Tag Archives: Chen Yi

Chen Yi Composer-in-Residence at Canberra International Music Festival

CHEN YI was Composer-in-Residence at this year’s Canberra International Music Festival in Australia. While offering composition masterclasses to the students at Australian National University and participating in a public forums throughout the festival, Chen Yi also enjoyed multiple performances of her work. Four pieces were included as part of the festival’s theme of “Revolution”: YangKo for violin and two percussionists, Chinese Fables for erhu, pipa, cello, and percussion, Three Dances From China South for Chinese ensemble, and Qi for flute, cello, percussion and piano. Explore these pieces below.


Chen Yi: Qi

…a quartet for flute, cello, percussion and piano whose title signifies “the circulating life force whose existence and properties are the basis of much ancient Chinese philosophy and medicine.” At times extrovert and explosive, at other moments dark and mysterious, its ten minutes cram a wealth of experience…

–Vincent Plush, Limelight Magazine

Chen Yi: Yangko

…a very rhythmic folk dance piece featuring vocalised percussive sounds from all three players, a range of percussion instruments, and the violin singing a sweet song.

–Clinton White, City News
Nian Hua (Chinese New Year’s Paintings)

For Guitar Duo
Duration: 12′
Commission: Commissioned by the Beijing Guitar Duo (Meng Su & Yameng Wang); made possible by the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program with generous funding provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Chamber Music America Endowment Fund.
Premiere: April 29, 2017. Beijing Guitar Duo; Austin, TX.
Movements: I. Spring Ox and Cowherd
II. Five Boys Snatch Lotus Seed Pods
III. Prosperity in the New Year Nian Hua
Program Note:
Nian Hua (Chinese New Year’s Paintings) for two guitars is inspired by the colorful folk paintings presented in Yangliuqing Town in Tianjin, China. The work is 12 minutes in duration, and composed in three movements:
1. Spring Ox and Cowherd
2. Five Boys Snatch Lotus Seed Pods
3. Prosperity in the New Year Nian Hua

–Chen Yi

Chen Yi: Four Spirits

Each of the four movements in “Four Spirits” is an aural portrait of a mythical/spiritual animal from ancient Chinese culture, and each is quite different in character. Vivid, colorful and distinct, each aroused a different feeling in the listener…I thought the music was thrilling…

–Kate Dobbs, The Five Points Star