YEN, Ming-Hsiu

YEN, Ming-Hsiu

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Ming-Hsiu Yen (b. 1980) is an internationally-acclaimed composer and pianist. Born in Taiwan, her compositions have been performed in American, Asia and Europe. She has collaborated with conductors, such as Osmo Väskä, Shao-Chia Lü, Alexander Drčar, Kenneth Kiesler, Adrian Schneider, Christopher Lees, Nikolas Caoile, Amy Chang, Yin-Fang Chang, and with such orchestras as the Minnesota Orchestra, Taiwan Philharmonic, YinQi Symphony Orchestra and Choir (Taiwan), Dunshan Symphonic Wind Orchestra (China), University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, Taipei National University of the Arts Symphony Orchestra, and by such ensembles as PRISM Quartet, Brave New Works, OSSIA, Music From China, among others. She is winner of the 22nd Asian Composers League Yoshiro Irino Memorial Prize and Heckscher Composition Prize, and awarded prizes from the League of Composers/ISCM-USA Competition, the governmental Literary and Artistic Creation Competition (Taiwan), and the Sun River Composition Competition (China). She has received commissions from the Taiwan Philharmonic, Hanson Institute for American Music, New Sounds Music, Inc., New Music Project, Chinese Music Teachers Association of Northern California, and renowned performers.

Her compositions have been frequently presented in music festivals and concerts, including "The Wire Dancer" (2017), commissioned by the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Conservatory Competition, 2017 Hakka Musical "Hope to Light" (Taiwan), 2016 Hakka Musical "Xiangsi - Nostalgia" (Taiwan), the 2015 Taiwan Philharmonic China Concert Tour (Xiamen, Hong Kong), the 2015 Dunshan Symphonic Wind Orchestra Taiwan Tour Concerts (Taipei, Tainan), 2014 Louisiana Bass Fest, 2014 Spring Autumn Music (Taipei), 2013 Nong Project (Seoul), 2013 International Alliance for Women in Music Annual Concert, 2013 Taiwan Philharmonic Europe Concert Tour (Berlin, Geneva, Udine), Bass2012 Copenhagen, 2011 The Intimacy of Creativity (Hong Kong), 2011 Asian Composers League Conference (Taipei), 2008 Minnesota Orchestra Composers Institute, 2007 Pacific Music Festival (Sapporo), 2006 Aspen Music Festival, etc. In addition, her music has been released on the Naxos Records, Albany Records, Innova Recordings, and Blue Griffin Recording labels and has been digitally-released on the Naxos Music Library.

Actively performing as a soloist and chamber musician, Ms. Yen has premiered her own work and many new works of living composers and frequently performs in new music festivals. She was awarded prizes from the 2009 Grieg Festival Young Artists Competition and the 2006 Young Artist Competition of the Ann Arbor Society for Musical Arts. She is also a two-time winner of the University of Michigan Concerto Competition, performing concertos by Barber in 2004, Yen’s own concerto in 2005, and Corigliano in 2008 with the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra.

Since 2013, she has been frequently invited by the Taiwan Philharmonic to curate, lecture, and perform in the Philharmonic’s chamber concerts, as well as giving pre-concert talks for subscription concerts. She has also given lectures in Universität der Künste Berlin, Université de Genève, Xinghai Conservatory of Music (China) and various universities and organizations in Taiwan.

Ms. Yen holds degrees from the University of Michigan (DMA in composition; MM in composition and in piano performance) and the Eastman School of Music (BM in composition and in piano performance, with a distinguished honor of Performer's Certificate). At the University of Michigan, she was funded with full scholarship and was awarded the distinguished Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship during her final year. Her primary composition teachers have included Bright Sheng, William Bolcom, Betsy Jolas, David Liptak, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Christopher Rouse, Steven Stucky, and Gordon Shi-Wen Chin. As a fellow of 2008 Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute, she worked with Aaron Jay Kernis. She has also studied with Herbert Willi at the 2007 Pacific Music Festival, and with Sydney Hodkinson at the 2006 Aspen Music Festival and School. Her piano teachers in USA have included Logan Skelton, Nelita True and Vincent Lenti.

Ms. Yen is currently Associate Professor of Composition and Theory at the Taipei National University of the Arts in Taiwan. She has also served as Adjunct Associate Professor/Composer-in-Residence at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and taught music theory at the University of Michigan. (Website:

Selected works
Selected works






Orchestral/Concerto Works
Title Instrumentation Year Duration NCAF-funded
EVERLASTING LOVE 3333/ 4221/ Timp/ 3 Perc/ 1 Harp/ Strings 2018 35'
SPEAKING EYES 2222/ 4221/ Timp/ 3 Perc/ Strings 2018 8'30"
NURSERY RHYMES for ranat ek, piphat ensemble and Chinese Orchestra 2017 10'30"
SAI YOK WATER FALL for voice and Chinese 2017 12'
TOY KALEIDOSCOPE 3322/ 4221/ Timp/ 2 Perc/ 1 Harp/ Strings 2016 5'
DEAR DOTS 3222/ 4221/ Timp/ 3 Perc/ 1 Harp/ Narrator/ Strings 2015 18'
Concerto for saxophone and wind ensemble Picc / 2 Fl / 2 Ob / 2 Bsn / 7 Cl in Bb / B. Cl in Bb / 1 Alto Sax in Eb / 1 T. Sax in Bb / 1 Bar. Sax in Eb / 1 B. Sax in Bb / Alto Sax Solo / 3 Tpt in Bb / 4 Hn in F / 2 T. Trb / B. Trb / 2 Euph / 2 Tba / 4 Perc 2014 11'30"
BREAKING THROUGH 3333 / 4331 / Timp / 3 Perc / Strings 2013 13'
FLYING TOWARDS THE HORIZON 3222 / 4221 / Timp / 3 Perc / Celesta / Strings 2012 12'40"
THE SONG OF LIFE 1111 / 2111 / Perc / Soprano solo / Bariton Solo / Chorus (SATB) / Strings 2010 35'
YUN 3333 / 4331 / Timp / 3 Perc / Strings 2006 10'
BALAFAN piano and orchestra 3333 / 4331 / Timp / 3 Perc / Harp / Piano / Strings 2004 12'
Vocal Works/Choral
Title Instrumentation Year Duration NCAF-funded
THE SOUND OF THE SEA for SATB choir 2000 6'30"
Chamber Music Works
Title Instrumentation Year Duration NCAF-funded
Through the Eyes of the Dragonfly for two flutes and piano 2017 10'21"
CINA CUMA for viola and piano 2016 8'40"
HAKKA CAPRICCIO for cello octet 2015 7'
IN SEARCH OF THE LIGHTHOUSE for piano four hands 2015 7'
CAVE UNDER THE WELL for double bass quartet 2014 4'
DAWN for violoncello and piano 2014 6'40"
PARCHED SUMMER for double bass and piano 2014 6'
TOY KALEIDOSCOPE for piano four hands 2014 7'15"
VOICES FROM THE REMNANTS for sheng and string quartet 2014 10'
REFLECTIONS for violoncello and piano 2013 20'
DEPARTURE for piano four hands 2012 3'20"
KUANG TSAO for flute and piano 2012 6'45"
DAWN for double bass and piano 2011 6'40"
LEGO CITY for clarinet, violin, cello and piano 2011 10'
MOVEMENTS 7 players 2007 6'
PHALAENOPSIS for violin and piano 2007 7'30"
ELEGY for saxophone quartet 2005 8'
MIDNIGHT SUN for percussion quartet 2005 8'
SORROWFUL BEAUTY for clarinet and string quartet 2003 9'
DUET for violin and piano 2000 9'
Solo Instrumental Works
Title Instrumentation Year Duration NCAF-funded
ONE, TWO, THREE for solo piano 2018 3'20"
THE WIRE DANCER for solo violin 2016 7'15"
FANTASY AMOUR for solo piano 2013 5'
MIRRORS OF TIME for solo piano 2013 6'30"
TWO OLD POSTCARDS FROM FORMOSA for solo piano 2007 9'
FELINE… for solo contrabass 2006 4'15"
THE BEAM OF LIGHT for solo clarinet 2006 7'
THE FORGOTTEN CORNER for solo piano 2005 7'30"
MOVEMENTS for solo piano 2002 12'
Title Instrumentation Year Duration NCAF-funded
LEFT BEHIND Electronics 2005 4'45"
ICICLES Electronics 2004 4'40"
Title Instrumentation Year Duration NCAF-funded
AUTUMN WIND NIGHT RAIN for violin and piano 2016 4'20"
CIINA CUUMA for orchestra 2016 6'15"
SONG OF AN-PING for violin and piano 2016 4'30"
JUNE JASMINE for brass ensemble 2015 3'
SONGS OF FLOWERS for voice, viola and piano 2014 8'
FATHER LOVES US ALL 2222 / 4220 / Timp / Chorus / Strings 2008 5'
LET ALL MORTAL FLESH 2222 / 4220 / Timp / Soprano / Strings 2005 9'

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

Title Instrumentation Year Duration
Through the Eyes of the Dragonfly for two flutes and piano 2017 10'21"
CINA CUMA for viola and piano 2016 8'40"