2017: Life is about Writing the Next Page, Anew.

The year of 2016 was a big one packing many kinds of activities. This was also the year that Yuan’s residence in the U.S. has accumulated into two digits. It feels great to move on and to start a new one — a creative state that a composer always has to be whenever a new work is finished. What’s the next? The vision cannot be completed unless one constantly searches for new ideas, connects new dots, triess new possibility, deepen cultural understanding, and diversifies styles and techniques in order to keep the dialogue with the arts, culture, and the society.

At the beginning of 2017, the first concert will be the west coast premiere of Yuan’s concerto for solo cello and two chamber ensembles Wandering Viewpoint / 漂點 (2015) with Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra in Los Angeles on January 13 and 15. This piece just begins to gain some recognitions, including the finalist of Martirano Award 2016.  For this premiere, a new cadenza is composed for the cellist Mike Kaufman!  In March, Yuan will be giving a talk A Case Study on Saxophonic Timbre in Luciano Berio’s Récit at the National Conference of Society Composers Inc. in late March at Western Michigan University. Also, a couple of commissions will meet their deadlines, such as the Suite for Harp Trio Raining Rainy Rain / 天黑又黑, a commission by Li-Ya Huang (黃立雅), a large ensemble work for Taiwan-Yale Chamber Music, and new chamber works for collaborators saxophonist Chun-Hao Ku and bassist Hsien-Chieh Tsai. One of the most anticipated events is the Hong Kong premiere of the orchestral work Intermezzo: Shang / 間奏曲:商 (2012) in November 2017. Other than two courses, Yuan will be producing two concerts for Reed College in the Spring: conducting piano concertos on April 18 and directing New Music Concert on May 2. In the meantime, PARMA Recordings will work with Yuan to launch a Kickstarter crowdfunding project for an album of Yuan’s music. This year is going to be very exciting.

This post also wants to bring gratitudes to many donors, friends, collaborators, advisors, and colleagues. Supports have made every creative work and the path to the academic career possible to continue. For more information, the most uptodate Yuan’ list of work and resume is available here, and the concert schedule is here.  Below is a summary of Yuan’s activities during the year of 2016.

Happy New Year!


Major Concerts

World premiere of Mist / , a mini melodrama based on three poems by Carl Sandburg, for mezzo soprano and pianist in Chicago Festival of New Music “Ear Taxi” curated by Augusta Read Thomas, programed by Access Contemporary Music on October 8th, 2016.  The work is dedicated to vocalist Julia Bentley.

Spell / (2009) for solo alto saxophone is selected to be featured in the advanced level of 2016 Asian Saxophone Congress in Taiwan.



Cross-disciplinary work for clarinetist Pei-Lun Tsai, Shadows of Phoenix / 孤鸞 (2016) from National Arts Foundation of Taiwan for the composition and the audio/video production.

An album of 10-year review of Yuan-Chen Li’s music, to be produced by PARMA Recording. Grant from National Arts Foundation of Taiwan. More crowdfunding event to work out in progress.


Award & Recognition

Yuan’s Wandering Viewpoint, a concerto for solo cello and two ensembles, is on the finalist of 2016 Martirano Award.

Recording Production

Iluwan / 咿嚕唵 (2016) for orchestra is entering the post-production for both score and recording. Co-commissioned by Taiwan Philharmonic Orchestra (aka. National Symphony Orchestra) and Council of Indigenous Peoples of Taiwan.



Reminiscence / 離歌 (aka. 憶故人) (2006) for double bass and piano, edited by bassist Hsien-Chieh Tsai 蔡歆潔, score published by Chorphilia Inc. Click link to the store.

Spell (aka. Ling) / 凌 (2009) for solo alto saxophone, recording released by Feeling Good Music Co.  Click link to the store.



Iluwan 咿嚕唵 for symphony. Co commissioned by Taiwan Philharmonic Orchestra (aka. National Symphony Orchestra) and Council of Indigenous Peoples of Taiwan.

Shadows of Lonely Phoenix 舞影孤鸞, for solo clarinetist who accompanies with his or her own dance,  commissioned by clarinetist Pei-Lun Tsai, funded by National Culture and Arts Foundation of Taiwan.

Mist / , a mini melodrama based on three poems by Carl Sandburg, for mezzo soprano and piano, dedicated to Julia Bentley.  Commissioned by Chicago Festival of New Music Ear Taxi.


Teaching and Advising

Starting teaching job at Reed College, Portland, OR, as the Visiting Professor of Music. Courses taught: Advanced Harmony, Analysis and Form, and Composition.


Curatorial Event

11/19, Music, Dance, and the Construction of the Habitus, by Lawrence Zbikowski. Reed College, Portland, OR.



10/31, “A Halloween Costumed Concert” with Reed Orchestra. Reed College, Portland, OR.

12/1, “Prototype – Interpretation, Revision, and Rehearsal Strategies,” a workshop concert with Reed Orchestra. Reed College, Portland, OR.


Editorial Service
(music score and transcription)

Cliff Colnot’s arrangement First Smile, for wind quintet.

Cliff Colnot’s arrangement of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, for 12 players, commissioned by International Contemporary Ensemble. Review by Cleveland.Com.

Genevieve E. Dempsey’s field recording for her paper “There in the Sky is Santa Maria: Sounding Gender in Afro-Brazilian Sacred Rituals,” 2016.


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