Xintong (Bess) Liu


Seventh Year Graduate Student in Musicology

As a Chinese citizen who has studied in five different countries, I am interested in Sino-Western musical exchange in the twentieth century, with focuses on cosmopolitanism, aesthetics, and cultural politics. As a music historian, I am keen to incorporate oral history and micro-history into my scholarship. My dissertation, "Resonant China: Transnational Music-making and the Construction of the Public, 1934-1958" explores musicians' networks that originated in China but expanded globally. 

Besides my academic commitment as a musicology PhD student, I am also an active pianist, translator and practitioner in Sino-Western musical exchange. My part-time internship at the Philadelphia Orchestra’s strategic partnership programs in Asia inspired my research on Sino-Western music diplomacy (Bess Xintong Liu, "'The Timpani Beats Just Hit on My Heart!' Music, Memory, and Diplomacy in the Philadelphia Orchestra's 1973 China Tour," Twentieth Century Music 18-3 (2021): 395-418.).