Ching-Wen Chao, Composer
Ching-Wen Chao received her doctoral degree from Stanford, where she studied with Jonathan Harvey, Brian Ferneyhough, and Chris Chafe. She was also committed to her research in electroacoustic music at CCRMA, Stanford. She has lectured at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as well as at her alma mater, and she is currently Associate Professor in Composition in the Music Department at National Taiwan Normal University. Chao was appointed creative director and composer for the large-scale theater-music concert productions “Void” (Oct. 2013) and “Worlds Apart, Dream Together” (Dec. 2014) by the National Concert Hall, Taiwan’s foremost music organization. The concerts were presented in collaboration with the award-winning Taipei Chamber Singers and Little Giant Orchestra, as well as the Nieuw Ensemble Amsterdam. Her latest commissions come from Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne, Germany (June 2014) and China Conservatory (as creative director and composer, Sep. 2014), as well as prominent performing groups in Taiwan. Recent reviews and discussions of her compositions appear in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik by Schott and in the Editions L’Harmattan Paris. She has collaborated with groups such as the Arditti String Quartet, Klangforum Wien, and Phace. Her works have been performed in various festivals in Asia and Europe.
Shih-Hui Chen, Composer, Festival Director, Composer
Born in Taiwan, Shih-Hui Chen has lived in the United States since 1982. Since completing her doctorate degree at Boston University, Chen has received significant recognition for her work, including the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from American Academy of Arts and Letters, Koussevitzky Music Foundation Commission, Guggenheim Fellowship, Chamber Music America commission, and American Academy in Rome Prize. Seeking a deeper understanding of her native culture and music, Chen spent two years in Taiwan studying indigenous and Nanguan music (2010 Fulbright Senior Scholarship and 2013 Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Fellowship, both affiliated with Academia Sinica). In 2013, she launched the U.S. tour for Returning Souls, a documentary film (with anthropological filmmaker Taili Hu) and concert music based on the music and culture of indigenous Taiwanese tribes. Chen has served on the faculty of the Shepherd School of Music since 2000. Recent projects include A Plea to Lady Chang’e for chamber orchestra and Nanguan pipa; War Songs: from Middle Kingdom to Tartars for flute and guitar; Guanglingsanfor guzheng and Chinese orchestra; and Messages From a Paiwan Village, a 50-minute storytelling musical drama. Her music can be heard on Albany, New World, and Bridge Records.
Yi Chen, Composer
A prolific composer who blends Chinese and Western traditions to transcend cultural and musical boundaries, Dr. Yi Chen was born in 1953 in China. She is a Distinguished Professor at University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music and Dance and a recipient of the prestigious Charles Ives Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her music is published by Theodore Presser Company; commissioned and performed worldwide by such ensembles as the Cleveland Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the BBC Symphony and the Royal Philharmonic, the Seattle, Pacific, and Singapore symphonies, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, and Sachsische Staatskapelle Dresden; and recorded on labels including Bis, New Albion, New World, Teldec, Albany, Bridge, and Naxos. Chen received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in composition (1983 and 1986) from the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music and her DMA (1993) from Columbia University. Her major composition teachers include Zu-qiang Wu, Wen-chung Chou, and Mario Davidovsky. She was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005, appointed to the Cheungkong Visiting Scholar Professorship at the CCoM in 2006, and was a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Tianjin Conservatory in 2012.
Kee-Yong Chong, Composer
Kee-Yong Chong, one of Malaysia’s leading contemporary music composers, has been hailed as “imaginative and poetic” by leading conductor-composer Peter Eötvös, and as “very inventive and artistically pure” by composer Jonathan Harvey. The uniqueness of his music stems not only from a rich palette of sounds, but his experimentation with traditions, infusing his own Chinese and multi-cultural Malaysian heritage into his work. Chong's distinctive style has won him many awards and commissions including Prix Marcel Hastir, 2nd Seoul International Competition, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra International Composers' Award, Lutoslawski Award, BMW Award of Isang Yun Music Prize, the commission grant award by the Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation, and The Outstanding Young Malaysian Award. He has been the composer-in-residence with Akademie der Künste (Germany), Herrenhaus Edenkoben (Germany), Asian Cultural Council (US), the Center Henri Pousseur (Belgium), SWR EXPERIMENTALSTUDIO (Germany) and Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship 2014 (US/Italy). Chong is the creative director of Studio C, vice president of the Society of Malaysian Contemporary Composers (2011-), and the artistic director of the 2009 Kuala Lumpur Contemporary Music Festival and 2013 SMCC Contemporary Music Festival “SoundBridge”.
Guoping Jia, Composer
Born in Shanxi Province, Guoping Jia is the director of the Institute of Musicology at the Central Conservatory of Music and of the Key Research Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences. He has also taught composition. A versatile composer who works in various genres, Jia is published by the German international music publishing company Sikorski. He has collaborated with renowned ensembles and orchestras such as Arditti Quartet, Toronto New Music Ensemble, Deutsche Symphony Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Mannheim National Opera Orchestra, and the China National Symphony Orchestra. He has been invited to participate in the Marco Polo Music Festival, Far Eastern Music Festival in Hanover, Germany; Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Lübeck Academy of Music, Hamburg State College of Music and Drama, and The Music College of National Taiwan Normal University. Jia is committed to promoting the development of Chinese contemporary music. His projects include the China Con Tempo New Chamber Music Composition Competition, held seven times since 2007; the Classical Modern Music Composers—Germany Contemporary Music Week in 2009; the first Beijing International Composition Master Class in 2011; and the establishment of Beijing Modern Chamber Orchestra, since invited to perform at many music festivals all over the world.
Lei Liang, Composer
Heralded as “one of the most exciting voices in New Music” (The Wire), Lei Liang (b.1972) is a Chinese-born American composer whose works have been described as “hauntingly beautiful and sonically colorful” by The New York Times and “far, far out of the ordinary, brilliantly original and inarguably gorgeous” by The Washington Post. Winner of the 2011 Rome Prize, Liang is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and an Aaron Copland Award. His commissions include Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), the Taipei Chinese Orchestra, the Heidelberger Philharmonisches Orchester, the Fromm Music Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Arditti and Shanghai Quartets, pipa virtuoso Wu Man, percussionist Steven Schick, and the New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert for the inaugural concert of CONTACT! The New-Music Series. Liang’s music is recorded on Mode, New World, Naxos and Bridge Records and is published exclusively by Schott Music Corporation. Liang studied composition with Sir Harrison Birtwistle and Mario Davidovsky among others. He received degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music (BM and MM) and Harvard University (PhD). Liang currently serves as Associate Professor of Music and Chair of Composition at the University of California, San Diego.
Wing-Fai Law, Composer
A leading composer in Hong Kong, Wing-Fai Law is one of few to have crossed the boundary between commercial music and the arts. Currently Artistic Director of Wuji Ensemble, Law graduated from the University of California with a Master of Music (Composition and Electronic Music). He worked closely with Hong Kong New Wave film directors during the 1980s, scoring for more than 20 films including the award-winning Boat People, Dream Lovers, and A Simple Life. He was the founding Head of Composition of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, a position which he subsequently held for many years. During the 1990s, he was a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, where he gave lectures and wrote music. Law’s long list of accolades includes the Irino Memorial Award presented at the Asian Composers’ League, the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Original Score, and Best Original Music Award by the Hong Kong Federation of Drama Societies. He was also a five-time winner of the CASH Golden Sail Music Award between 2001 and 2008. In 2013, he was awarded the Xinyi Cup granted by the Chinese Nationalities Orchestra Society in Beijing for his pipa concerto A Thousand Sweeps.
Ting-Yi Ma, Composer
Ting-Yi Ma is one of most active composers in Taiwan. He has gained a reputation as a fusionist who merges traditional Chinese materials with the atonal music language. He received his PhD from Indiana University in 2003 and studied with Claude Baker, Eugene O’Brien, and Frederick Fox, among others. In 2004, his Formosa Nostalgia (2003-2004) won second prize at the 2004 International Formosa Composition Competition from the Council Cultural Affairs of Taiwan. In 2003, his Nostalgia IV for Cello Solo (2002) won first prize at the Art and Humanities Award from the Taiwanese Ministry of Education; the same year, his piano piece Blessing to the World through God Almighty (2000) was selected to be performed at the 2003 College Music Society International Conference in Costa Rica. Currently, Ma works as an associate professor at the Taipei National University of the Arts. He was Secretary General for both the Asian Composers League (2012 and 2014), and ISCM-Taiwan (2010 and 2012). His Ceremony for Four Percussionists (2007) was performed at ACL 2007 in New Zealand; Preludes for Quintets (2007), at ACL 2011 in Taipei; and Scenery of the Season (2012), in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Jacob Sudol, Composer
Jacob Sudol writes intimate compositions that explore enigmatic phenomena and the inner nature of how we perceive sound. He is currently Assistant Professor of Music Technology and Composition and the Coordinator of the Music Technology area at Florida International University in Miami. He earned a PhD in composition at the University of California, San Diego where his mentor was composer Chinary Ung. Many prestigious ensembles—such as Chai Found New Music Workshop, Little Giant Chinese Orchestra, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, the McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble, and the FIU Laptop and Electronic Arts (FLEA) Ensemble—have commissioned or performed Sudol’s compositions. His works have received numerous domestic and international performances at distinguished venues such as the Music at the Anthology Festival, SEAMUS Conference, Domaine Forget Festival of New Music, Taiwan National Recital Hall, International Computer Music Conference, and ISCM New Music Miami Festival. In 2012, he founded a cello/electro-acoustic duo with distinguished cellist Jason Calloway, and since 2010, he has been in a piano/electro-acoustic duo with his wife Chen-Hui Jen. He has also collaborated on interdisciplinary projects with visual artist Jacek Kolasinski and architect Eric Goldemberg.
Michael Timpson, Composer
Michael Sidney Timpson is an Associate Professor of Composition at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, Korea. In 2009, he was a Senior Fulbright Research Scholar, Taiwan for research on Chinese instruments. He has also been a professor at University of South Florida, Rhodes College and University of Kansas; he earned his composition degrees at University of Southern California, Eastman School of Music, and University of Michigan. A winner of multiple composition awards, recorded on major labels, and with significant publications, his works continue to be featured throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia. His works have received performances by ensembles such as New York New Music Ensemble, Chai Found Music Workshop, Karien Ensemble, Kiev Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, The Florida Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony, China National Film Orchestra, the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, and the National Orchestra of Korea. .
Yip-Fat Tsang, Composer
Professor Yip-Fat (Richard) Tsang is a leader in the international contemporary music scene. He served as past Vice-Chairman and was elected Live Honorary Member of the Asian Composers’ League (ACL), as well as President of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) from 2002-2008, and was the first non-European to hold this position since the society’s establishment in 1923. He is the Founding Chairman of the Hong Kong Composers' Guild and has been active as a promoter of contemporary music and advocator of cultural policy. Over the past three decades, he has organized many international exchange events and festivals in this field. As a composer, Tsang's works have been commissioned and performed by many local and international groups including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Stockholm Wind Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, and Hong Kong Sinfonietta. He is also a veteran broadcaster and has worked at Radio Television Hong Kong since 1979 in various capacities including producer, channel head and Head of English Programme Services. Academically, Tsang is Professor of Music at the Hong Kong Institute of Education and is actively involved in the research and promotion of creative music concepts and practices.
Shuya Xu, Composer
Shuya Xu, a composer residing in France, graduated from Shanghai Conservatory in 1983; in 1992 he was awarded the Premier Prix certificate of senior composition (master’s degree); in 1994 he received the master’s certificate of composition (doctoral degree) of CNSMDP. Xu is currently a professor of composition, president of Shanghai Conservatory of Music, member of the 12th CPPCC (the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference) National Committee, director of the Education Committee for the Chinese Musicians Association, and vice president of SORSA (Shanghai Overseas Returned Scholars Association). He has won many distinguished awards including first prize in the1982 composition competition held by the Alexander Tcherepnine Foundation in New York; first prize of the IXème Concours International de Composition Musicale de Besancon pour Orchestre Symphonique; second prize in the 15th International Composer Competition "Luigi Russolo" for the Young Composer of Electronic Music; ACL Yoshiro Irino Memorial Prize in Tokyo; and ‘Best Annual Opera in 2005’ by the Opéra International in France.