Yadu (Dr. Konrad Czynski)
Yadu is the stage name for Dr. Konrad Czynski, a very popular professor of Humanities at Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Often asked where “Yadu” came from, Maestro Simon explains that his young son Basil could not pronounce “Konrad” and somehow it came out as “Yadu.” When “Dr. Czynski” seemed a bit too formal for a children’s stories-in-music narrator, they both turned to his familiar nickname.
Dr. Czynski earned his B.A. from Fordham University, majoring in sociology and philosophy, and subsequently went on to graduate school at Columbia University in the department of Religion. Deciding to specialize in Asian Studies, he went to the F.A.L.C.O.N. intensive language program at Cornell University to study Chinese. Returning to Columbia’s department of East Asian Languages and Cultures he completed his M.A. in ancient Chinese history, after which he continued studying Japanese at the Stanford Inter-University Center in Tokyo. To bridge his interests at Columbia, he obtained a second M.A. degree with honors, in the Department of French and Romance Languages, in the area of Japanese and French comparative literature. He subsequently returned to Japan on a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship to do dissertation research at Tokyo University and other archives, continuing on to pursue archival research in Paris, where he had earned the D.E.A. degree at the University of Paris VII. Upon successful defense of his thesis at Columbia, he earned his Ph.D., having been awarded the best departmental dissertation of that year.
Dr. Czynski has taught at the Lyçée Francois Villon, Paris, the School of General Studies at Columbia University, Barnard College, the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, and is currently a tenured professor at Minnesota State University-Moorhead in the Philosophy department. He has published a variety of articles in French and English on literary and other subjects. He continues to work on a Civil War play, and a scholarly project on the American photographer William Henry Jackson, as well as a study of the sources, narrative structure, and themes of Robert Penn Warren’s epic-poem Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce, based on manuscript-research at Yale University’s Beinecke Library.
Yadu’s career as a reader began in high school where he won awards for his poetry reading. He was first invited to narrate at the Kennedy Center in 1992, and he performed there annually at Young People’s Concerts with the Washington Chamber Symphony for the next decade. When seeking a narrator to record with the London Philharmonic Orchestra for the Stories in Music CD series, he was the obvious choice. Click here to listen to Yadu's award-winning narration.