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Ying-Chen Kao

February 22nd, 2021 | 1 min read

By admin

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 Her compositions have been featured at MUSIQA, TCC Taiwan Night Concert, Sylvia Adalman Chamber Series, Union Square Chamber Music Society, The Hedgelawn Classical Series, Mildred McDaniel Concert Series, Old Town Hall Performance Series, the 24th Anniversary Season of the Musical Arts International, Inc., and The Hermitage Museum & Gardens Instrumental Recital Series. Her composition, Falling Still, was commissioned and performed by cellist, Michael Kannen and pianist, Qing Jiang. The work was inspired by the essays of late Katherine Min. The composition was also performed in multiple venues by Duo Sorolla during their 2019-2020 season.

Her work, Frustration Factory for saxophone quartet, was recently published by Warwick Music. Notable commissions include the Peabody Children’s Chorus, REDSHIFT ensemble, Donald Sutherland, Gary Thomas, and Jenny Lin. Ancient Memory (available at Warwick Music) and Transmutation for solo trombone, were commissioned by the 2008 Summer Trombone Workshop in Taiwan, where they both were the obligatory repertoire for the competition. In the same year her solo guitar piece, Lilac . Star . Bird was released on guitarist 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.

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 the featured cover of the Carnegie Hall’s playbill in October 2008. She resides in Baltimore with her husband, composer/pianist David Witmer.

For more information on Ying-Chen Kao, please visit