Ming Hsiu Yen

b. 1980

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Ming-Hsiu Yen (b. 1980) is an internationally-acclaimed composer and pianist. Born in Taiwan, her compositions have been performed in American, Asia and Europe. She has collaborated with conductors, such as Osmo Väskä, Shao-Chia Lü, Alexander Drčar, Kenneth Kiesler, Adrian Schneider, Christopher Lees, Nikolas Caoile, Amy Chang, Yin-Fang Chang, and with such orchestras as the Minnesota Orchestra, Taiwan Philharmonic, National Chinese Orchestra Taiwan (NCO), Taipei Chinese Orchestra (TCO), YinQi Symphony Orchestra and Choir (Taiwan), Dunshan Symphonic Wind Orchestra (China), University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, Taipei National University of the Arts Symphony Orchestra, and by such ensembles as PRISM Quartet, Brave New Works, OSSIA, Music From China, among others. She is winner of the 22nd Asian Composers League Yoshiro Irino Memorial Prize and Heckscher Composition Prize, and awarded prizes from the League of Composers/ISCM-USA Competition, the governmental Literary and Artistic Creation Competition (Taiwan), and the Sun River Composition Competition (China).

Her recent compositions have included “Loi Siid Ca” (2020) for NCO, the 2019 TCO opera production, “My Mom Needs an Education,” “The Wire Dancer” (2017), commissioned by the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Conservatory Competition, 2017 Hakka Musical "Hope to Light" (Taiwan), 2016 Hakka Musical "Xiangsi - Nostalgia" (Taiwan), etc., and her music have been presented in festivals and concerts, such as the 2015 Taiwan Philharmonic China Concert Tour (Xiamen, Hong Kong), the 2015 Dunshan Symphonic Wind Orchestra Taiwan Tour Concerts (Taipei, Tainan), 2014 Louisiana Bass Fest, 2014 Spring Autumn Music (Taipei), 2013 Nong Project (Seoul), 2013 International Alliance for Women in Music Annual Concert, 2013 Taiwan Philharmonic Europe Concert Tour (Berlin, Geneva, Udine), Bass2012 Copenhagen, 2011 The Intimacy of Creativity (Hong Kong), 2011 Asian Composers League Conference (Taipei), 2008 Minnesota Orchestra Composers Institute, 2007 Pacific Music Festival (Sapporo), 2006 Aspen Music Festival, etc. In addition, her music has been released on the Naxos Records, Albany Records, Innova Recordings, and Blue Griffin Recording labels and has been digitally-released on the Naxos Music Library.

Actively performing as a soloist and chamber musician, she was awarded prizes from the 2009 Grieg Festival Young Artists Competition and the 2006 Young Artist Competition of the Ann Arbor Society for Musical Arts. She is also a two-time winner of the University of Michigan Concerto Competition, performing concertos by Barber in 2004, by Corigliano in 2008, and Yen’s own concerto in 2005 with the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra.

She is frequently invited to give pre-concert talks for subscription concerts by various orchestras in Taiwan, and has also given lectures in Universität der Künste Berlin, Université de Genève, Xinghai Conservatory of Music (China) and various universities and organizations in Taiwan.

Ms. Yen holds degrees from the University of Michigan (DMA in composition; MM in composition and in piano performance) and the Eastman School of Music (BM in composition and in piano performance, with a distinguished honor of Performer's Certificate). At the University of Michigan, she was funded with full scholarship and was awarded the distinguished Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship during her final year. Her primary composition teachers have included Bright Sheng, William Bolcom, Betsy Jolas, David Liptak, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Christopher Rouse, Steven Stucky, and Gordon Shi-Wen Chin. As a fellow of 2008 Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute, she worked with Aaron Jay Kernis. She has also studied with Herbert Willi at the 2007 Pacific Music Festival, and with Sydney Hodkinson at the 2006 Aspen Music Festival and School. Her piano teachers in USA have included Logan Skelton, Nelita True and Vincent Lenti.

Ms. Yen is currently Associate Professor of Composition and Theory at the Taipei National University of the Arts in Taiwan. She has also served as Adjunct Associate Professor/Composer-in-Residence at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and taught music theory at the University of Michigan.

Bio by Ming Hsiu Yen; photo by Michael Kreiser