Daixuan Ai is a composer and pianist currently pursuing a master’s degree in Music Composition at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She graduated from Baldwin Wallace University with a bachelor’s degree in Composition, where she studied composition with Dr. Clint Needham and Dr. Jonathan Sokol, and piano performance with Dr. Sungeun Kim. Daixuan is originally from China, and she has been greatly influenced by both Chinese and American cultures and music.
As a composer, Daixuan has worked with ensembles and performers including Hub New Music, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Baldwin Wallace Symphonic Orchestra, pianist Sungeun kim and violist Barton Rotberg, and the Cleveland Orhcestra trumpet player Jack Sutte. A highlight of her projects was participating in the BW Summer Scholar program in 2018, where she wrote an orchestra piece based on her study of orchestration and research on traditional Chinese Culture—Xiangxi Tujia and Miao. The final product, My Father’s Tale, was premiered by BW Symphonic Orchestra during the 2019 Ovation Festival, conducted by Soo Han. Daixuan’s composition projects in 2020 include a trumpet sonata written for Jack Sutte, and a new piece written for Baldwin Wallace Symphonic Wind Ensemble.
In 2019, Daixuan was awarded a full scholarship and attended the Fresh Inc Music Festival in Kenosha, Wisconsin. As part of her participation in the program, she worked with the Fifth House Ensemble and other composers including Dan Visconti, Derek Bermel, and Julia Adolphe. Her piano quartet Fugue and Noises was premiered at the festival. She was also commissioned by Kenosha Community Foundation to write an eight-minute piece for Hub New Music; the piece The Owl was premiere in October 2019. Daixuan also studied at the European American Musical Alliance Music Institute in Paris, France in July of 2019 and its online institute in 2020. The program is a continuation of Nadia Boulanger’s teaching methods and vision. Her String Quartet No. I (movement III) was performed at La Schola Cantorum in Paris. She’s been a student of the program founder Dr. Philip Lasser from the Juilliard School.
As a pianist, Daixuan has had masterclasses with Nikita Mndoyants, Spencer Myer, Joela Jones, and the Anderson & Roe Duo. She frequently performs at conservatory convocations and recitals. Daixuan was also the keyboardist for BW Symphonic Orchestra for three years.
Daixuan’s music melds tradition with modernism and employs elements from eastern and western culture. She is dedicated to learning and understanding the musical legacy from the past and opening her ears and heart to absorbing and creating music of today’s world. She also explores manners to honor her Chinese heritage by writing music that’s well-crafted, formally precise, and deeply thoughtful.