A presidential citation has been awarded to the late Taiwanese composer Tyzen Hsiao (蕭泰然), widely known as Taiwan's Rachmaninoff,” who passed away in California last month after battling lung cancer for two years.
The awards ceremony held in Los Angeles on March 15 was presided by Steve Hsia (夏季昌), director-general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles. Hsiao's widow, Hsiao-Kao Jen-tzu (蕭高仁慈), accepted the award on her late husband's behalf.
Hsiao was a composer, pianist, and conductor who composed close to 100 pieces, including symphonies and ensemble pieces, throughout his life. He is known for his fusion of Taiwanese and international music traditions, with many of his vocal works set to poems written in Taiwanese.
Born on Jan. 1, 1938 in the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung, he studied music at the National Taiwan Normal University and the Musashino Music University in Japan before relocating to the United States in 1977.
He is best known for his epic "1947 Overture,” which was composed in 1993. His other memorable pieces include a number of works for solo instruments, chamber ensembles, and choirs.
For his lifelong dedication to Taiwan's music, he received the National Award for Arts and the National Cultural Award. He passed away in Los Angeles at the age of 77 on Feb. 24.
The Ministry of Culture has also organized a memorial concert dedicated to the late master. Slated for April 5 at the National Concert Hall in Taipei, the concert will feature the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra (國立臺灣交響樂團) performing several of Hsiao's most renowned pieces.
Tyzen Hsiao's widow, Hsiao-Kao Jen-tzu (right), accepted the presidential citation from Steven Hsia (left), director-general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles on March 15, 2015.
Tyzen Hsiao (蕭泰然) | Jan. 1, 1938 - Feb. 24, 2015