Xi Wang, "Winter Blossom"
Duration: 18 minutes
Chinese-born composer Xi Wang has been considered one of the most talented and active composers of her generation. Her original concert music has been performed worldwide by notable orchestras and ensembles such as the Minnesota Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, American Composers Orchestra, Shanghai Philharmonic, Spokane Symphony, Voices of Change, Soli Chamber Ensemble, and the Tippet String Quartet.
Xi Wang has been the recipient of the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Endowment for the Arts award, Meet the Composer, New Music USA, American Music Center, MacDowell Colony residency, as well as seven prizes from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).
Xi Wang received her B.M. from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, M.M. from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and D.M.A. from Cornell University. Currently, she is an Associate Professor at the Meadow School of Arts of Southern Methodist University.
Winter Blossom was commissioned by Cynthia Johnston turner and the Hodgson Wind Ensemble at the University of Georgia. About the piece, the composer writes:
"Steven Stucky’s sudden death was a shock to the music world. Both he and conductor/teacher Cynthia Johnston Turner were very dear professors and friends in my life while I was pursuing my D.M.A. at Cornell University. They not only taught me how to be a better musician, more importantly, they taught me how to be a better person. So when [I was] asked if I would write a wind ensemble piece in memory of Steven Stucky, I was honored and thrilled.
An outcry of enormous sorrow, the first movement is a profound lament. Two melodic motives are quoted from Stucky’s music–the opening melody from his “Symphony,” and the minor second descending mo- tive from his Elegy of August 4, 1964. The movement arrives at its climax with heavy and dark harmonies. The second movement juxtaposes mul- tiple musical ideas and contrasting characters vertically while each idea evolves and develops horizontally. This reflects the richness and depth of Stucky’s personality and spirit. The last movement, beginning with chimes, is an adagio that unfolds pa- tiently. The turbulent and anguished motives from the second movement eventually evolve to tranquility and the serene.
Stucky died on February 14, 2016 – a cold winter’s day in Ithaca, NY, but also a day of “warmth” and love – Valentine’s Day. His spirit, through his incredible music, shall radiate with his students and audiences ever after. May Steven Stucky forever rest in peace and love."