I-Uen Wang Hwang
Born in Taiwan
I-Uen Wang Hwang was born in Tainan, Taiwan and moved to the United States in 1994. She studied music composition at the Taiwan National Normal University (1987-1991, B.S.) and the University of Pennsylvania (1994-1998, Ph.D.). At the University of Pennsylvania, which awarded her the Halstead Prize (1996, 1998) and the Nitzsche Prize (1997), she studied with George Crumb, James Primosch, Jay Reise, and Richard Wernick.
Her pieces have been performed at the Asian Composer’s League Music Festivals (Malaysia 1997 and Korea 2002). As the winner of the Bohemians New York Musicians Club piano composition competition, she performed her piano composition, Dream Garden, at the New York Kosciuszko Foundation House in 2004. Taiwan Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra, has also commissioned and performed three of her compositions, Timeless Reflections in 2006, Lily Pond in 2008, and Diptych of Taiwan in 2010. The orchestra performed Diptych of Taiwan in Taipei, Taiwan for the premiere performance of the Music Director, Maestro Shao-Chia Lü and in Guangzhou, China for the 2010 Canton Asian Music Festival. In 2008, the Long Duo performed her piece for two pianos, Dream Garden II, at the National Convention of the National Association of Composers in Texas and in Shanghai, China. In 2011, she was awarded a grant from the National Art and Culture Foundation of Taiwan for Watercolor Sketches, a composition for guzheng (Chinese zither), cello, and violin. A violin concerto commissioned by The Egret Cultural and Educational Foundation of Taiwan was performed in 2014. The Carpe Diem String Quartet premiered her String Quartet No. 2 in 2014. In 2015-16, she completed Garden Scenes, an orchestral piece with five movements and associated acrylic paintings depicting various botanical gardens. A commissioned work, Puyuma Celebration, was based on a Taiwanese native tribe melody and will be premiered in 2017.
Her music has been strongly influenced by painting and art since her early years because she spent much of her free time learning oil painting from her father, a professional artist. A link between her music and art thus naturally developed. In addition to composing music, she has been a watercolor and acrylic artist with several exhibitions in the Philadelphia area. She helped judge the United Nations Art for Peace Contest for children in 2012. Many of her recent compositions, including the commissioned works listed above have been inspired by her own paintings. She relates the colors and textures in paintings with the harmony and timbres of her music. Musical forms also correspond to the composition and structure of her paintings. The combination of her music and painting is synergistic and clarifies her inspiration. The union of the two artistic forms also facilitates conveying her creative inspiration to the audience.