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Vivian Fung: Biography

Vivian Fung
1975 -
Region: Prairie

Vivian Fung

Born in Edmonton, Canada, Vivian Fung has distinguished herself among the foremost composers of her generation. On faculty at the The Julliard School and an associate composer of the Canadian Music Center, Fung has increasingly embraced non-classical influences, including jazz and non-western sources such as Indonesian gamelan and folk songs from the minority regions of China. The New York Times has described her work as “evocative,” and The Strad hails her Uighur-influenced music as, “vital as encountering Steve Reich or the Kronos for the first time.”

Highlights of Fung's recent performances include the immensely successful world premiere of her choral works by the acclaimed Suwon Civic Chorale in Korea, her premiere of Chant for the renowned avant-garde pianist Margaret Leng Tan at the Museum of Modern Art, the world premiere of her Piano Concerto "Dreamscapes" by pianist Jenny Lin with Metropolis Ensemble at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City; and the standing-ovation premiere of her String Quartet No. 2 commissioned by the Shanghai Quartet for its 25th anniversary season.

Fung’s upcoming projects include the Canadian premiere of her String Quartet No. 2 by the Shanghai Quartet at the Edmonton Chamber Music Society; the European premiere of Glimpses by pianist Jenny Lin; a performance tour of Bali with the acclaimed gamelan group Dharmaswara, including competing in the Bali Arts Festival in July 2010; a new violin concerto commissioned by Metropolis Ensemble in NYC, and a new work for voice and large chamber ensemble commissioned by Fulcrum Point New Music Project in Chicago.

Recognized as “the most memorable part” of the Ying Quartet’s concert at the Weill Recital Hall by the New York Times, Fung’s Pizzicato has been part of the quartet’s repertoire for the past two seasons. In 2004, her music was showcased by the American String Quartet in Bejing as part of the quartet’s residency with the Great Wall International Music Festival. In the same year, Fung traveled to Bali, Indonesia as part of the Asia Pacific Performance Exchange Program, sponsored by the UCLA Center for Intercultural Performance. In 2009, she returned to Bali for an intensive study of Gamelan with the renowned gamelan group Çudamani. Fung’s music has been commercially released on the Telarc, Çedille, and Signpost labels. She has an impressive body of compositions commissioned and performed by such ensembles as the Seattle Symphony, San José Chamber Orchestra, Vancouver New Music, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, American String Quartet, Avalon String Quartet, Music from China, and American Opera Projects to name a few.

Fung has been composer-in-residence of the Music in the Loft chamber music series in Chicago, the San José Chamber Orchestra, Music Teacher’s Association of California, the Billings Symphony, and the New York Summer Music Festival. She has also completed residencies at the MacDowell, Yaddo, and Banff arts colonies as well as two residencies at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida and Tuscany, Italy. Fung is the 2010 New York Foundation for the Arts’ Gregory Millard fellow. She has received numerous awards and grants from ASCAP, BMI, American Music Center, American Composers’ Forum, and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Vivian Fung began composition studies with Canadian composer Violet Archer. Other early influences include her mentors David Diamond, Narcis Bonet, and Robert Beaser.


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