The Innovation Series is a large annual event presented by the National Theater and Concert Hall in Taipei, Taiwan, that showcases groundbreaking performances in contemporary theater, dance, and music. Yu-Hui was excited to be part of the 2017 series’ unique music theater project – “The Pilgrimage”, which took place between 9/29-10/1 at the Experimental Theater. Directed by composer Ching-Wen Chao and theater director Ding-Yun Huang, “The Pilgrimage”, a multi-media feast, combines music written by seven composers (including Yu-Hui & Chao, plus Chia-Lin Pan, Shih-Hui Chen, Yi-Chen Chen, Mei-Fang Lin, and Mu-Xuan Lin), and a crew specializing in mechanical, lighting, sound, and stage design. Performed by a group of singers, children’s choir, 2 percussionists (Aiyun Huang and Yung-Chih Hsueh) and 2 pianists, it tells the story of political conflicts and cultural convergence in recent Taiwanese history.
In addition to The Pilgrimage, this year’s Innovation Series featured a concert by the Morgenstern Trio and clarinetist Nina Janssen-Deinzer from Germany, and a collective composing project that gathered musicians from Central Asia and Taiwan in a weeklong workshop and performance.
After six years, Yu-Hui again returned to Composers Conference at Wellesley as a guest composer this summer. She enjoyed exchanging ideas with ten very talented composer fellows, along with Mario Davidovsky, the conference director. Intersect was also performed during Yu-Hui’s Conversation and Concert on July 27th, by conductor James Baker and the top-notch Conference Ensemble.
The American Academy of Arts and Letters has awarded Yu-Hui an Arts and Letters Award in Music, which “honors outstanding artistic achievement and acknowledges the composer who has arrived at his or her own voice.” Other recipients of this award this year are Lisa Bielawa, Jan Krzywicki, and Andrew Norman.
Yu-Hui and the Lydian String Quartet are invited by the Taipei National University of the Arts for a two-week residency in December. Collectively they will give multiple workshops, lectures and masterclasses. Also included in this residency are Lydian’s two public concerts at TNUA. The 12/9 concert showcases Lydian’s contemporary repertoire, including Lee Hyla’s String Quartet No. 3, Philip Glass’ String Quartet No. 5, Chiu-Yu Chou’s String Quartet No. 1, and Yu-Hui’s new work “Mind Like Water.” The second concert on 12/17 is a mixture of old and new, including Mozart’s “Dissonance” String Quartet, Ravel’s String Quartet in F Major, Steven Snowden’s “Appalachian Polaroids”, and Brahms’s String Quintet No. 2 (with TNUA’s viola professor Yi-Wen Chao.)
In addition to music making, Yu-Hui is excited to show the Lydian the fantastic food scene in Taipei.
This summer, Yu-Hui will serve as the inaugural composer of the Composers NOW Project at the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival. “The goal of Composers NOW is to integrate music that is being written in our time, into the fabric of the music-making at Kneisel Hall,” Interim Artistic Director Laurie Smukler, “The study of contemporary music should be (and now will be) a piece of the young artists’ experience as the performers of the future. To do this is truly to become involved, articulate and invested in the music of their time.” Yu-Hui will be on campus from July 13th – 16th, giving open rehearsals with the talented young artists that will perform Yu-Hui’s At the Brink of the Chill (for violin, viola, cello, double bass, and piano) on July 16th at Kneisel Hall, Blue Hill, ME.
Yu-Hui, along with composer Erin Gee, will be the featured composer in the 2016 nienteForte Contemporary Music Festival. Taking place between March 14-17, 2016, in Tulane University, nF 2016 also hosts ECCE as the featured ensemble. Together there will be roundtable discussion and several concerts at the Dixon Recital Hall Annex. See nF 2016’s website for more detail.
A new CD by Lydian String Quartet‘s 1st violinist, Daniel Stepner, has been released by the Centaur Records. This album, titled Music at Brandeis, features works for violin and piano by several past and current Brandeis composers, including Yu-Hui’s Worries Just As Real. Also in the album are Harold Shapero and Irving Fine’s sonatas, Yehudi Wyner’s Concert Duo, and David Rakowski’s Pied-à-terre. Joining Stepner on the piano are Sally Pinkas, Yehudi Wyner, and Donald Berman.
Worries Just As Real was commissioned by the National Chiang Kai-Shek Cultural Center (now National Theater and Concert Hall) in Taipei, Taiwan, for violinist Henry Tong.
On November 24-25, Yu-Hui was featured as the Maurice Abravanel Visiting Distinguished Composer at the University of Utah. During the residency, she gave two public lectures and several private composition sessions. She also enjoyed the hospitality of the School of Music’s faculty and the breathtaking view of the Rockies. In the evening on November 24, the Canyonlands New Music Ensemble presented two of her compositions, Flicker and Worries Just As Real, alongside with music by Kurtág, Kagel, Berio and Xenakis.
Marimba virtuoso Pei-Ching Wu is giving a 3-concert tour this November in Taiwan. This is her 13th solo recital, and the 2nd program in which all pieces are for 6-mallet marimba, including Yu-Hui’s “Metamorphosis” (2014), a commission from Wu.
A founding member of the internationally renowned Ju Percussion Group, Pei-Ching Wu has served as principal of the ensemble since she was 18 years old. Wu has performed around the world either as a soloist or with Ju Percussion Group. She has been perfecting the 6 mallets techniques for 20 years. Wu is an Associate Professor of Music at Taipei National University of the Arts.