Exploring Solo/Small Ensemble Series #9

About Singaporean composer WANG Chenwei:
WANG Chenwei 王辰威 is Head of Research and Education at The TENG Company and adjunct faculty and composition supervisor at the National Institute of Education (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore). He is the main co-author of The TENG Guide to the Chinese Orchestra (2019), a 624-page book on instrumentation and orchestration.

After graduating from Raffles Institution’s Gifted Education Programme with seven academic awards, Chenwei obtained his Magister Artium (five-year Master of Arts) with distinction and an Honorary Award (Würdigungspreis) from the University for Music and Performing Arts Vienna, where he studied Composition and Audio Engineering under a scholarship from the Media Development Authority of Singapore. During his studies, he recorded and performed in the Vienna Musikverein Golden Hall.

Chenwei’s efforts in composing, conducting, playing 12 musical instruments and writing in 12 languages was featured in Extraordinary People, a half-hour documentary broadcast on Singapore television on 12 May 2009. For his contributions to the music scene, Chenwei was conferred the Young Outstanding Singaporeans Award in 2011.

«Advancing Winds» is based on three Taiwanese folk songs «June Jasmine», «Nostalgia» and «The Old Train», advancing from slow to fast, simple to grand, and soft to loud. Sounds imitating locomotives and train whistles bring the piece to a climatic ending. The title refers both to the technical advancement of wind instruments and their playing techniques, as well as the accelerating musical development of the piece.

Originally commissioned by the Taipei Chinese Chinese Orchestra for wind instruments, «Advancing Winds» employs traditional wind instruments and playing techniques alongside modern mechanized instruments, thus combining heritage with innovation. This arrangement for wind and percussion was commissioned by the National Taiwan University of Arts in 2019.