Ying-Chen Kao

Taiwanese-American composer/pianist Ying-Chen Kao’s (高盈真) music has been described as “exceedingly beautiful” in Soundboard Magazine UK, a “challenging and rich work” in the Coral Gables Gazette, and “an evocative and surreal soundscape” on minor 7th.com. Notable commissions include the Peabody Children’s Chorus, REDSHIFT ensemble, Michael Kannen, Jenny Lin, Donald Sutherland, and Gary Thomas. Her solo trombone works, ancient memory (available at Warwick Music) and Transmutation were commissioned by the 2008 Summer Trombone Workshop in Taiwan, where they were the obligatory repertoire for the competition. In the same year her solo guitar piece, Lilac . Star . Bird was released on Tracy Anne Smith’s solo debut album. Britain’s Classical Guitar Magazine hailed the work as “…one of almost beautiful-sounding dissonance… This is no doubt a major work that demands attention.” Collidescope, a collaboration with the Peabody Preparatory Dance Department, premiered during the 150-year celebration of the Peabody Institute. The multimedia ballet work was overseen by renowned American theatre artist and choreographer Martha Clarke. She was the winner of the 2009 Prix D’Ete Composition Competition and the 2005 Peabody Camerarta Composer Contest.

Ying-Chen received her B.M. in theory and composition from the University of Miami and M.M., Postgraduate Studies in composition from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. She studied composition with Wen-Tze Lu, Christopher Theofanidis, and Michael Hersch. Her piano mentors include J.B. Floyd and Ernest Ragogini. Ying-Chen is co-founder of ycArt design studio LLC and an active graphic and web designer. Her design work, Constellation of Voice, was featured on Carnegie Hall’s October 2008 playbill cover. She resides in Baltimore with her husband, composer/pianist David Witmer.

For more information on Ying-Chen Kao, please visit yingchenkao.com.