THE SCOOP | The TSO Selects Alison Yun-Fei Jiang As RBC Affiliate Composer

By Anya Wassenberg on June 27, 2022

Composer Alison Yun-Fei Jiang (Image courtesy of the artist)
Composer Alison Yun-Fei Jiang (Image courtesy of the artist)

Music Director Gustavo Gimeno and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra announced that Canadian composer Alison Yun-Fei Jiang would join the organization as the new RBC Affiliate Composer.

The TSO’s Affiliate Composer position offers an emerging composer a chance to create works for one of North America’s finest professional orchestras, as they gain insight into the organization and its workings.

“Alison’s music is full of originality and colour, and she has an important voice to share with our orchestra and audiences,” said Music Director Gustavo Gimeno in a media release. “We were impressed by Alison’s blending of cultures and genres into exciting melodies and textures, and look forward to the works that she will write in the seasons ahead.”

Pathos Trio perform the original composition Prayer Variations by Alison Yun-Fei Jiang (December 2021)

Alison Yun-Fei Jiang

According to her website, Alison Yun-Fei Jiang’s compositions draw on various influences, from film and pop music to East Asian aesthetics and Chinese opera.

  • Awarded degrees in music composition from the University of Chicago (Ph.D.), New York University (M.M.), and Manhattan School of Music (B.M.)
  • Previously the Carrefour Composer-in-Residence with Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra (2020-22);
  • She has worked with Esprit Orchestra, the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, JACK Quartet, the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, Imani Winds, and Molinari Quartet;
  • Her compositions have been performed in Canada and across the United States;
  • Her music has been featured on CBC Radio, in the Royal Conservatory of Music 21C Festival, as well as the University of Toronto New Music Festival;
  • She’s received awards and recognitions from the SOCAN Foundation, the Graham Sommer Competition for Young Composers, ASCAP, the American Prize, and International Alliance for Women in Music.

As the RBC Affiliate Composer, she will create two works for the TSO during a two-year term. The first of these will première on May 24, 25 & 27, 2023 with Jader Bignamini at the baton.

Alison will also work with young audiences as part of the TSO’s educational initiatives, and will help with the TSO’s NextGen Composer initiative, among other programs involving local and regional composers.

“I am looking forward to learning from and working with the TSO Music Director Gustavo Gimeno, Composer Advisor Gary Kulesha, and the artistic staff at the TSO,” says Alison Yun-Fei Jiang. “And I’m really excited to be joining and serving the TSO community with my music.”

Alison Yun-Fei Jiang takes over from Emilie LeBel, who held the position of RBC Affiliate Composer September 2018 to June 2022. LeBel is now working on a number of commissions, with an album of chamber music entitled Field Studies to be released this autumn.

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