FUNG, VIVIAN – COMPOSER
JUNO Award-winning composer Vivian Fung has a unique talent for combining idiosyncratic textures and styles into large-scale works, reflecting her multicultural background. NPR calls her “[o]ne of today’s most eclectic composers.” This is supported by many of her latest works, including Humanoid for solo cello and prerecorded electronics; Clarinet Quintet: Frenetic Memories, a reflection on her travels to visit minority groups in China’s Yunnan province; Earworms, commissioned by Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, which musically depicts our diverted attention spans and multi-tasking lives; and The Ice Is Talking for solo percussion and electronics, commissioned by the Banff Centre, using three ice blocks to illustrate the beauty and fragility of our environment.
Highlights of Fung’s 2018–2019 season include a new orchestral work commissioned by the Winnipeg New Music Festival; a new work for two solo violins and strings for the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, to be premiered in Winnipeg and then taken on MCO’s tour of the Maritime provinces; and a new string quartet for the American String Quartet, commissioned by the Red Bank Chamber Music Society.
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, 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 also has 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. She is planning a trip to Cambodia in 2019 to do research for a new opera.
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 currently serves as Vice Chair of the board of the American Composers Forum.
Many distinguished artists and ensembles around the world have embraced Fung’s music as part of their core repertoire, including 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. 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. Conductors with whom she has collaborated include Long Yu, Justin Brown, Mei-Ann Chen, Andrew Cyr, Rei Hotoda, Barbara Day Turner, Alexander Mickelthwate, Peter Oundjian, Edwin Outwater, Steven Schick, Gerard Schwarz, and Bramwell Tovey.
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 of Fung’s other works have also been released commercially on the Telarc, Çedille, Innova, and Signpost labels.
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. For more information, please visit www.vivianfung.net.
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