CHEN, Mao-Shuen

CHEN, Mao-Shuen

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Chen Mao-shuen was born in Beigang, Yunlin on January 7, 1936 and his father Chen Chia-hu was a skilled trumpet player. Chen Chia-hu was also the head of the Beigang Melody Band as well as an amateur music arranger and composer. To commemorate Chen Chia-hus contribution to cultural promotion, the Yunlin County Government named the music hall of the Second Cultural Center of Yunlin County as “Chia-Hu Music Hall” in 2014.


In 1955» Chen enrolled in the Department of Music of Taiwan Provincial Normal College (todays National Taiwan Normal University) with a major in piano. His piano tutors included Chou Hsun-kuan, Chang Tsai-hsian and Chang Tsai-hsiang. He also studied voice with Dai Hsu-lun and harmony with Chang Chin-hong. In his last college year, he studied music analysis and composition with Hsu Tsang-houei, who just finished his study in France and came back to Taiwan. After graduation, Chen started to explore composition in different genres, including overture, symphony, concerto, chamber music, chorus, lieder and music for piano, with the last being the most profuse.


Chen taught music at Soochow University, Tunghai University, Chinese Culture University, Shih Chien University, Aletheia University and National Taiwan Normal University. From 1985 to 1991, he was dean of Department of Music and Institute of Music Research of the National Taiwan Normal University. He also served as the deputy conductor of Experimental Symphony Orchestra (todays National Symphony Orchestra) and National Experimental Choir. In addition to that, he was an executive member of the Composers Association of the Republic of China and Interational Society for Contemporary Music-Taiwan Section, director of the Music Copyright Society Taiwan (the 1st and 2nd terms), music committee member of the Council for Cultural Affairs, and the curriculum renewal committee member of Ministry of Education.


Chen made a considerable contribution to the composition and music education in Taiwan. To promote contemporary music composition, he organized a music society called Waves Music with musicians Chen Chen-huang, Li Ru-Chang, Chang Pang- yen, Liang Ming-yue, Hsu Po-yun and Qiu Yan-liang. He further established aFormusica, (which has been renamed as wFormusica Taiwanw) in 1983 with his students Li Guo-feng, Lin Jin-you, Lu Ling-ying, Huang De-xian and Cai Wen-zhen. The composition society has now expanded with about 30 regular composer members who hold an annual concert to introduce new compositions. As to music education, Chen established the Music Council of the Republic of China, which held various seminars on music education. In 1992, with the pianist Wang En, Chen coestablished the WACH Conservatory of Music, which introduced several fundamental music teaching materials and set up an integrated music testing system in Taiwan.


In 2013, Chen was honored with the 17th National Culture and Arts Award for his 18 contribution in music composition and education. The award citation reads: “The style of Chens works is very unique in that he successfully creates a kind of music

that is Western in structure but oriental in essence. He also developed systematic teaching materials for music education, which was a valuable contribution to the development of fundamental music education in Taiwan.”


* link to " NCAF online Archive of Grant Fruitages "website (in Chinese)

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