“I live and form my identity as a contemporary composer from China with a keen and critical eye on the entanglements of politics, culture, society and technology and their consequences. I am looking for a contrasting and multishaped combination of my three major tools: the traditional instruments of the European music and their extended techniques, the critical examination of my Chinese heritage and the current possibilities of electronics. In my music I transform the world of today, its crises and tragedies, as well as its beauty and diversity – there is both screaming criticism and delightful admiration for this world in my music.”
[ Ying WANG 王颖 ]
In her compositions, Ying Wang deals with topics such as environmental pollution, global social grievances, political persecution and our ambivalent relationship with technology. She established herself as a composer who critically reflects and re-thinks chamber and orchestral music. Her musical language is spontaneously giving room to a sensory and bodily experience of her world. It is filled with rhythmic drive, metallic colors and harsh melodic sensitivity. Her first homes in Shanghai and Beijing, as well as her new one in Berlin, form a contrast that is conceptually and musically embedded in her music. Crucial for her work is also cooperation – she is always looking for new links to other media and arts, such as dance, video, digital art, light, visual arts and performance.
She is currently working on her music theater “Lorry 39” for the Theater Freiburg and the SWR Experimentalstudio. The impetus for this work was the tragic death of 39 lives in a freight container – topics such as human smuggling, flight and migration, symptoms of inequality and globalization have been on her mind ever since. Also in the making are “Bin” for aluminum cello, video and electronics and the double concerto “Dark Mirror” for bass clarinet, electric guitar, orchestra, electronics, light and two video panels, 2024. Further larger ensemble pieces are in the planning.
Wang has worked with numerous orchestras in Europe and Asia, including the Deutsche Radio Philharmonic, SWR Symphonieorchester, Rundfunnk Sinfonia Orchester, the Gürzenich Orchester Cologne, the Brandenburg Symphony Orchestra, the Radiosymphonie Orchester Wien, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, the Avanti!-Orchestra Helsinki and with conductors Markus Stenz, Brad Lubman and Marcus Creed, as well as with the Ensembles Phoenix Basel, the International Ensemble Modern Academy Ensemble, Ensemble Alternance, Lucerne Festival Ensemble, Cassatt Quartet, Norrbotten Neo Ensemble, Ensemble Resonanz, Ensemble UnitedBerlin, the MAM.Manufaktur for contemporary music, the Klangforum Wien, Ensemble PHACE and Ensemble Kontrapunkte.
In 2013 she was awarded the the Giga-Hertz Prize and the composer prize of the 5th Brandenburg Biennale. In addition to the IEMA scholarship in 2009/10, she received other scholarships from the Experimental Studio of the SWR, the Federal Ministry of Vienna and at the suggestion of Peter Eötvös from the Herrenhaus Edenkoben. In 2014 she won the 35th Irino prize for chamber orchestra in Tokyo. In 2015, Deutschlandfunk invited her as “composer in residence” to the “Forum Neuer Musik” festival in Cologne. In 2017 she received the Heidelberg Artist Prize. In 2020 she received a scholarship from the German Academy in Rome.
Ying WANG completed her composition studies with York Höller, Rebecca Saunders and Johannes Schöllhorn and she studied electronic composition with Michael Beil. In 2010 she completed a master’s degree in contemporary music at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts as part of a scholarship from the International Ensemble Modern Academy (IEMA). In 2012 she took part in the Cursus de Composition et d’informatique musicale / Ircam Paris.