Artist Projects

When Sorrow Turns to Joy


Jon Jang

The singer Paul Robeson popularized African American spirituals and work songs, redefining America to the world. Lanfang is primarily responsible for introducing Chinese operas to the world. When Sorrow Turns to Joy celebrates the contributions of these two men to world music and humanitarianism, and highlights the connections between their cultures. The work is a collaboration of pianist/composer Jon Jang and flutist/composer James Newton, with a libretto by poet/writer Genny Lim.

Project Updates

  • 2000: When Sorrow Turns to Joy is performed at Walker Art Center in Minneapolis

  • 2003: When Sorrow Turns to Joy is performed at Flynn Performing Arts Center in Burlington VT

  • 2003: When Sorrow Turns to Joy is performed at Dartmouth College

  • 2004: When Sorrow Turns to Joy is performed at Banlieues Bleues Festival in Paris