Qigang Chen

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This is a Chinese name; the family name is Chen.

Qigang Chen (Chinese: 陈其钢; pinyin: Chén Qígāng, pronounced [tʂʰə̌n t͡ɕǐkɑ́ŋ]) is a composer of Chinese origin born in 1951 in Shanghai. He has lived in France since 1984, and obtained French citizenship in 1992.

Biography[edit]

Coming from an intellectual family, Qigang Chen began his musical studies as a child. When in his early teens, he was confronted with the Cultural Revolution and would spend three years locked up in a barracks, undergoing an 'ideological reeducation'. Nonetheless, his passion for music remained unshakeable and, in spite of the social pressure and anti-cultural policy, he pursued his training in composition.

In 1977, Qigang Chen was one of 26 candidates out of two thousand to be accepted into the composition class at the Beijing Central Conservatory. After five years of studies with Luo Zhongrong, in 1983 he stood for the national competition where he came first. As a result, he was the only one in his field to be authorized to go abroad to pursue graduate studies in composition.

Olivier Messiaen's last student, from 1984 to 1988. His first five years in France allowed him to broaden the scope of his culture and acquire new knowledge about 20th-century music.

Qigang Chen is one of the living composers more performed around the world, winning him many accolades. In 2001 His orchestral work Wu Xing was selected from over 1000 entries as one of the five finalists of the Masterprize Award, hosted by the BBC. In 2003, EMI/Virgin Classics released an album devoted to his music, including the highly acclaimed work Iris devoilée. It was later voted by Gramophone Magazine as one of the Top Ten Classical Recordings of the Month. In 2005, He was awarded the Grand Prix de la Musique Symphonique by SACEM in recognition of his career achievement. He worked as Music Director of the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Most recently, in 2013, he was decorated with Chevalier de l'Ordre des arts et des lettres by the French government.

In 2015, he launched a composition workshop at Gonggen College in China, as a platform for dialogues with, and between, young musicians.

Main Works[edit]

  • Wu Xing (The Five Elements)
  • Yuan(Origins)
  • Reflet d'un Temps Disparu
  • Iris Dévoilée (Iris Unveiled)
  • Extase
  • Enchantement Oubliés
  • Er Huang
  • Joie Eternelle
  • Luan Tan

List of works[edit]

Chamber music[edit]

  • SAN XIAO (三笑) (1995) for 4 traditional Chinese instruments( bamboo flute, san xian, zheng, pipa)
  • Commissioned by Radio France. First audition on February 11, 1996 at Radio France in Paris (Festival Présence) by the Beijing Hua Xia Ensemble under the conducting of Tsung Yeh.
    • Length: 11 min.
    • CD : by Huaxia Ensemble, Hugo HRP7174-2
    • CD : Virgin Classics 0946 344693 2 6
  • Extase II道情2 (1997) for oboe and instrumental ensemble
    • Commissioned by Nieuw Ensemble. First audition on July 11, 1997 in Avignon (Festival Acanthes) by Ernest Rombout and the Nieuw Ensemble (Amsterdam) under the conducting of Ed Spanjaard.
    • Length: 17 min.
    • Gerard Billaudot Editeur
  • L’Eloignement (走西口) (2003) for string orchestra.
    • Commissioned by Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra. Nomenclature: 5, 4, 4, 3, 1 or 10, 8, 8, 6, 2
    • Length:15 min.
    • Gerard Billaudot Editeur - CD : by Orchestre
    • Philharmonique de Radio France, Conductor : Leonard Slatkin. Scheduled Virgin Classics 0946 344693 2 6
  • Instants D'un Opéra de Pékin (京剧瞬间) (New version of 2004) for piano solo
    • Commissioned by Messiaen International Piano Competition 2000.
    • Length: 9 min.
    • Gerard Billaudot Editeur
  • Extase III (道情3) (2010, arrangement of EXTASE) for oboe and Chinese traditional instrumental ensemble
    • First audition on Sept 8th 2010 in Paris by Jean-Louis Capezzali and the Singapor Chinese Traditional Orchestra under the conducting of Tsung Yeh. Arrangement by Low Weilun
    • Length: 17 min.
    • Gerard Billaudot Editeur

Concerted music[edit]

  • Feu d’Ombres火影 (1990) for saxophone and instrumental ensemble
    • Commissioned by the French Ministry of Culture and les Grands Travaux du Bicentaire. First audition on February 1, 1991 by Jean-Pierre Baraglioli and the 2E2M Ensemble under the conducting of Paul Méfano for the Festival Future Musique.
    • Length: 16 min. 30sec.
    • Gerard Billaudot Editeur - CD : in 1993 MFA/REM
  • Extase (道情) (1995) for oboe and orchestra
    • Commissioned by the Deutscher Kammerphilharmonie and the French Ministry of Culture. First audition on October 11, 1995 in Bremen (Germany) by Rodrigo Blumenstock and the Deutscher Kammerphiharmonie under the conducting of Thomas Hengelbrock.
    • Length: 17 min.
    • Gerard Billaudot Editeur
    • CD : Virgin Classics 0946 344693 2 6
  • Reflet d'un Temps Disparu (逝去的时光) (1995-1996) for violoncello and orchestra
    • Commissioned by Radio France. First audition on April 23, 1998 at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris by Yoyo Ma and the Orchestre National de France under the conducting of Charles Dutoit.
    • Length: 25 min.
    • Gerard Billaudot Editeur
    • CD : Virgin Classics 724354554926
  • La Nuit Profonde 夜深沉 (2001) for jinghu/jing erhu and orchestra 根据京剧曲牌夜深沉改编
    • First audition on May 27, 2001 in Paris by the Orchestre National de France.
    • Length: 5mn
    • Editions musicales Durand
  • Un Temps Disparu (逝去的时光) (2002), for erhu (二胡, two stringed Chinese violin) and orchestra
    • Commissioned by the Montréal Symphonic Orchestra and French Culture Ministry. erhu: Ma Xianghua. First audition on 22 Oct 2002 in Beijing under the conducting of Muhai
    • Length: 25 min.
    • Gerard Billaudot Editeur
    • CD : Naxos 8.570614
  • Un Temps Disparu II (逝去的时光) (2012), for viola and orchestra
    • Commissioned by Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra. Viola: YU Peijun. Creation on 18th november 2012 under the conducting of Muhai Tang.
    • Length: 25 min.
    • Gerard Billaudot Editeur
  • Er Huang 二黄 (2009) for piano and orchestra
    • Commissioned by the Carnegie Hall. First audition on Oct 22nd 2009 in New York by Lang Lang and the Juliard Orchestra under the conducting of Michael Thomas Thilson.
    • Length: 15 min.
    • Boosey & Hawkes
    • CD : Naxos 8.570614
  • Extase IV (道情4) (2011, arrangement of EXTASE) for oboe and Chinese traditional orchestra
    • First audition on June 2011 in Hong Kong by HUANG Zheng and the Hong Kong Chinese Traditional Orchestra under the conducting of Yan Huichang. Arrangement by Low Weilun
    • Length: 17 min.
    • Gerard Billaudot Editeur
  • Joie Eternalle (万年欢) (2013) for trumpet in C and orchestra
    • Co-commissioned by the BBC Proms, Zaterdag Matinee of Holland Radio, MDR and KT Wong Foundation
    • First audition on July 1, 2014 in Beijing by Alison Balsom and the China Philharmonic under the conducting of YU Long.
    • Length: 23 min.
    • Boosey & Hawkes
  • Luan Tan (乱弹) (2014-2015) for orchestra
    • Co-commissioned by Hong Kong Philharmonic, Radio France and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. First audition on April 21, 2015 at Hongkong Cultural Center by Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra under the conducting of ZHANG Xian.
    • Length: 22 min.
    • Boosey & Hawkes

Vocal music[edit]

  • Poème Lyrique II (水调歌头2) (1990) for baritone and instrumental ensemble
    • Commissioned by the Nieuw Ensemble (Amsterdam). First audition on 2 April 1991 in Amsterdam by the Nieuw Ensemble under the conducting of Ed Spanjaard.
    • Length: 12 min.
    • Gerard Billaudot Editeur
    • CD : in 1993 MFA/REM
  • Invisible Voices (看不见的声音) (2005) for 6 mixte voices and grand orchestra.
    • Commission : Stuttgart City & WDR Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra. First audition on the October 27th 2005 in Beijing by the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra under the conducting of Sir Roger Norrington, voices : Stuttgart Neue vocalsolisten Nomenclature: Soprano, Mezzo soprano, Alto, Tenor, Britone, Bass. 3.3.3.3 - 4.3.3.1 - hp, timpanies, 4 percussions players. 16, 14, 12, 10, 8
    • Length:20 min.
    • Gerard Billaudot Editeur

Symphonic music[edit]

  • Yuan (Origins) (源) (1987-1988) for symphonic orchestra
    • Commissioned by Radio France (1988). Winner of the 27th International Contest of Symphony Composition in Trieste (Italy; 1988). First audition on July 5, 1990 at Radio France by the Philharmonic Orchestra of Radio France under the conducting of Yves Prin.
    • Length: 17 min.
    • Gerard Billaudot Editeur
    • CD : by Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Virgin Classics 0946 344693 2 6
  • Wu Xing (五行) (The Five Elements) (1998-1999) for symphonic orchestra
  • Commissioned by Radio France for the Broad Casting program.
  1. Water (2'03)
  2. Wood (1'54)
  3. Fire (2'07)
  4. Earth (2'13)
  5. Metal (2'00)
    • Length : 11 min.
    • Gerard Billaudot Editeur
    • CD : Virgin Classics 724354554926
  • Iris Devoilee (蝶恋花) (Iris Unveiled) (2001) concerted suite for grand orchestra, three female voices and three traditional Chinese instruments.
    • Commissioned by the Koussevitzky Foundation and Radio France. First audition on February 6, 2002 for the Festival Présences of Radio France.
    • Nomenclature : 3 sopranos one of which on the style of Pekin Opera, 3 Chinese traditional instruments (Pipa, Erhu and Zheng) - 3.3.3.3 - 4.3.3.1 - 4 perc, pno(celesta), hp and strings (16.14.12.10.8)
  1. Ingenious (纯洁)
  2. Chaste (羞涩)
  3. Libertine (放荡)
  4. Sensitive (神经质)
  5. Tender (温柔)
  6. Jealous (嫉妒)
  7. Melancholic (多愁善感)
  8. Hysterical (歇斯底里)
  9. Voluptuous (情欲)
    • Length: 44 min.
    • Gerard Billaudot Editeur
    • CD : Virgin Classics 724354554926
  • Enchantements Oubliés (失乐园) (2004) for grand string orchestra, hp, pn, celesta and percussions.
    • Commission : Orchestre National de France. Nomenclature suggesed by Kurt Masur.
  • Nomenclature: Hp, pn (celesta), timpanies, 4 percussions. 16, 14, 12, 10, 8
  • Length : 19 min.
  • Gerard Billaudot Editeur
  • CD : Naxos 8.570614
  • Ouverture Symphonique Instants D'un Opéra De Pékin (京剧瞬间) (2014) for symphonic orchestra
    • Commissioned by the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra for the grand opening of Shanghai Symphony Hall by the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra under the direction of YU Long. First audition on September 6, 2014 in Shanghai for the grand opening of Shanghai Symphony Hall.
    • Length: 10 min.
    • Gerard Billaudot Editeur

Instrumental music and electronics[edit]

  • Rêve D’un Solitaire (孤独者的梦) (1992-1993) for instrumental ensemble or orchestra and electronic
    • Commissioned by the IRCAM (1992). First audition on April 28, 1993 at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris by the Ensemble InterContemporain under the direction of Mark Foster.
    • Length: 22 min.
    • Gerard Billaudot Editeur

Music for ballet[edit]

  • Raise The Red Lantern (Epouses et concubines) (大红灯笼高高挂) (2000)
    • First audition on May 2, 2001 in Beijing by the China National Ballet.
    • Length: 90 min.
    • Editions musicales Durand
    • CD : September 2005 by EMI Asian 0094633467729 M4018-2L

Music for film[edit]

  • Under The Hawthorn Tree (山楂树之恋) (2010), a film of Zhang Yimou.
    • Length: 110 min.
    • Producer : New Images
    • CD : October 2010 by Jing Wen
    • Flowers Of War (金陵十三钗) (2011), a film of Zhang Yimou.
    • Length: 140 min.
    • Producer : New Images
    • CD : by Sony Classical 88697 99256 2
  • Home Coming (归来) (2014), A Film Of Zhang Yimou.
    • Length: 109mm
    • Producer: Le Vision Pictures
    • CD: by Sony Classical 88843054472

Songs[edit]

  • You and Me 我和你 (2008) for man and woman voice
    • Theme song of 29th Olympic games in Beijing 2008
    • First audition on Aug 8th 2008 in Beijing by LIU Huan and Sarah Brightmann
    • Length: 3 min.
  • Theme Song Of Film Under The Hawthorn Tree (山楂树之恋) (2010) for man’s voice
    • Length: 3 min.
  • Mother and Childhood (母亲-童年) (2011) for man’s voice
    • First audition on Jan 1st 2011 in Putuo by Chang Shilei
    • Length: 5 min.
  • Invisible Forbidden City (看不见的紫禁城) (2011) for man’s voice
    • Length: 3 min.
  • To Meet Again, In Days Gone By (相会在昨天) (theme song 2 for promotion of the film Coming Home) (2014) for man and woman’s voice
    • Length: 5 min. 24 sec.
  • Following in Your Footsteps, Till the End of the World (跟着你到天边) (theme song 1 for promotion of film Coming Home) (2014) for man’s voice
    • Length: 3 min. 27 sec.
  • Dream (如梦), theme song for subject-live performance at Dragon Tiger Mountain, Jiangxi (2014)) for woman’s voice
    • First audition ion June 2014 at Dragon Tiger Mountain (Jiangxi),in (江西龙虎山) sung by Faye Wong

Music for open air projects[edit]

  • Music for the Opening Ceremony of the 29th Olympic Games (2008)
  1. Scroll Painting (画卷)
  2. Ritual Music (礼乐)
  3. You and me (我和你)

Publishers[edit]

  • Gérard Billaudot Editeur (Paris, from 1985 to 2007)
  • Boosey & Hawkes (London, since 2008)
  • Durand (for La Nuit Profonde & Raise the Red Lantern)

References[edit]

External links[edit]