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Vivian Fung

Kensington, CA         

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.”  

Highlights of Fung’s 2019–2020 season include the UK premiere of Birdsong, performed by violinist Midori at Kings Place in London, world premiere performances of a new trumpet concerto with trumpeter Mary Elizabeth Bowden and the Erie Philharmonic, performances of Dust Devils by The Philadelphia Orchestra led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra led by Peter Oundjian, Fanfare with the Florida Orchestra, Aqua by the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal under conductor James Gaffigan, Earworms with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra led by Bramwell Tovey, and Pizzicato with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra led by Miguel Harth-Bedoya. Fung will also write new works commissioned by Standing Wave Ensemble in Vancouver and L’arc Trio in San Francisco.

Recent highlights include A Child Dreams of Toys, commissioned by the 2019 Winnipeg New Music Festival; a new Concerto for Two Violins and String Orchestra for the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra; the world premiere of String Quartet No. 4 “Insects and Machines” performed by the American String Quartet; Earworms, 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. 

With a deep interest in exploring different cultures, Fung traveled to Cambodia in 2019 to connect with her roots and collect research for a new opera. She traveled to Southwest China in 2012 to study minority music and cultures, and has also explored North Vietnam, Spain, and Bali.

Fung has received numerous awards and grants, including the 2015 Jan V. Matejcek New Classical Music Award for achievement in new music from 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 currently serves as Vice Chair of the board of the American Composers Forum. Passionate about fostering the talent of the next generation, Fung will mentor young composers this summer in programs at the American Composers Forum, San Francisco Contemporary Chamber Players, and Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. 

In 2012, Naxos Canadian Classics released a recording of Fung’s Violin Concerto [No.1], Piano Concerto “Dreamscapes,” and Glimpses.  The Violin Concerto 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.

Born in Edmonton, Canada, Fung received her doctorate from The Juilliard School.  She currently lives in California with her husband Charles Boudreau and their son Julian and is on the faculty of Santa Clara University.

For more information, please visit www.vivianfung.net.

Excerpt from “Biennale Snapshots” with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

“Biennale Snapshots” celebrates the Vancouver Biennale’s 2014 – 2016 Open Air Museum installations. The work is in 5 movements, 25 minutes, and inspired by the artworks of 5 internationally renowned artists that are part of the Vancouver Biennale’s exhibition – two Chinese artists, Ren Jun and Ai Wei Wei, Indian artist Sumakshi Singh, Australian artist Konstantin Dimopoulos, and Brazilian graffiti artists OsGemeos. http://vivianfung.ca/music/biennale-snapshots-full-orchestra/

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Aqua for full orchestra (2013) by Vivian Fung

Part of “ChiScape,” a project commissioned by Chicago Sinfonietta for their 25th Anniversary season, based on inspirations from iconic Chicago buildings. Conducted by Mei-Ann Chen.

This composition is inspired by Chicago’s Aqua Tower, an award-winning, 82-story skyscraper completed in 2010 and designed by Jeanne Gang and Studio Gang Architects.

Full note with images of building at: http://vivianfung.ca/music/aqua/

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Sketch for Cello and Electronics (2015)

Sketch was written for the inaugural concert of the Manhattan Chamber Players and is a short work for cello and electronics. The piece begins with a brooding atmosphere, gradually becomes light and airy with jaunty marimba-like electronics, and ends contemplatively, recalling material from the beginning. I entitled this piece Sketch simply because I intend to expand this work into a larger piece for cello and interactive electronics in the near future.

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NewMusicBox Articles

Articles June 29 2011 | By Vivian Fung
Embracing My Banana-ness: One Composer’s Journey Towards Finding Her Identity

I am what is known in certain Asian circles as a banana: yellow on the outside, white on the inside. Yellow as a product of Chinese parents; white as a...