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Dr. Chia-Yu Hsu

Chi-Yu Hsu
  • Associate Professor of Music-Composition
  • Music and Theatre Arts

Born in Banciao, Taiwan, Dr. Hsu is an active composer of contemporary concert music. Dr. Hsu has been interested in deriving inspirations from different materials, such as poems, myths, and images. Particularly, however, it is the combination of Chinese elements and western techniques that is a hallmark of her music. Dr. Hsu's music has been recognized with awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Zodiac trio, Kaleidoscopes and Elevate ensembles, the Copland House, IAWM, Suzanne and Lee Ettelson Composer’s Awards, KH Tan Competition, Lynn University, music+culture (2009 International Competition), the Sorel Organization (2nd International Medallion Choral Composition Competition and recording grant), the International Harp Society (7th USA International Harp Composition Competition), ASCAP (Morton Gould Young Composer Awards), the Maxfield Parrish Composition Contest, and the Renée B. Fisher Foundation, among others. Her orchestral works have been performed by the London Sinfonietta, the Detroit, the San Francisco, the Spokane, the Toledo Symphony Orchestras, the Nashville Symphony, the American Composers Orchestra, and the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra. Chamber works have appeared on programs of the Aspen Music Festival Contemporary Ensemble, the Boston New Music Initiative, Kaleidoscope, Ciompi Quartet, Left Coast Ensemble, Eighth Blackbird, and Prism Quartet.

Dr. Hsu received her Bachelor of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music, Master's degree and Artist Diploma from Yale University and Ph.D. at Duke University. She has also studied at the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Chamber Music Conference and Composers' Forum of the East, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, the Aspen Music Festival, Fontainebleau Schools, and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. Her teachers have included Jennifer Higdon, David Loeb, Roberto Sierra, Ezra Laderman, Martin Bresnick, Christopher Rouse, Michael Daugherty, Donald Crockett, Joseph Schwantner, Jonathan Berger, Marco Stroppa, Anthony Kelley, Scott Lindroth, and Stephen Jaffe. She also attended residency at the Copland House, the Dora Maar House, the Camargo Foundation, Wildacres Retreat, and Yaddo.  Dr. Hsu frequently presents her music at various festivals and conferences, including the International and National conferences of the College Music Society, Women Composers Festival of Hartford, the IAWM 20th Anniversary Congress, the SCI National Conference, the FSU Festival of New Music, the Kingston Chamber Music Festival, the Composers Inc., the International Tuba and Euphonium Conference, the American Philosophical Society, Music by Women Festival, the WMTA conference, and the International Double Reed Society Conference, among others.

Dr. Hsu's research deals primarily with Asian composers, focusing especially on the concept of cultural fusion. She examines different compositional styles that synthesize Chinese and Western elements to create a new musical aesthetic.  Recently, she has expanded her research to explore music from other cultures and applied the findings to her own compositions and developed her musical language. Her research resulted in several compositions with fusion and presentations of these works. In her teaching, Dr. Hsu constantly shares her research with her students and incorporates a diversity of music in course contents. As the conductor/music director of the UWEC contemporary ensemble, she often incorporates music written by female composers and composers of color as she programs concerts. 

Teaching Interests
  • MUSI 150 Beginning Composition
  • MUSI 325 Orchestration
  • MUSI 309 Electronic Music
  • MUSI 260/460 Contemporary Ensemble
  • MUSI 170/370 Applied Composition
  • MUSI 246 Written Theory III
  • MUSI 248 Written Theory IV
  • B.A., The Curtis Institute of Music
  • M.A., Yale School of Music
  • A.D., Yale School of Music
  • Ph.D., Duke University