In a relatively short time Wang Jie has made quite an impression on the classical music establishment.
Last June the Orchestra of the League of Composers premiered Wang’s Oboe Concerto for the Genuine Hearts of Sadness, a work it had commissioned with funding in part from the WPA’s 2012 Performance Grants. The New York Times described the piece as a “virtuosic vehicle for the New York Philharmonic’s principal oboist…ventured from primal split tones and ritualistic gestures through a tender soliloquy to a frenetic, percussion-driven finale.”
The Times had previously praised Wang’s “clear, lucid and evocative music” in reviewing her 15-minute chamber opera From Another Sky, which won the American Composers Orchestra’s 2010 Underwood Commission and premiered at Carnegie Hall. Classicalsource.com described the multimedia piece as “far more fun than one is supposed to have at a concert of ‘serious’ music.”
From Another Sky represents a melding of East and West that characterizes much of Wang’s work. Born and raised in Shanghai she moved to the US when she was 20 to attend the Manhattan School of Music on scholarship. Studying composition, Wang was soon writing operas, song cycles, a piano trio, as well as orchestral music. Honors soon followed from ASCAP, the BMI Foundation, Opera America, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
A composer profile of Wang by the ACO may be found here, while an excerpt of her Oboe Concerto can be found below, starting at the 1:52 mark.
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