Chiayu Hsu (b. 1975, Banciao, Taiwan) is a Taiwanese composer living in the United States.
Dr. Hsu has received her Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, master’s degree and artist diploma from Yale School of Music, and Ph.D. from Duke University. She has been in different residencies in the United States and Europe, including Yaddo, Wildacres Retreat, the Camargo Foundation, and Dora Maar House. She has studied at the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Chamber Music Conference and Composers’ Forum of the East, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, the Aspen Music Festival, American Conservatory (Fontainebleau), and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. Her teachers have included Jennifer Higdon, Martin Bresnick, Roberto Sierra, Ezra Laderman, David Loeb, Anthony Kelley, Jeffrey Mumford, Donald Crockett, Jonathan Berger, Christopher Rouse, Robert Beaser, Joseph Schwantner, Joan Tower, Marco Stroppa, Scott Lindroth, and Stephen Jaffe.
She is an active composer of contemporary concert music. Chiayu has been interested in deriving inspirations from different materials, such as poems, myths, and images. Particularly, however, it is the combination of Chinese elements and Western techniques that is a hallmark of her music.
Her career has been burgeoning with a large number of commissions. In March 2014, her Shan Ko received its Asia premiere by the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra. Shan Ko was the winning work of Lynn University’s international call for scores and premiered under the baton of Maestro Gunther Schuller.
In August 2011, Xuan Zang for horn and orchestra was premiered by soloist Kristin Jurkscheit and Cabrillo Festival Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Marin Alsop. In 2008, her Feng Nian Ji was premiered by Cabrillo Festival Orchestra under Maestro Marin Alsop’s leadership and received an honorable mention by the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute. The same year, her Reverie and Pursuit received its premiere performance, commissioned and performed by Carol Jantsch, the tuba principal from the Philadelphia Orchestra,and the recording was later released in 2009 in her album, "Cascades." In 2007, her Fantasy on Wang Bao Chuan, commissioned by Taiwan’s Evergreen Symphony orchestra, was selected for the American Composers Orchestra’s annual Underwood New Music reading and also received an honorable mention by the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute.
Chiayu has received numerous awards and honors for her compositional endeavors. In 2013, Journey to the West was the winner of the IAWM Search for New Music and was featured in the fall 2013 issue of the IAWM journal. Shui Diao Ge To, composed for the 2004 Milestones Festival, received a 2005 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer’s Award. In 1999, her Dinkey Bird won the Maxfield Parrish composition contest and was the subject of a feature in Philadelphia Inquirer.
Chiayu currently serves as an associate professor of composition at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
Works for Winds
- Chiayu Hsu, personal correspondence, January 2019
- Chiayu Hsu website Accessed 9 January 2017
- The Horizon Leans Forward…, compiled and edited by Erik Kar Jun Leung, GIA Publications, 2021, p. 361.