Music

This page is intended to be a digital curriculum vitae for my musical endeavors, including a comprehensive list of projects, collaborations, performances, etc. in which I’ve been involved! This is how I spend most of my time outside of work/academics, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Any publicly available recordings of my work are linked below. I’ve also taken the liberty of linking collaborators and organizations with whom I’ve worked. Please explore!

Feel free to contact me with any questions.

biography

Ruiran Xun (she/her) is a collaborative pianist and music director based in the Bay Area. She spent her undergraduate career at Carnegie Mellon University studying chemistry and computer science, but was consistently involved in theatre and other musical endeavors outside of academics. Ruiran has previously worked with the Pittsburgh Festival Opera (resident artist pianist, assistant music director) and the CMU School of Music (voice lesson and rehearsal pianist). While at CMU, she was assistant conductor for the CMU All-University Orchestra; music directed three musical productions by Scotch’n’Soda Theatre, CMU’s student-led theatre organization; and contributed to many more productions of existing and new works in various capacities (composer, arranger, pianist).

productions and performances

opera

  • The Turn of the Screw (rehearsal pianist) @ CMU School of Music, 04/2020. Dir. Kyle Lang, cond. Sara Jobin. Production timeline cut short due to COVID-19.
  • Virgula Divina (music director, conductor, pianist) @ Pittsburgh Festival Opera, 07/2019. Dir. Rose Freeman, co-mus. dir. Robert Frankenberry.
  • Night Flight of Minerva’s Owl (music director, pianist) @ Pittsburgh Festival Opera, 07/2019. Dir. Rose Freeman, co-mus. dir. Robert Frankenberry.
  • Die Liebe der Danae (pianist) @ Pittsburgh Festival Opera, 07/2019. Dir. Rose Freeman, cond. Benjamin Makino.
  • Mister Rogers’ Operas (asst. music director, pianist) @ Pittsburgh Festival Opera, 07/2019. Dir. Tomé Cousin, mus. dir. Robert Frankenberry.

musical theatre

  • LIMBO (arranger, music director, pianist) @ CMU School of Drama, 04/2022. Wr. Nick Grosso, dir. Katia Peppas. score
  • Preludes (pit keyboardist) @ CMU School of Drama, 04/2022. Dir. Moses Garcia, mus. dir. Matthew Zwiebel.
  • RENT (music director) @ Scotch’n’Soda Theatre, 04/2022.
  • 69 Love Songs (assc. music director) @ CMU School of Drama, 02/2022. Wr. Wendy Kuhn and Izadorius, mus. dir. Aaron Morrison.
  • The Rocky Horror Show (music director) @ Scotch’n’Soda Theatre, 10/2021.
  • The Great Hunger (composer) @ The Tank, 09/2021. Wr. Kallan Dana, dir. Erica Schnitzer.
  • Little Shop of Horrors (pianist, audio editor) @ Scotch’n’Soda Theatre, 04/2021.
  • Behind Closed Doors (composer, audio editor) @ Scotch’n’Soda Theatre, 10/2020.
  • This Side Up (pianist) @ CMU School of Music, 02/2020. Wr. Matthew Zwiebel.
  • The Light in the Piazza (rehearsal pianist) @ CMU School of Music, 01/2020. Dir. Seamus Ricci, cond. Christopher Larkin.
  • Birds & Beansprouts (pianist) @ CMU School of Drama, 12/2019. Wr. Joe Young, dir. Emma Cordray, mus. dir. Joshua Gregg Fried.
  • Catch Me If You Can (pianist) @ Scotch’n’Soda Theatre, 10/2019.
  • High School Choosical (pianist) @ New Works Coffeehouse, 05/2019.
  • MAMMA MIA! (music director, pianist) @ Scotch’n’Soda Theatre, 04/2019.
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (rehearsal pianist, pit percussionist) @ Scotch’n’Soda Theatre, 10/2018.
  • Mary Poppins (pianist) @ TJ Theater Arts, 02/2018.

cabarets

  • Matt Zwiebel’s Musical Theatre Cabaret (05/2022). Played piano in a cabaret featuring 14 of Matt’s original musical theatre songs.
  • Everything In Its Time: A Musical Cabaret (pianist) @ CMU School of Music, 02/2022. Played piano in a cabaret featuring a variety of musical theatre selections, taking the place of Joshua Gregg Fried’s senior recital.
  • 12th Annual Benefit Cabaret (10/2019). Played violin for a Scotch’n’Soda cabaret benefitting the Alumni Theater Company.
  • Miscast Cabaret (05/2019). Played piano in a Scotch’n’Soda cabaret where actors performed songs for roles they typically wouldn’t be cast in.
  • 11th Annual Benefit Cabaret (10/2018). Played piano for a Scotch’n’Soda cabaret benefitting the Alumni Theater Company.

concerts

  • Josiah Handelman’s Senior Composition Recital (05/2022). Performed in Sunny Shore on piano.
  • Graduate Student Composer Concert (05/2022). Performed in Jake Schoenle’s Sylvan Suite I and Victor Valle’s what was there is now gone.
  • AUO Chamber Orchestra/Flutonium Concert (04/2022). Conducted the Chamber Orchestra in Georges Bizet’s Symphony in C.
  • AUO Chamber Orchestra/Flutonium Concert (11/2021). Conducted the Chamber Orchestra in Felix Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture.
  • Carnegie Mellon Wind Ensemble Concert (10/2021). Performed in Francis Poulenc’s Suite Francaise on harpsichord, Ned Rorem’s Sinfonia for 15 Winds on piano and celesta, and Bernstein’s Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs on piano.
  • Virtual Student Composer Concert (05/2021). Performed in Joe Brauch’s Summer Silence, Bennett Garfield’s Winds, and Matthew Zwiebel’s for Now: not Then, and who knows Later.
  • Virtual Student Composer Concert (05/2020). Performed in Joshua Gregg Fried’s UNDER CONTROL and Ian Kaneko’s The Soul has Bandaged Moments.
  • Pierre Vallet’s Masterclass (09/2019). Served as an alternate pianist.
  • Freshman Showcase (05/2019). Performed in Joshua Gregg Fried’s where the sidewalk ends (on piano) and Matthew Zwiebel’s SEA (on violin).
  • Joe Brauch’s Junior Composition Recital (05/2019). Performed his solo Piano Sonata No. 1 and played in his chamber ensemble piece Mischief Night.
  • Jieying Zhang’s Master’s Recital (04/2019). Accompanied the whole recital.

miscellaneous

work experience

  • Scotch’n’Soda Theatre (vice president), 05/2021 – 05/2022, Pittsburgh, PA. Served as VP on the Board during my senior year, overseeing mainstage productions and managing a variety of administrative tasks throughout the year.
  • CMU All-University Orchestra (assistant conductor), 05/2021 – 04/2022, Pittsburgh, PA. Also assisting with routine logistical operations as a member of the Board.
  • Scotch’n’Soda Theatre (secretary), 05/2019 – 05/2020, Pittsburgh, PA. Served as secretary on the Board of Directors during my sophomore year, overseeing mainstage productions and writing a weekly update email to the organization.
  • CMU School of Music (accompanist), 09/2018 – 03/2020, Pittsburgh, PA. Played piano for first- and second-year voice students’ lessons, and worked as a rehearsal pianist for a few of the departments’ opera productions.
  • Pittsburgh Opera (mobile app operator), 10/2019, Pittsburgh, PA. Ran cues for curated content provided through the Pittsburgh Opera Mobile App during the company’s run of Don Giovanni.
  • Pittsburgh Festival Opera (resident artist pianist), 06/2019 – 07/2019, Pittsburgh, PA. Worked on multiple productions, as well as played piano for coachings, recitals, and cabarets in the Young Professional Artists Program.

skills I have

instruments

  • Piano (15+ years)
  • Violin (10+ years)
  • Mallet percussion (2 years in high school, primarily marimba)
  • Voice (3+ years, caveat: I have no formal training in vocal pedagogy but I’ve accrued a good amount of working knowledge over the years)

software

  • MainStage 3
  • Dorico Pro 3.5
  • Logic Pro
  • GarageBand
  • Audacity

other

  • Music direction (see above)
  • Sightreading (high proficiency)
  • Conducting (1 year of coursework, plus practical experience working with the CMU All-University Orchestra and conducting pits for shows I music direct)
  • Arranging and transcription (I can transcribe by ear very quickly)
  • Absolute pitch (I suppose this one technically is not a learned skill…)

skills I would like to acquire

  • A more formalized knowledge of vocal technique, both in classical and contemporary contexts! Everything I currently know is secondhand from being in rehearsal rooms with people far more experienced than me.
  • A working knowledge of orchestration, as one of my passions is putting new theatre on its feet.
  • An understanding of sound engineering beyond the working knowledge I’ve picked up while music directing!

references

References available upon request.


(The formatting of this page is somewhat inspired by Dave Malloy, who also happens to be one of my biggest musical inspirations.)