In keeping with the Lunar calendar, Lunar New Year, commonly referred to as Chinese New Year, is an annual 15-day celebration which typically begins on the first new moon of the year and lasts until the following full moon. This year celebrations began on January 22nd 2023.
Each year in the Lunar calendar is represented by one of 12 Chinese zodiac. The Lunar New Year marks the transition from one animal to the next with 2023 being the Year of the Rabbit.
Whilst Lunar New Year is now celebrated around the world, it remains one of the most important festivals in China as well as other East Asian countries including Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Mongolia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines. Traditionally the festival began as a time to honour deities and ancestors, but more recently it has become a time to feast and visit family members. To observe this year’s festival, we’re celebrating our Chinese composers and the works that they’ve published with Schott Music.
Regarded as one of China’s leading contemporary composers, Xiaogang Ye’s oeuvre comprises symphonic works, a range of chamber music, stage works and film music. Much of his music bears a connection to Chinese culture and tradition.
Ye was the first Chinese composer to sign with Schott Music. For three decades his works have drawn attention both in Eastern Asia and in the West, being played by international orchestras and ensembles including the Munich Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic and Ensemble Modern.
Recommended playing: Falling Flowers (ED 23681)
Born in Shanghai in 1984, China, Qi Zhang has been a public performer since she was nine years old. She received her Bachelor of Music Degree in Electronic Organ at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in 2007. Her studies with Professor Lei Zhu, Director of the Department of Modern Instruments and Percussion at the Conservatory, included performance and arranging for the Electone Organ, an electronic instrument that features orchestral and newly developed electronic sounds.
Recommended playing: Symphony in the teapot (ED 21098)
Heralded as “one of the most exciting voices in New Music” (The Wire), Lei Liang (b.1972) is a Chinese-born American composer whose works have been described as “hauntingly beautiful and sonically colorful” by The New York Times, and as “far, far out of the ordinary, brilliantly original and inarguably gorgeous” by The Washington Post.
Lei Liang's music is published exclusively by Schott Music Corporation (New York).
Recommended playing: Gobi Gloria (ED 30141)
Xuntian He is a distinguished composer, creator of a new musical languages, and professor at Shanghai Conservatory of Music. In 1981, he established the Three Periods Theory and the Theory of Musical Dimensions. In 1982, he developed the Renyilv Duyingfa Method of Musical Composition, one of the first compositional methods of the People's Republic. His theories and works are believed to be ground-breaking and truly original music of his country.
Recommended playing: Scent Dance II (VAB 96)
A celebrated composer, pianist and distinguished educator, Zhang Zhao’s music has earned a worldwide reputation. Zhao’s oeuvre includes symphonies, chamber music, operas, choral music, musicals, dance dramas, and solo vocal and instrumental music. His compositions are published by Schott Music and People’s Music Publishing House, and his music and articles can be found in into the Dictionary of Chinese Music and Musicians, the Chinese Symphonic Anthology, and A Century of Piano Solo Works by Chinese Composers.
Recommended playing: Nature No. 1 (ED 23460)
Wang Xilin is one of the most significant composers in China, distinct for his expressive and dramatic musical language and his subversive politics. His musical journey started at the Central Military Music Conducting School in Beijing, which was followed by lessons in composing and conducting at Shanghai Conservatory of Music.
Wang was banished to Shanxi Province for 14 years just before the Cultural Revolution began (1963) after expressing controversial opinions during a public lecture. During this time, Wang composed six conformist works endorsing political propaganda. When he returned to Beijing in 1978, he discovered the works of composers such as Schoeberg, Bartók and Stravinsky, whose music had a strong influence of Wang’s compositional technique. Finally, he was finally able to pursue his career in composition.
Wang’s extensive oeuvre comprises ten symphonies, numerous concertos, symphonic suites, overtures, and music for film, as well as a body of chamber and vocal works. His works have been performed throughout China and Europe.
Hire Enquiry: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (LSL 10445)
Ying Wang was born in Shanghai. She studied composition at the Shanghai Conservatory before moving to Germany in 2003, where she studied composition with York Höller and electronic composition with Michael Beil at the Hochschule for Music and Dance in Cologne.
Ying Wang has collaborated with conductors such as Markus Stenz, Brad Lubman, and Marcus Creed, and with orchestras and ensembles such as the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, Brandenburger Symphoniker, and the International Ensemble Modern Academy Ensemble. Her compositions have been played in Paris, New York, Stockholm, Berlin, Beijing, and Lucerne, as well as at renowned festivals such as the Tage für Neue Musik Zürich, Acht Brücken Cologne, and Wien Modern.
Since 2013, Ying Wang has taught composition at the Shanghai Conservatory. She lives in Cologne and Beijing.
Recommended listening: Tun Tu – (WER 73472 Q51695)
We wish you a very prosperious Lunar New Year!