“Original and poetic, full of emotion and pathos, not tied to the film but illustrating it. I felt envious that I would never write something like this, which I guess is the ultimate compliment. Congrats whoever you are, you got it right! “
– The three judges of The 2nd Annual CINE Film Scoring Competition for Emerging Composers:
Mychael Danna (Academy Awards winner, Life of Pi film composer), George S. Clinton (Chair of Berklee College of Music’s Film Scoring Department), Daniel Carlin (Chair of Film Scoring at USC’s Thornton School of Music)
Originally from Taoyuan, Taiwan, composer Chien-Yu Huang (1983 – )’s music has been performed by ensembles and soloists throughout Taiwan and the United States. Huang’s music combines many different elements into an invigorating language which blends both Eastern and Western influences. He has been involved in writing diverse music not only for concert, but also for film and theater, and has been honored by many awards from various compositional fields in the US and Taiwan.
In November 2016, Mr. Huang, as the composer for the 53rd Golden Horse Awards Ceremony’s Visual Art, produced music for the opening animation and 22 pieces of awards’ opening titles. Chien-Yu was ranked 2nd place (Audiovisual and Music Category—Innovative Team) in the 2014 Cultural Creative Value-Adding Expert Competition held by the Ministry of Culture of Taiwan in October 2014. He rearranged a work combining four classic opera arias for three solo instruments and orchestra that was performed and live broadcast during the ceremony of the 25th Golden Melody Awards for Traditional Arts and Music Competition in August 2014. His entry for the 2nd Annual CINE Film Scoring Competition for Emerging Composers achieved the Top 30 in early 2014. In 2011, his song Moon in Sun Moon Lake was selected by the Sun Moon Lake Songwriting Contest held by Nantou County Government, Taiwan. His two string orchestra works Matin and Poem x 3 respectively written for the junior and senior high school students won the composition competition held by National Taiwan Arts Education Center. The two compositions are used as teaching materials for the youth string orchestras at high schools in Taiwan since then. Mr. Huang’s score for the short animation The Lighthouse directed and animated by director Po Chou Chi won Best Original Score Award from The Los Angeles New Wave International Film Festival in 2011 and was nominated for Best Original Score by Maverick Movie Awards and Los Angeles Reel Film Festival in 2010. This film has exceeded 2.5 million views on YouTube since it was uploaded in March 2011.
As one of the 543 worldwide entries, he received the honorable mention from The Indie Gathering International Film Scoring Competition in June 2010. The winning score was publicly screened in The Indie Gathering International Film Festival in Cleveland, Ohio in August 2010. In the same year, he was honored as a recipient of the Study Abroad Scholarship run by Taiwan’s government. He wrote two marches The Craft Flying under Sunlight and Running on the Grassland for the 21st Summer Deaflympics Taipei in 2009. These pieces were recorded by Taipei Symphony Orchestra and played during the games. His orchestral composition Homeland won the composition competition held by Taipei Symphony Orchestra for the 40th anniversary celebration of the foundation of the orchestra. The work was performed and recorded by Taipei Symphony Orchestra under guest conductor Ming-Feng Hsin as a repertoire in the concert at the Zhongcheng Auditorium of Zhongshan Hall in June 2009.
His string quartet, Pure Sound Waves, completed in 2007, was the winner of the 1st region—out of the total seven regions spread out the US—in the 2008 SCI/ASCAP student composition competition. His work, Dreams, written for double-wind orchestra won the 2008 Masterworks of the New Era competition held by ERM Media. The piece was recorded by Kiev Philharmonic under conductor Robert Ian Winstin. His chamber work, King of Hell, written for a scene of the stage drama Water Ghost, City God was released on CD by Warner Music in 2006. In 2007, the album was a finalist in the “Best Classical Album” category of the 18th Golden Melody Awards. In 2005, chamber music Construct on Light and Shadow won an award of excellence in the Xu Chang-Hui Foundation of Culture and Education composition competition. His composition Three Taiwanese Customs won an outstanding award in the Literature and Art Awards competition held by Taiwan’s Ministry of Education in 2005, and was also a finalist in the 2004 Formosa Composition Competition—Chamber Music Category that was administered by Taiwan’s Council for Cultural Affairs.
Chien-Yu’s compositions have been heard in National Concert Hall (TWN), National Recital Hall (TWN), National Theater (TWN), Novel Hall for Performing Arts, Zhongcheng Auditorium of Zhongshan Hall, The Forum Auditorium, Taipei Eye Theater, The Mayor’s Residence Arts Salon (TWN), Kaohsiung Music Hall, Performance Hall of the Gangshan Cultural Center, Concert Hall of National Taiwan Normal University, The Performing Arts Center of Taipei National University of the Arts, Soochow University Performing Arts Center (TWN), Brown Hall of New England Conservatory of Music, Williams Hall of New England Conservatory of Music, Jan Popper Theater of UCLA, and Schoenberg Hall of UCLA. Huang was a graduate teaching assistant/associate at UCLA from 2011 to 2013, and concurrently, a contracted composer mainly writing promotional music for the smartphone manufacturer HTC. While pursuing his doctorate, he has composed music for many film productions that have been granted, nominated or invited to screen by more than 50 film awards and festivals. They are including Adobe Design Achievement Awards, 38th Student Academy Awards (Student Oscar), Official Best of Fest, Golden Harvest Awards for Outstanding Short Films (TWN), California Film Award, Los Angeles Movie Award, CINE Golden Eagle Competition, Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, ASIFA-Hollywood AEEF Student Animation Festival, USA Film Festival, Hollywood Film Festival, International Family Film Festival, California Independent Film Festival, Garden State Film Festival, Los Angeles Cinema Festival, The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, San Diego Asian Film Festival, Rhode Island International Film Festival, The Long Island International Film Expo Best Animation, Taipei Film Festival, and Anchorage International Film Festival, among many others.
Mr. Huang received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the National Taiwan Normal University in 2005, and obtained the Mu-Dou award for student excellence from the university in the following year. In 2008, he received his Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. He received his Ph.D. in composition from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2014. Huang’s composition teachers were Mao-Shuen Chen, Hope (W.P.) Lee, John Mallia, Paul Chihara, Ian Krouse, David Lefkowitz, and Mark Carlson. Additional studies were with Larry Sitsky, Jim Cotter, Richard Cornell, and Bright Sheng. In addition, he had private lessons of mixing and mastering with music editor/engineer Tim Starnes who has worked for many blockbuster films including The Lord of the Rings (2002, 2003), King Kong (2005), and Hugo (2011), and was given instruction in music production by Daniel Rojas who is a Hollywood composer from the Remote Control Productions run by Hans Zimmer.
Since September 2014, Mr. Huang has been an Adjunct Assistant Professor of the music department at the National Taiwan Normal University (Aug 2014 – ), the Fu Jen Catholic University (Sept 2014 – ), the Soochow University (Sept 2014 – ), the National Sun Yat-sen University (Feb 2015 – Jul 2015), the University of Taipei (Aug 2015 – ), and the National Tsing Hua University (Aug 2017 – ). The courses he has taught encompass Music Composition, Applied Music Composition, Musical Analysis (Music Analysis), Introduction to Musical Instruments, Orchestration, 20th Century Music, Music Since 1945, Digital Music and Applied Pop Music (Pro Tools), Computer Music (Logic Pro), The Study of Integrating Technology into the Music Instruction, Application of Digital Music in Industry, Film Scoring, Special Topics on Music Composition (Film Scoring), Computer Application and Basic Music Notation Software, The Fundamentals & Extensive Usages of Finale Computer Notation, Arrangement and Advanced Music Notation Software (Cubase), Introduction to Music Technology, Computer Music and Application.
Chien-Yu Huang has been appointed the composer of the MangoWork Studio and has been regularly commissioned to write music for concerts, arranged works, commercials, films, and other visual media since 2015.