Rujing Stacy Huang is a scholar, singer-songwriter, composer/sound artist, and lyricist.
In 2019, she completed her PhD in Music (Ethnomusicology) from Harvard University, where she was advised by Kay Kaufman Shelemay (primary advisor), Michael Puett, Ingrid Monson, and Alex Rehding. Upon graduation, she was nominated as one of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS)’s eight Commencement Marshals. While at Harvard, she had served as a Graduate Student Associate (GSA) at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Dudley Music Fellow, and Director of the Dudley World Music Ensemble.
Her dissertation, titled “‘Sound of Elegance’: Court Music Revival, Ritual, and the Politics of Nationhood in China Today,” examines the twenty-first century revivals of yayue, ritual music historically performed in the courts of ancient and imperial China. In this work, she explores the inter-relations between music, cosmology and government theory. More generally, her research interests speak to a broad spectrum of fields including music theory, sound studies, Chinese history and philosophy, critical cultural studies, and science, technology, and society studies (STS). Her projects have addressed the issues of musical nationalism, exoticism, ritual and performativity, and—most recently—sonic materiality and the aesthetics of voice in popular music.
She has received numerous fellowships and grants from the Asian Cultural Council (ACC, Hong Kong Office), the Association for Chinese Music Research (ACMR), the Asia Center and the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard, and is winner of the prestigious Frederick Sheldon Traveling Fellowship (2015). She is also the recipient of the James T. Koetting Essay Prize from the Northeast Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology (NECSEM, 2017).
As a Graduate Teaching Fellow, she has been awarded the Certificate of Distinction in Teaching by the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvard for multiple times. She has taught courses across disciplines and sub-fields, including "Music in Cross-cultural Perspectives," "Foundations of Tonal Music," and a General Education course titled “Classical Chinese Ethical and Political Theory,” the third most enrolled undergraduate course at Harvard.
Currently, Rujing is actively developing a new area of expertise in media and technology studies. Since 2017, she has been studying music technology (electronic music composition/improvisation, sound design, music engineering) at Harvard under Hans Tutschku and at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) under Florian Hollerweger and Peter Whincop.
Rujing started performing at a very young age. Her intellectual development as a scholar continues to nourish her creative pursuits as a sound artist and performer (and vice versa). She was previously awarded a Steinhardt Scholarship in Songwriting by New York University. She is also a disciple of Grammy-winning tabla maestro and composer Sandeep Das Ji of the Benaras Gharana, who is also a founding member of the Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma. In 2015, she was classified by USCIS as an Alien of Extraordinary Ability (EB1-A, First-Priority Green Card) in Music Composition.
Trained in Chinese folk singing and classical piano, Rujing (under her artist name Stacy) started practicing contemporary singer-songwriting in the summer of 2009, when she was selected as a finalist in a singer-songwriting competition held by Berklee College of Music with the first song she ever wrote. Since then, she has been studying under and collaborating with American songwriter, tunesmith, composer, and author Mark Simos. While at Harvard, she has directed, composed for, and performed with the Dudley World Music Ensemble, a collective of musicians dedicated to composing, re-arranging, and performing musics beyond the Euro-American traditions. To date, the original songs and compositions of hers have been performed at various concerts and festivals in the United States, Mainland China, and Taiwan.
Rujing holds degrees in Ethnomusicology (PhD) from Harvard University, Music and BOS (Business, Organizations & Society) (B.A.) from Franklin and Marshall College, and has previously studied at National Taiwan University (2010) and Berklee College of Music (2009, 2011).