Who We Are

Artistic Board

Leo Ou-fan Lee
Leo Ou-fan Lee is a renowned writer and celebrated professor of Chinese literature who has taught at a number of American universities, including Harvard, Chicago, UCLA and Princeton. Aside from his academic honors and achievements, Mr. Lee is known as a music critic and record collector in the Greater China region, having published five collections of music criticism in Chinese in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and Mainland China...

Born to a family of musicians, Professor Lee is an avid supporter of musical culture and heritage, East and West. He is currently residing in Hong Kong, where he is a chair professor of Chinese culture and humanities at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Awards and honors conferred upon him include: Wang Laboratories Research Prize (1985); Guggenheim Fellowship (1986); Honorary Doctorate, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (2001); and Academician, Academia Sinica, Taiwan (2002).

Mr. Lee is the author of “Shanghai Modern: The Flowering of Urban Culture in China, 1930-1945” (Harvard, 1999), “City between Worlds: My Hong Kong” (Harvard, 2007), and two dozen collections of cultural criticism in Chinese.
Hsien-yung Kenneth Pai
Awadagin Pratt
Jeremy Railton
Graham Scott
Yuja Wang

Advisory Board

Michael Baranov

Mr. Michael M. Baranov has developed a complex litigation and transactional practice in the areas of business, employment, entertainment and intellectual property law. An experienced litigator, over the past 23 years, Mr. Baranov has prosecuted and defended large scale commercial disputes, unfair competition matters, and employment cases. He has represented numerous celebrity plaintiffs in defamation suits against various publications. ...

Mr. Baranov comes from a long family of musicians. His grandfather was the Concertmaster of the Bolshoi Theatre, his father is the Assistant Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and his mother is an internationally known pianist, teacher and chamber musician. Prior to embarking on a legal career, Mr. Baranov studied violin at the State Musical College of the Moscow Conservatory.

Mr. Baranov is a graduate of the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, where he is a frequent guest lecturer. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Irvine. He is a member of the California State Bar and is fluent in Russian. He holds a coveted AV rating, the highest rating given to US attorneys..

His clients included various corporations, such as Time Warner, Casio, Trimark, Hard Candy, Tokidoki, New Horizon Health, ITC and Spelling Entertainment. His individual clients range from the legendary actor/comedian Rodney Dangerfield to the Oscar-nominated writer/director Jason Reitman.

  Chungmin (CM) Lu

Mr. Lu’s career has spanned across USA and Asia in the last three decades ranging from investment banking, venture capital investment, asset management to education. In the past six years, his main focus was on the business and franchising aspect of early childhood education and international kindergarten in China … ...

He was the CEO of Golden Kids School, a premium international kindergarten chain in China, until June 2013. Golden Kids, established in 2009, was an offspring of Gymboree (Early Childhood Education) China and became an independent operation in 2011. Prior to the spin-off, he served as CFO at GymChina Ltd. During his tenure at GymChina, he also helped establish PlayABC English and Tomato Art brand for children from 3 to 10 years old.

Prior to joining GymChina, Chungmin served as an advisor on direct investment issues for Triton Venture Capital Management and Xtera Communications, Inc. From 2002 to 2005, he was also working with Deutsche Banks Asset Management Company and Merrill Lynch Distressed Assets Unit in Taiwan. During the 90s, Mr. Lu was in charge of investment baking activities at Baring Brothers and Merrill Lynch in Taiwan. During that period, he managed, advised, participated in many ADR, GDR, ECB, Shanghai B share, Hong Kong H share, and Singapore listing transactions totaling over US$1 billion. He was also involved in cross-border M&A deals. Moreover, he was responsible for guiding many regulations changes related to capital markets issues with Taiwan regulatory authorities.

Mr. Lu holds an MSIA degree with honors from Carnegie Mellon University, and an MS degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Florida.

Lou Spisto

Lou Spisto is an arts executive with extensive track record in producing, presenting, and facilities management. He has had a 30-year career in performing arts, holding positions earlier at CAL Performances and Pittsburgh Symphony, and more lately as the executive director at the Pacific Symphony in Orange County and of The Old Globe in San Diego. The Old Globe is a $20 million budget organization.
Danny Dazhong Xiao

Danny Dazhong Xiao has been active in US-China cross-border marketplace for decades. Based in Beijing and Los Angeles, Mr. Xiao is an investor in media, wine and energy. He publishes Club Magazine in China and is a principal of Sunplex Holding Limited. His cultural and philanthropic activities include youth music organization sponsorship, classical music event sponsorship and literature.


Cedric T. Chou

President and Chief Executive Officer
Cedric Chou is a writer, lawyer, legal theorist and music lover. He has published books in legal philosophy, taught law and is an attorney in the area of corporate finance, media and entertainment and international work for more than two decades. He has also sponsored classical music events and has recently served as an advisor and vice president of international affairs to MusicFest Perugia, Italy, among other music volunteer and charity activities. ...

During Cedric’s adolescent years in Asia, while help taking care of the grocery shop ran by his father and step-mother, he managed to join a youth orchestra and a choir where he not only received free music lessons during the weekend, but also benefitted from its emotional support and sense of community. That was also the first opportunity for him to communicate with international musicians. They played pieces from Mozart to Richard Strauss, and from Brahms violin concerto to the full production of Puccini’s Tosca. They even traveled to Korea and Japan to perform. That altogether was an experience for which he was forever grateful.

Mr. Chou received a juris doctor degree at UCLA School of Law and has had one of the most interesting careers in the legal profession. During the course of the law career, he has helped a Wall-Street firm expand into Asia, assisted clients in transactions in the aggregate of more than US$2.5 billion and also published a seminal book on the rule of law and comparative legal philosophy, "An Ideal State of Law: A Virtual Dialogue between Socrates and Mencius," (“法治理想国:苏格拉底与孟子的虚拟对话”). He taught at two of the most prestigious schools in China, including Peking University (北京大学) and Fudan University (复旦大学) as visiting professor. He was a partner at a prestigious global law firm and a practice head at another major international law firm. He spearheaded practices in American and Chinese companies’ renewable energy investment as well as creative culture transaction.

Despite the legal career he continued to stay involved in music. He organized and sponsored an orchestra and its concert to make debut in Southern California the renowned Butterfly Lovers' Violin Concerto (梁祝小提琴协奏曲). He was a fortunate Milestone Contributor of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2003 before its inception. And, he presently assists as an advisor to MusicFest Perugia in Italy.

Mr. Chou’s grandfather and granduncle were both active in diplomacy and politics during their lifetimes, being congressman, ambassador to Canada, to Mexico or representative to the United Nations. The late granduncle was a graduate of Tsinghua College, the predecessor of Tsinghua University (清华大学), which was established in Beijing in 1911 by the US endowment funded through the Chinese Boxer Rebellion Indemnity (庚子赔款). The funding supported his education at Johns Hopkins, Harvard and Columbia where he received a Ph.D.

Cedric’s late father was a philanthropist. He was doing so much in his old hometown in Jiangxi Province long before anyone paid any attention such that the province honored him to be the province’s recipient of the first National Philanthropy Award of China a decade ago, being the only one then who was already not a local Chinese citizen.

Mr. Chou’s community involvement includes the following:
  • Board Advisor, MusicFest Perugia, 2012 - present
  • Board Member, Los Angeles Philanthropic Committee for the Arts, 2010
  • Conductor, Chamber Orchestra of Tzu-Chi(慈济)-US Headquarters Buddhist Philanthropy Foundation, 2004
  • Milestone Contributor of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, 2003
  • Advisory Board Member, Cal State Northridge, Center for China Finance and Business Research, 2002-2008
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