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The Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation Composer-in-Residence


Du Wei


Du Wei

Poetry and literature together serve as the main inspiration for Du Wei's creative output as a composer. She has always been fascinated with imagery, hue and rhythm presented in poetry. She has the ability to transform these elements into her musical language, no matter whether speaking in drama, visuals, songful melodies, or sophisticated textures. She is known for characterising female identities through music, such as Miss Duli in her orchestral work Niao Qing Si-The Interrupted Dream, and Charles Baudelaire’s women whose eyes “a candour that amazes” in her chamber work Exotic Perfume. Within her music, these female characters often struggle, wander, weep, smile, and reach the other shore of love. After her 2013 orchestral work The Last Gold of Expired Star, her music style started to move towards the exploration of the mysterious and the vast realm of philosophy.

Her main works include an opera Nora, orchestral works Niao Qing Si-The Interrupted Dream and The Last Gold of Expired Star, chamber music Nightmare in the Red ChamberExotic Perfume for voice and string orchestra, Tinge for Chinese traditional ensemble, And I am dumb to tell for quintet, and music for contemporary ballet The Color of Love and The Golden Lotus. 

In 2011 her work Niao Qing Si-The Interrupted Dream (for two Chinese instruments and the orchestra) received the top honour at the Young Composer Programme organised by National Centre of Performing Arts in Beijing. Her piece Tinge was also awarded in the TMSK Chinese Chamber Music Composition Competition in 2003. Requiem for Chinese orchestra received the silver award in the competition of Young Composer of Chinese Orchestra presented by China National Orchestra Society in 2014.

Her works have been performed all over the world. These achievements include the Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of maestro Charles Dutoit, MDR Leipzig Radio Orchestra under the baton of maestro Kristjan Jarvi, L'Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestra of Royal Danish Ballet, National Center for the Performing Arts Orchestra, the Nieuw Ensemble (The Netherlands), TIMF Ensemble (Korea) and Ensemble Dialog of Swiss.

In addition, she has also composed for screen and TV productions, such as The Warrior And The Wolf , a film directed by Tian Zhuangzhuang, A Dream in Red Mansions (2010), the TV drama series directed by Li Shaohong, and Heart Sutra (sung by Faye Wong), as well as the ending song of  the film After Shockdirected by Feng Xiaogang.

Du Wei was admitted to Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing to study composition in 1996, and she obtained her Master's Degree in Composition in 2005. Her principal teachers included renowned composers Guo Wenjing, Shi Wanchuan and Fan Nanxing.