JUNO Award-winning composer Vivian Fung has a talent for combining idiosyncratic textures and styles into large-scale works, reflecting her multicultural background. Her work often assimilates disparate influences such as non-Western folk
music, Brazilian rhythms, and visual inspirations.
Fung has a busy season ahead with lots of composing projects and traveling. She just finished her first major work for electronics, Humanoid for solo cello and electronics, commissioned by a consortium of cellists and organizations. The premiere will be in August 2017 with Manhattan Chamber Players and the piece subsequently will tour North America. The San José Chamber Orchestra premieres Baroque Melting in October, and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra will give the Canadian premiere in December. Her new work for clarinet and string quartet will be debuted by clarinetist Romie de Guise-Langlois and Daedalus Quartet at Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and then travels to Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and Chamber Music Northwest. A new orchestral commission will have its premiere in March 2018 with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa and Toronto.
Fung has enjoyed numerous high-profile projects in recent years as her music has continued to move in new directions. Her Violin Concerto No. 2 was commissioned and premiered in February 2015 by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra with Jonathan Crow, violin. Biennale Snapshots opened the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s 2015-16 season alongside Beethoven’s Violin Concerto. The 25-minute work, commissioned by the Vancouver Biennale and inspired by five artworks from the Biennale exhibition, garnered much attention: “If [violinist] Miriam Fried was what everyone was talking about when they arrived at the concert . . . Vivian Fung was all they talked about when they left” (Georgia Straight, Sept. 28, 2015). Biennale Snapshots was given its US premiere by the La Jolla Symphony in May 2017.
Many distinguished artists and ensembles around the world have embraced Fung’s music as part of the core repertoire. Conductors with whom she has collaborated include Long Yu, Justin Brown, Mei-Ann Chen, Andrew Cyr, Barbara Day Turner, Alexander Mickelthwate, Peter Oundjian, Edwin Outwater, Steven Schick, Gerard Schwarz, and Bramwell Tovey. Fung’s Glimpses for prepared piano has been championed by a diverse group of pianists, including Conor Hanick, Jenny Lin, Margaret Leng Tan, and Bryan Wagorn. Fung’s orchestral and chamber works have also been performed by the Alabama Symphony, American Opera Projects, Chicago Sinfonietta, Milwaukee Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, San José Chamber Orchestra, Shanghai Quartet, Staatskapelle Karlsruhe, Suwon Chorale of South Korea, and Ying Quartet, to name a few.
In 2012, Naxos Canadian Classics released a recording of Fung’s Violin Concerto [No.1], Piano Concerto “Dreamscapes,” and Glimpses. The Violin Concerto earned Fung the 2013 JUNO Award for “Classical Composition of the Year.” Several other of Fung’s works have been released commercially on the Telarc, Çedille, Innova, and Signpost labels.
Fung has a deep interest in exploring cultures through travel and research. She traveled to Southwest China in 2012 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. As a composer whose trips often inspire her music, Fung has also explored diverse cultures in North Vietnam, Spain, and Indonesia. She toured Bali in 2004, 2008, and 2010, and competed in the Bali Arts Festival as an ensemble member and composer in Gamelan Dharma Swara.
Fung has received numerous awards and grants, including the 2015 Jan V. Matejcek New Classical Music Award for achievement in new music from the Society of Composers, Authors, and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), a Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, the New York Foundation for the Arts’ Gregory Millard Fellowship, and grants from ASCAP, BMI, American Music Center, MAP Fund, American Symphony Orchestra League, American Composers Forum, and the Canada Council for the Arts. She is an associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre and is serving a three-year term as a board member of the American Composers Forum.
Born in Edmonton, Canada, Fung began her composition studies with composer Violet Archer and received her doctorate from The Juilliard School in New York, where her mentors included David Diamond and Robert Beaser. She currently lives in California with her husband Charles Boudreau, their son Julian, and their shiba inu Mulan, and is on the faculty of Santa Clara University.