The Chinese-born conductor and ,usic pedagogue, Xun Sun, manifested distinctive musical talent at an early age. He began his formal music training and violin studies at Wuhan Conservatory of Music at age 11 through the government's scholarship program for exceptional music students. This substantial music training led him to successful graduate studies in USA. While holding the Evelyn Ryan Nelson Concertmaster Fellowship at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Conservatory of Music, he concurrently served as assistant conductor in the Conservatory Symphony Orchestra. He received Master's degrees in Instrumental Conducting and Violin Performance from the conservatory of UMKC. In 2013 He earned Doctor Degree in Education from Teacher's College, Columbia University, New York. His dissertation - entitled "The Design and Implementation of a Constructivist and Person-Centered Teaching Strategy of Working with College Students Learning to Conduct" - develops a pedagogical rationale for teaching music conducting.
Appointed to his current academic position in 2001, Xun Sun is serving as Director of Orchestral Activities at Southern Utah University. As a tenured Associate Professor of Music, his teaching duties include that of conducting the University Symphony Orchestra and String Ensemble. In addition, he teaches courses in Advanced Instrumental Conducting and Applied Instruction of Violin in the Music Department. He has been named The 30 Professions of the Year of 2015 by Musical America. He also received award of 2015 Educator of the Year Award from American String Teachers Association Utah Chapter, and 2014 Board of Trustees Award of Excellence by Southern Utah University.
Xun Sun has continually broadened his professional career as an orchestral conductor. His conducted the world renowned China Philharmonic Orchestra in recording a new CD of the Spanish Trail Suite, music by American composers Marshall McDonald and Steve Nelson. In 2007, he was invited to conduct the Lviv Philharmonic in the 8th International Contemporary Music Festival in Ukraine. In May 2005, he was appointed principal guest conductor of the Hunan Symphony Orchestra in China. In 2004, he successfully conducted Carlisle Floyd's opera Susanna. In 2007, he conducted the opera of Hansel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck. His recent engagements as a conductor include performances of W.A. Mozart's opera The Magic Flute in January and Musical Wizard of Oz in April 2009. He also conducted and W.A. Mozart's Don Giovanni. In 2011 he conducted the world premiere of the Modern Dance Drama Helen's Dream combined production of SUU and Hubei Opera and Dance Drama Theatre of China. As the founder and director, he continues to teach the annual Hunan Conductor’s Workshop in Hunan, China. His most recent performance was conducting Henan Symphony Orchestra, Anhui Symphony, Hunan Symphony and Hubei Symphony Orchestra.
Xun Sun has served as the Music Director/Conductor of the Orchestra of Southern Utah since 2003. One of the State's finest community orchestras, the Orchestra of Southern Utah (OSU) claims the longest history of any such ensemble in the state. Under his direction, the Orchestra of Southern Utah world premiered the symphonic suite Spanish Trail Suite by Marshall McDonald and Steve Nelson. In June 2008, the League of American Orchestras presented Orchestra of Southern Utah with an Award of Excellence in the Annual Gold Book Online competition and an Audrey Baird Audience Development Award, making Orchestra of Southern Utah the only orchestra to receive these awards from the League of American Orchestras that year. The Spanish Trail Suite DVD also received one of the Silver Telly Awards. As a conductor, he has made many appearances over the years in concert series and educational programs. In 2005, the League of American Symphony Orchestras honored Orchestra of Southern Utah with one of the three national awards given for educational service.