‘belief intolerance’.
Peter Boghossian was a full-time assistant professor of philosophy at Portland State University for ten years until his resignation letter was published in September.
He shared the letter with Bari Weiss, a former New York Times columnist who resigned her role in the newspaper after claiming that she encountered the same refusal to consider illiberal ideas that Boghossian describes in PSU.
Boghossian said university staff were abdicating their “truth-seeking mission” and instead fueling intolerance of “divergent reliefs” by crushing any non-liberal views.
“Portland State students are not taught to think. Rather, they are being trained to imitate the moral certainty of ideologues, ”he wrote.
Boghossian previously wrote a collection of fake articles and submitted them to academic journals to show that they would print anything that was in accordance with his ideals, even if the theories in them were false.
Peter Boghossian was a full-time philosophy professor at Portland State University until his resignation letter was published on Wednesday.
They included articles on dog rape and an adaptation of Hitler’s Mein Kampf. The left reacted badly, saying it had wasted the editors’ time.
Boghossian says he was harassed on campus with swastikas written on the bathroom walls with his name next to it, simply because he had challenged the university’s ideas.
He claims that at one point flyers went around campus depicting him with a Pinocchio nose, spitting on him, and his colleagues told students not to take his class.
In a statement to DailyMail.com, a university spokesperson said: ‘Portland State has always been and will always be a welcoming home for free speech and academic freedom.
‘We believe that these practices are not in conflict with our core institutional values of student success; justice and racial equity; and proactive commitment to our community.
“As with all personnel matters, we have no comment on Dr. Boghossian’s resignation statement.”
Bright Sheng Quick and Facts
- Bright Sheng, who teaches composition at the School of Music, Theatre & Dance in Ann Arbor, Michigan, showed the 1965 film Othello starring Laurence Olivier
- Olivier appeared in blackface throughout the film which ‘shocked’ students
- Sheng apologized listing occasions when he had worked with people of color
- The apology then offended students and Sheng stepped down from his role
- American critics were no fan of Olivier’s blackface when the film came out at the height of the civil rights movement and the movie only played for two days