JUNO award-winning Canadian composer Vivian Fung has a talent for combining idiosyncratic textures and styles into large-scale works, often including influences such as non- Western folk music, gamelan touches, Tibetan chant, and tango music, sometimes in the same composition.
Ms. Fung’s most recent premiere was The Voices Inside My Head for three percussion, commissioned by the Bowdoin International Music Festival for its 50th Anniversary. Her upcoming commissions include Violin Concerto No. 2, commissioned by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, to be premiered during the TSO’s New Creations Festival in Feb. 2015 with Jonathan Crow, violin; and orchestral projects with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, Canada.
Notable performances in the upcoming 2014-15 season include String Quartet No. 3, to be toured by the Dover Quartet as part of their Banff International String Quartet Competition winner’s tour; the European premiere of Dust Devils by the Staatskapelle Karlsruhe with Mei-Ann Chen conducting; performances of Violin Concerto No.1 by the Milwaukee Symphony and violinist Kristin Lee; Aqua with the Edmonton Symphony; the West Coast premiere of Harp Concerto with harpist Bridget Kibbey and the San José Chamber Orchestra; and Birdsong at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York.
Ms. Fung’s music has been embraced as part of the core repertoire by many distinguished artists and ensembles around the world. Conductors that Ms. Fung has collaborated with include Mei-Ann Chen, Gerard Schwarz, Peter Oundjian, Justin Brown, Andrew Cyr, Case Scaglione, and Steven Schick. Glimpses for prepared piano has been championed by a diverse group of pianists, including Margaret Leng Tan, Conor Hanick, Jenny Lin, and Bryan Wagorn. Ms. Fung’s orchestral and chamber works have also been performed by the Shanghai String Quartet, Ying Quartet, Chicago Sinfonietta, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Alabama Symphony, Suwon Chorale of South Korea, and American Opera Projects, to name a few.
In 2012, Naxos Canadian Classics released the world premiere recording of Ms. Fung’s Violin Concerto, Piano Concerto “Dreamscapes,” and Glimpses for prepared piano. The Violin Concerto earned Ms. Fung a 2013 JUNO Award for “Classical Composition of the Year.” Several of Ms. Fung’s works have also been released commercially on the Telarc, Çedille, Innova, and Signpost labels.
Ms. Fung traveled to Southwest China in 2012 for ethno-musicological research to study minority music and cultures in the Yunnan province, continuing research that previously inspired Yunnan Folk Songs (2011), commissioned by Fulcrum Point New Music in Chicago with support from the MAP Fund. Following the March, 2011, world premiere, The Chicago Tribune wrote, “Yunnan Folk Songs stood out… [with] a winning rawness that went beyond exoticism.” As a composer whose travels often inspire her music, Ms. Fung has also explored diverse cultures in North Vietnam, Spain, and Bali, Indonesia. Ms. Fung toured Bali in 2010 and competed in the Bali Arts Festival as an ensemble member and composer in Gamelan Dharma Swara.
Ms. Fung has received numerous awards and grants, including the 2012 Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, New York Foundation for the Arts’ Gregory Millard Fellowship, ASCAP, BMI, American Music Center, MAP Fund, Music Alive! and the League of American Orchestras, American Composers’ Forum, and the Canada Council for the Arts. Ms. Fung is an associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre.
Born in Edmonton, Canada, Ms. Fung began her composition studies with composer Violet Archer and later studied with Narcis Bonet in Paris, France. She received her doctorate from The Juilliard School in New York, where her mentors included David Diamond and Robert Beaser. She was a faculty member at Juilliard from 2002 to 2010, and currently lives in San Francisco with her husband Charles Boudreau and their Shiba Inu dog named Mulan.