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A citation accompanying Shih-Hui Chen’s 2007 Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters states: “Among the composers of Asian descent living in the U.S.A., Shih-Hui Chen is most successful in balancing the very refined spectral traditions of the East with the polyphonic practice of Western art-music. In a seamless narrative, her beautiful music, always highly inventive and expressive, is immediately as appealing as it is demanding and memorable.” 

Born in Taiwan, Shih-Hui Chen has lived in the United States since 1982. In addition to garnering a Koussevitzky Music Foundation Commission, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an American Academy in Rome Prize, her compositions have been performed widely throughout the U.S. and abroad. Chen’s compositions have brought her into contact with orchestras such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra and Utah Symphony. Her recent projects include a thirty- minute, multimedia cello concerto, “Our Son Is Not Coming Home To Dinner”; a seventy-minute, mixed-media viola concerto “When The Whale Sang A Song That Was Heard” which includes shadow puppets; and a cross-genre opera, “The Karaoke Clothing Swap Chinese Opera Club”. 

Shih-Hui Chen currently serves on the Performing Arts and Culture committee at Asia Society Texas Center and is on faculty at the Shepherd School of Music, Rice University. She was the 2023 Walter Hinrichsen Prize winner from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and her music can be heard on Albany, New World and Bridge Records.


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