Recentlyawarded First Prize by the prestigious Luxembourg International CompositionPrize, Huang Ruo has been cited by the New Yorker as “one of the most intriguing of the newcrop of Asian-American composers.” His vibrant and inventive musical voice drawsequal inspiration from Chinese folk, Western avant-garde, rock, and jazz tocreate a seamless, organic integration using a compositional technique he calls"dimensionalism." Huang Ruo’s writing spans from orchestra, chambermusic, opera, theater, and modern dance, to sound installation, multi-media,experimental improvisation, folk rock, and film.  Ensembles who have premiered and performed his music includethe New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic,Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Asko Ensemble, Nieuw Ensemble, QuatuorDiotima,and Dutch Vocal Laboratory,and under conductors such as Wolfgang Sawallisch, James Conlon, Dennis RussellDavies, Ed Spanjaard, Xian Zhang, and Ilan Volkov.  Huang Ruo has receivedawards and grants from the ASCAP Foundation, Presser Foundation, JeromeFoundation, Argosy Foundation, Greenwall Foundation, Meet The Composer, NYSCA,Chamber Music America, American Music Center, Aaron Copland Award, and Alice M.Ditson Award.

HuangRuo has collaborated with New York City Ballet's principal dancer DamianWoetzel and choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, in addition to kinetic painterNorman Perryman. In 2003, Miller Theatre featured Huang Ruo on its ComposerPortraits series, where his four chamber concertos were premiered as a cyclewith him conducting. New York Times critic Allan Kozinn listed this concert asthe second on the list of his “Top Ten Classical Moments of 2003.”  HuangRuo’s Chamber Concerto Cycle was released on Naxos in February 2007; LeavingSao , awork for orchestra and Chinese Folk Voice, was released on Albany Records withhis own singing in 2008; and Divergence came out on Koch International in2009.  Huang Ruo’s film credits include soundtracks for Jian-Fu Garden and Stand Up .  The latter wasrecently named the Official Selection for the Rhode Island International FilmFestival and the Atlanta International Film Festival. 

Hismusic has been played in Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall and Weill Recital Hall,Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Miller Theatre atColumbia University, Symphony Space (New York), the Academy of Music(Philadelphia), the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, the Chicago CulturalCenter, the Harris Concerto Hall (Aspen), the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ andParadiso (Amsterdam), the Shanghai Concert Hall, and the Hong Kong City Hallcultural complex. A frequent winner of the ASCAP Concert Music Award, Ruo’swork has been spotlighted on National Public Radio (NPR), Radio Finland, RadioSweden, Radio-Amsterdam, Radio-Canada and Radio-China.  Huang’s recent commissions include acello concerto, People Mountain People Sea , for Jian Wang, co-commissioned by theASCAP Foundation as part of Miller Theatre’s Pocket Concerto series; RealLoud , achamber work co-commissioned by the La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest and theSanta Fe Chamber Music Festival; and The Color Yellow, a concerto for sheng, written for WuWei and the Albany Symphony under David Alan Miller. Huang Ruo’s futureconcerts include with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra at Hong Kong’sCulture Center Concert Hall, Shanghai Symphony at the Shanghai Grand Theater,as well as the American Composers Orchestra with him singing his own LeavingSao at CarnegieHall’s Zankel Hall in 2009.


Hisfuture commissions and premieres include an orchestra work for the ShanghaiSpring International Music Festival with the Shanghai Symphony, the chamberconcerto MO forthe Luxembourg Sinfonietta (Luxembourg), an grand opera for the Opera HongKong, a chamber opera for the Dutch Vocal Laboratory (Netherlands), Stringquartet No.2 for the Carducci Quartet (Great Britain), and String Quartet No.3for the Chiara Quartet (USA), chamber works for UMS ´N JIP (Switzerland), the Continuum Ensemble,Camerata Pacifica, the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, the Macau InternationalMusic Festical.  Huang Ruo’s pastfilm credits include sound tracks to the films Jian-Fu Garden as well as Stand Up .  His works are published by the HuangRuo Publishing and Recording Company, which he founded in 2000. Also noted asan author, he published Selection of Classic Chinese Folk Songs (Zhong Shan UniversityPress). In 2006, the National Committee on United States–China Relationsselected him as a Young Leader Fellow.

Afrequent winner of the ASCAP Concert Music Award, Ruo’s work has beenspotlighted on National Public Radio (NPR), Radio Finland, Radio Sweden,Radio-Amsterdam, Radio-Canada and Radio-China.

Asidefrom being an avant-garde composer, he is also a conductor and Chinesefolk-rock singer, releasing commercial recordings on Naxos and Albany Records,and making debuts at Lincoln Center as well as Carnegie hall.  Also noted as an author, Huang Ruopublished Selection of Classic Chinese Folk Songs with the Zhong ShanUniversity Press. His music is published by the Huang Ruo Publishing andRecording Company, which he founded in 2000.  Huang Ruo has been an invited lecturer and forum presenterat New York University, Columbia University, Central Conservatory of Music inBeijing, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, and Guangzhou Conservatory of Music.He was also a visiting composer at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and theUniversity of Georgia.

Huang Ruo was born in Hainan Island, China,in 1976, the year the Chinese Cultural Revolution ended. His father, who is awell-known composer in China, began teaching him composition and piano when hewas six years old. Growing up in the 1980s and 1990s, when China was steadilyopening its gates to the Western world, he received both traditional andWestern education at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. He was admitted intoits composition program, studying with Deng Erbo at the age of twelve.  Asa result of the dramatic cultural and economic changes in China following theCultural Revolution, his education expanded from Bach, Mozart, Stravinsky, andLutoslawski to include the Beatles, rock and roll, heavy metal, and jazz. HuangRuo was able to absorb all of these newly allowed Western influences withoutinhibiting factors. As a member of the new generation of Chinese composers, heclearly knows that his goal and task is not just to mix both Western andEastern elements, but to go beyond that to create a seamless integration and aconvincing organic unity, drawing influences from various genres andcultures.  After winning the Henry Mancini Award at the 1995 InternationalFilm and Music Festival in Switzerland, he moved to the United States tofurther his education. Since then, he has earned a Bachelor of Music degreefrom the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Master of Music and Doctor ofMusical Arts degrees in composition from the Juilliard School. His compositionteachers have included Randolph Coleman and Samuel Adler. Huang Ruo iscurrently a member of the composition faculty at SUNY Purchase. He is theartistic director and conductor of Future In REverse (FIRE), and was selectedas a Young Leader Fellow by the National Committee on United States–ChinaRelations in 2006.  For more information about Huang Ruo and his music,please visit:
This biography was most recently edited by...
holdik12 - 1 Jul 2020
FIRE - 23 Aug 2009
huangruo - 23 Aug 2009
huangruo - 23 Aug 2009