In 1989, composer Herbert Zipper, a music theory teacher at Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences in Santa Monica, witnessed a young Dong-Yi win first place at the Pearl River National Piano Competition in China. Zipper convinced the student of Beijing’s Central Conservatory of Music to come to America and attend Crossroads, which the young pianist did, graduating in 1993.
But Dong-Yi’s affiliation with his alma mater did not end there.
In October, Crossroads announced Dong-Yi as the new director of its prestigious Elizabeth Mandell Music Institute (EMMI), replacing long-time director Mary Ann Cummins.
“At Crossroads, we combine music education and academics, emphasizing human development. We want well-rounded human beings,” Dong-Yi said.