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Artists

Artists

Vivian Fung

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 “one of today’s most eclectic composers” and The Philadelphia Inquirer praises her “stunningly original compositional voice.”  This is supported by many of her works, including Clarinet Quintet: Frenetic Memories, a reflection on her travels to visit minority groups in Yunnan, China; 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 upcoming performances include the world premiere of Vivian Fung’s fifth String Quartet by Canada’s Lafayette String Quartet and a new piece for Houston’s ROCO; international performances of her critically-acclaimed elegy for the pandemic, Prayer, including concerts throughout U.S. and Canada and a version for viola and piano championed by the Carr-Petrova Duo in Israel and Bulgaria; and the European premieres of A Child’s Dream of Toys at Germany’s Theater Erfurt, Baroque Melting with Switzerland’s Berner Symphonieorchester led by Gemma New, and Prayer by the Argovia PhilharmonicMary Elizabeth Bowden tours her Trumpet Concerto to Philharmonia Northwest, Waynesboro Symphony, San José Chamber Orchestra. Fung is the 2023 Composer-in-Residence at Alba Music Festival Composition Program in Italy.

Vivian Fung is currently at work on a new project about identity with soprano Andrea Nunez and Royce Vavrek, percussion works for Network for New Music and Ensemble for These Times, a piano work for the “Ligeti Etudes meets 18 Composers” commissioning project, and a commission by Cape Cod Chamber Music Society.  A portrait album featuring the Jasper Quartet in Vivian Fung’s first four string quartets will be released on Sono Luminus in 2023, and Elizabeth Bowden has recorded her Trumpet Concerto with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras for future release on Çedille Records.

Recent season highlights include the world premiere of new flute concerto, Storm Within, by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and principal flutist Christie Reside; the digital world premiere of two operatic scenes based on Fung’s oral family history in Cambodia with librettist Royce Vavrek, part of Edmonton Opera’s The Wild Rose Opera Project; the UK premiere of Birdsong, performed by violinist Midori at Kings Place in London; the world premiere of a new trumpet concerto with trumpeter Mary Elizabeth Bowden; and the world premiere of String Quartet No. 4 “Insects and Machines” by the American String Quartet. In July 2020, the CBC’s Virtual Orchestra gave the world premiere of Fung’s Prayer, a unique work recorded in isolation for an online performance led by conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin during the COVID-19 pandemic. A creative collaboration between CBC Music and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the CBC Virtual Orchestra brought together 36 of Canada’s finest classical musicians from 28 different orchestras from every province in Canada to record the piece. Nézet-Séguin led The Philadelphia Orchestra in a performance of Prayer in September 2020 as part of the orchestra’s revised digital fall season and again for frontline workers in May 2021.

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 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.  With a grant from the Canada Council, she and Royce Vavrek will travel to Cambodia in 2023 to continue research for a new opera based on her family’s experience surviving the Cambodian genocide.

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 served on 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 Chicago Sinfonietta, Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Montreal Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra (Canada), Detroit Symphony, Vancouver Symphony,  San José Chamber Orchestra, American String Quartet, Staatskapelle Karlsruhe, Metropolis Ensemble, Civitas Ensemble, and Jasper 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, Sarah Cahill, Margaret Leng Tan, and Bryan Wagorn. Conductors with whom she has collaborated include Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Alexander Shelley, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Peter Oundjian, Cristian Măcelaru, Mei-Ann Chen, James Gaffigan, Long Yu, Andrew Cyr, Rei Hotoda, Barbara Day Turner, Daniel Meyer, 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, commissioned by the Metropolis Ensemble, 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. Her Pot Roast a la RBG was featured on Çedille Records’ CD Notorious RBG in Song about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and her Birdsong was released as part of the Civitas Ensemble’s Çedille album Jin Yin, which was named one of The Chicago Tribune’s “most alluring classical recordings of 2020, so far.”

Passionate about fostering the talent of the next generation, Vivian Fung has mentored young composers in programs at the London Symphony Orchestra, American Composers Forum, San Francisco Contemporary Chamber Players, and Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.  She has been a guest educator at many organizations including the Mostly Modern Summer Music Festival, the New York State School Music Association, and coming up at the Longy School and Luna Composition Lab. 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.

Click HERE for a discography.

||Current as of February 2023||