Ct (chien-tai) Citynoah (pen Name) Chen Creative Page
Chien-Tai Chen: Composer, Violinist
aka CT and citynoah
Symphonic, opera, concerto, chamber music, jazz forms, dance, sound track, MTV pop and advertising themes with a full command of styles from aboriginal to modern.
Chien-Tai Chen uses the pen names CT and citynoah, but the literal meaning of his formal name is ‘Building a Stage’. This aptly describes his life’s work of creating original compositions and instrumental pieces for performance on the stage. Chen’s compositions go beyond bridging east and west. He incorporates elements from every direction of the compass and every period of time, lending his music a timeless, universal quality. His rhythm, harmony and timbre are drawn from his careful study of nature and science; inspired by the crisp clear air of the mountain tops or the moon behind fast-moving clouds, Chen’s music soars up through the cosmos or down to the quantum universe.
Chien-Tai Chen, Composer/Doctor of Musical Arts
The works of composer CT Chen have won consistent praise in the U.S. and in his native Taiwan. Winner of the Chinese Literature and Art Association’s medal for accomplishment in musical composition, his compositions interweave ancient, traditional, contemporary, and popular styles with a strong romantic appeal, devilish humor, and intriguing angelic innovations that capture the essence of meaningful and passionate music.
Chen’s works have been performed by a variety of world-renowned artists. In July 2006, Chen’s piano concerto “Far Horizon” received its world premiere in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, performed by maestro Yoel Levi, pianist Brian Ganz and the Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra. The Washington Post critically acclaimed the concerto as “…an intriguing, culture-straddling new work ⋯” The entire work is in five-movements but for this performance the outer movements with children's chorus were not performed. “⋯ from the introspective opening -- with its short, questioning statements from the piano over floating waves of orchestral color -- to its jazzy, lyrical, ballad like middle section and the jaunty and wildly percussive close.”
In December 2005, Chen’s violin concerto “Hakka-Wanderer” premiered with the world-famous violinist Cho-Liang Lin and the Evergreen Symphony Orchestra in Taiwan’s National Concert Hall. The lyrical and virtual sound track quality of the music is lush and colorful as a secret waterfall in the Grand Canyon. This concerto was commissioned by the Council of Hakka Affairs for the closing concert of its arts festival.
Chen, an accomplished violin soloist, has performed his own compositions in numerous performances and recitals at U.S. universities and museums. He has appeared at the Third Shiraz International Arts Festival in Iran, the Kennedy Center, the Music Center at Strathmore, and the Smithsonian Institutions.
Chen’s Early Works include:
The monumental opera "Journey to the West" was commissioned for the grand opening of the Taiwan National Theater from December 18th to 23rd with a packed audience for all six performances. In August 1990 the Taipei Music Festival premiered “Zen in Five Strings" for large string orchestra and was conducted by Kenneth Jean of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. "Jasmine Tea" for chamber orchestra was performed at the Kennedy Center on April 2nd 1992 with solo violinists Cho-Liang Lin and Nai-Yuan Hu. Some of Chen's incidental pieces are ‘
released on CD by BMI and Millennia Music, most notably "Tango Tomorrow" (1996), which was made into a commercially successful music video in Taiwan and Hong Kong. "Dawn of New Days" written for an environmental organization called 21st Century Project, was broadcasted on cable in Beijing and Shanghai in 2000. "Awake in a Dream" was commissioned and composed in 2005 for the Alzheimer society of Taiwan.
Chen earned his doctorate in music at the University of Maryland and continued his conducting apprenticeship under maestro Charles Bruck at the Pierre Monteux School for Advanced Conductors. In composition, he was a student of the famed music theorist Asher Zlotnik, internationally known modern composer Josef Castaldo and the renowned arranger Charles Gallagher for orchestration.
He has taught at the University of Maryland, the International Conservatory of Music in Washington, D.C., the Baptist University in Hong Kong, and at National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan.
At the end of 2009 Chen has just completed a new symphony entitled “City of Wind,” commissioned by the Hauman Technologies Corporation. The theme of this project is science & technology and wind. Also in the planning stage are numerous sound track projects.
Updated: January 20, 2010
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