UC San Diego's Department of Music

April 30, 2009

  Composer Lei Liang has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2009. This year's winners were announced earlier today by Edward Hirsch, president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Awards go to leading artists, scientists and scholars in the United States and Canada. According to the foundation's website, "Guggenheim Fellows are appointed on the basis of stellar achievement and exceptional promise for continued accomplishment."

This description certainly fits UC San Diego's latest winner. Since joining the music faculty in the fall of 2007, Liang, 36, has been on a prodigious creative streak. This month alone, his Trio for cello, piano and percussion was performed by The Verge Ensemble at The Library of Congress, while The Formalist Quartet will play Liang's piece "Serashi Fragments" at venues including Disney Hall's REDCAT performance space in Los Angeles.

Liang's CD March Cathedral came out in 2007, and his recent composition "Gobi Gloria" is on Dim Sum, a CD released last year by the Ying Quartet. A new CD of Liang's music is due for release on Mode Records later this year.

"The award gives me the most precious gift: time to focus on composing," says Liang, who has not yet been notified as to the amount of the award. "There are a few pieces I am eager to concentrate on, including a new work commissioned by the New York Philharmonic."

Mr. Liang joins several prominent UCSD music faculty who have been honored over the years, including Pulitzer Prize-winner Roger Reynolds, Grawemeyer winner Chinary Ung, and MacArthur Fellow George Lewis (now teaching at Columbia University).


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