Man-Ching Donald Yu

MAN-CHING DONALD YU

Composer-pianist-theorist

Biography

Man-Ching Donald Yu (b.1980) is a Hong Kong born prolific composer whose music has been actively performed both globally and locally. The style of his recent music is characterized by the blending of post-impressionistic gestures, micropolyphonic techniques, and oriental colors. His music has received various reviews internationally while being described as "forming an arresting and personal intermixing of tonal and atonal languages, with the musical colors and gestures of his native country infiltrating the mix..."(Fanfare Magazine), "tinged with an Oriental touch, while intermingles with impressionistic Western elements..." (Sunday Times, Malta), "the composer exhibits a radical way of sparse sound-disposition, through the expressive outburst to the final spiritualization of the musical material that fades away in a suspense manner" (Augsburger Allgemeine, Germany). "Symphony no. 2 reflects an amazing combination of diatonic and chromatic materials..." (Zaholokvok, Uzhgorhod).

His more than hundreds compositional oeuvre ranges from chamber, vocal, electroacoustic, and Chinese instrumental works to opera, concerti, choral works, and symphonies. His works have been selected for premiere at various international festivals and venues throughout the North and South America, Europe, and Asia such as the II International Festival "Master of Music" in Moscow, the International Festival of Modern Music "Kyiv Music Fest" at the Music Hall of the National Union of Composers in Kiev, the International Festival of Modern Art Two Days and Two Nights of New Music at the Odessa Philharmonic Theater, the Delhi International Arts Festival,  the International Spring Orchestra Festival at the Manoel Theatre in Malta, the St. George International Music Festival in Greece, the Mozarteum International Summer Academy, the New Horizons Music Festival, the Yogyarkarta Contemporary Music Festival, and many others; venues including the Rokokosaal der Regierung in Germany, Chernivtsi Philharmonic Hall, the Lugansk Philharmonic Hall, and the Uzhgorod Philharmonic Hall, and the Khmelnytsky Philharmonic Hall in Ukraine, etc. His music has received commissions and/or performances from the Uzhgorod Philharmonic Orchestra, the Khmelnytsky Philharmonic, the Chernivtsi Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, the Lugansk Philharmonic Orchestra, the Onondaga Civic Symphony Orchestra, the Opera Hong Kong Chorus, the Transcarpathian Honoured Academic Folk Choir, the Choral Fellows of the Harvard University Choir, Icarius Ensemble, the New Score Chamber Orchestra, Equinox Trio, Duo Pianistico di Firenze, MusicOrba, Duo 46, Gulfstream String Quartet, the Hong Kong Youth Choir, the Hong Kong Chamber Orchestra, the Macau Orchestra players, the Yao Yuen Chinese Orchestra, the Ithaca College Trombone Troupe, and many others. His music is published by Edizioni Sconfinarte (Italy), Helm & Baynov Verlag (Germany), Verlag vierdreiunddreissig (Germany), Scherzo Editions (Netherlands), International Journal of Contemporary Composition (Israel), and Zimbel Press, distributed by Subito Music Corporation (U.S.) and Wehr's Music House (U.S.), etc. His music is recorded on Zimbel Records, the 2006 first personal album "Illusion" and Albany Records, the 2012 second personal album "Surrealistic Soundscapes." 

Apart from mainly being a composer, he is also active as an academic, a performer as well as an educator. As a music theorist, his music theory papers have been presented at various international music theory conferences, including the forthcoming 2015 Keele Music Analysis Conference (U.K.), and selected for publication in various scholarly book and peer-reviewed academic music journals including New Sound International Journal of Music (Serbia). As a pianist, he performed a diverse repertoire; at the age of 16 he made his debut twice as a concert pianist with Pan Asia Symphony Orchestra and also earned a Licentiate Diploma in piano performance from the Royal Schools of Music. He has also collaborated with numerous vocalists and instrumentalists, premiering his own compositions as a pianist on stages locally and overseas, and his interpretation of own pieces is described as "prowess at keyboard."(Fanfare) Recently, he has engaged as a conductor in public; In 2012, he is the founder, music director, and conductor of Hong Kong Amadeus Chamber Orchestra, and since 2012 he is the music director and conductor of the HKIEd Orchestra while being the composer-in-residence starting from 2014 fall. He is also the composer-in-residence of the Yah Yuen Chinese Music Association and Tuen Mun Children's Choir, etc. As a lecturer, beginning from 2007 he taught music theory and analysis and composition at various tertiary institutions including the Hong Kong Baptist University and the Community College of the City University of Hong Kong, and in 2012, he is a full-time academic staff at the Cultural and Creative Arts Department at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. From 2015, he was served as an external examiner of the High Diploma and YJD programme of the LIPACE(OUHK).

Yu earned his B.Mus. degree in piano performance and composition from Baylor University (U.S.), studying piano performance with Krassimira Jordan (heritage of the Russian piano school and authority of Viennese Classic, in particular Mozart's music interpreter). Later he received a scholarship to further his composition study with Ichiro Nodaira at the International Summer Academy Mozarteum Salzburg in Austria. Subsequently, he was awarded his Ph.D. in composition and music theory under a full postgraduate research assistantship at Hong Kong Baptist University under the tutelage of Christopher Keyes. Since 2007 he has received various awards, funds, grants, and honor from different organizations locally and overseas including those from ASCAP, the Sir Edward Youde Memorial Council, the Macau Cultural Institute, and the National Flute Association Newly Published Music Competition (U.S.), etc.