Composer citynoah = Chien-Tai Chen
Famous for his extremely original music compositions in America, Taiwan-born composer Chien-Tai Chen, aka citynoah, is a celebrity composer in Taiwan. His compositions have won consistent praise in the U.S. and in his native Taiwan. He is Winner of the Chinese Literature and Art Association’s medal for accomplishment in musical composition. His music is a versatile interweave of ancient, aboriginal, traditional, contemporary, and popular styles with a strong romantic appeal and spiced with a devilish sense of humor. His intriguing angelic innovations are universally accessible, capturing the essence of internally meaningful and eternally passionate music.
He is also an accomplished violinist and conductor. As a third-generation member of a family of Chinese traditional musicians, Chen was steeped in ancient Chinese music styles called Cantonese, Hakka, and Chaozhou from early childhood. He plays his traditional music by heart, i.e. by ear, as a jazz musician plays jazz.
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 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 the National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan.
Chen, as a performer of violin and Chinese string instruments, has performed music including his own in numerous occasions 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.
His current project is the soundtrack with film director Yi-Hong Liu for his new film entitled “Everyday is A Day”.
Selected works of music composition by citynoah:
“Far Horizon,” a piano concerto, received its world premiere in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall on July 16 2006, 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 …” Stephen Brookes of The Washington Post said:“…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.”
“Hakka-Wanderer,” a violin concerto, received its world premiered on December 26, 2005. It was played by violinist was 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.
At present Chen has just completed a new symphony entitled “City of Wind,” commissioned by the Hauman Technologies Corporation. The theme of this symphony is science & technology and wind. The symphony" has been included in its next year’s recording project of Taipei’s National Symphony Orchestra.
Chen’s Early Works and Short Works include:
The monumental opera "Journey to the West" was commissioned for the grand opening of the Taiwan National Theater from December 18 to 23 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," in what the composer calls “pseudo Jazz style,” was commissioned and composed in 2005 for the Alzheimer society of Taiwan.
Dr. Chien-Tai Chen (Composer citynoah)