Having forged his own path out of desperation, MacArthur Genius award-winning musician Bright Sheng describes his experience in becoming a musician during the Cultural Revolution in China. Being a musician was the only way he could embrace his destiny, but it is a path that his talented 11-year-old daughter isn't sure she wants herself.
Bright Sheng
Bright Sheng is a Chinese-American musician. With his strong willpower and love of music, he became one of the few professional musicians during the Cultural Revolution. In 1989, the New York premiere of his work “H’un (Lacerations): In Memoriam 1966-76” established him as an internationally known musician.
Fay Fay Sheng
Bright Sheng’s daughter, an 11-year-old Chinese-American pianist. She was born into her musician parents’ expectation that she would be professional musician. She puts a lot of effort into practicing the piano, although her true love is fashion design.
Still Photos
Rage of Love Rehearsal In Fontainebleau, France
Piano Lesson Before The Recital In Hong Kong, China
Bright Sheng And Fay Fay In Fontainebleau, France
Bright Sheng And Fay Fay In Fontainebleau, France
Rage of Love Concert In Fontainebleau, France
Bright Sheng And Fay Fay In Fontainebleau, France
Bright Sheng And Fay Fay In Fontainebleau, France
Fay Fay’s tears, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Live In Shanghai, China
Piano Lesson In Shanghai, China
Duet is a music documentary directed and produced by Lyuwei Chen, an award-winning documentary filmmaker. It’s a parallel story about two musicians: father and daughter, and how their relationship has been shaped by a huge historical and political event in China.
Director, Producer, DP, and Editor
Lyuwei Chen
New York, United States

Lyuwei Chen is a Student Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker who holds master’s degrees in News and Documentary from New York University and in Musicology (Film, TV, and Radio music) from the Communication University of China.

In addition to winning the 50th Student Academy Award for Documentary, Lyuwei Chen’s documentary films have won awards for the 12th New York Shorts International Film Festival for Best Documentary, the 43rd Thomas Edison Film Festival for Director’s Choice Award, the 6th DaVinci International Film Festival for Best Documentary Short, and were selected for 48th Cleveland International Film Festival (Oscar Qualifying), 13th American Documentary and Animation Film Festival and Fund (Oscar Qualifying), 26th RiverRun International Film Festival (Oscar Qualifying), and 19th Gender Equity in Media Festival (Canadian Screen Awards Qualifying).

Her work focuses on social issues, family dynamics, and personal perspectives. She excels at storytelling, visual thinking, and film production. Committed to non-fiction storytelling, she wants to make compelling documentaries that will touch people worldwide.

5-year-old Lyuwei Chen Playing The Piano At Her Mom’s Piano Room
I started playing the piano when I was four and did my undergraduate and first master's degree in music. I never thought I would become a documentary filmmaker. However, when I did music in college, I got an opportunity to be an assistant director for a TV music documentary series which ignited my passion for documentary filmmaking. When I reached out to Bright Sheng, I was thinking of telling his story of being a professional musician during the Cultural Revolution. But I was able to meet his daughter Fay Fay. Bright Sheng and Fay Fay's story deeply resonated with me. Their relationship and dynamics inspired me to create my documentary Duet.
My connection to Duet

As a documentary filmmaker who has an interdisciplinary background in music, I want to tell intergenerational stories within the context of social, political, and cultural changes. In producing Duet, I want to offer an opportunity to understand both the father and the daughter, including their struggles, desires, aspirations, and toughness. It is not only a portrait of a father and daughter, but it is a collective portrait of generations of Chinese musicians.

I filmed this documentary in the US, France, and China with six cinematographers and did collaborative work with three animators, two composers, two sound designers, two sound mixers, and a colorist.

Lyuwei Chen, Visiting Scholar At Michigan State University
Lyuwei Chen Receiving Marlene Sanders Award at New York University
Executive Producer
Marcia Rock
New York, United States
Rita Jakuceviciute
Paris, France
Ruoyu Cao
Shanghai, China
Jiaxin Wei
Paris, France
Shuhao Tse
Shanghai, China
Agnė Giedraitytė
Paris, France
Graphic Designer
Edward Wang
Hangzhou, China
Lead Animator
Yuyan Zhou
New York, United States
Shihui Zhong
Los Angeles, United States
Lan Zhan
Shanghai, China
Original Score
Mengxue Tan
New York, United States
Sound Designer, Composer
Jude Shih
Los Angeles, United States
Miou Li
Shanghai, China
Original Music
DUET's Offical Account
Lyuwei's Offical Account
Business Inquires Only
MacArthur Genius Award-winning musician Bright Sheng and his daughter, a talented 11-year-old pianist Fay Fay