Ching-chu Hu’s music has been performed in the United States, England, Germany, Russia, Austria, China, Taiwan, and Australia, and reviews have described his music as “incredible” and “deeply moving.” Recent honors have included composer-in-residence at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, and guest composer at the American Music Week Festival in Sofia, Bulgaria. Hu has been a composition fellow at the Aspen and Bowdoin Music Festivals, Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Banff Centre for the Arts. He has received performances in various national and international festivals and concerts, including the Alternativa Festival (Center “DOM”) in Moscow.
Born in Iowa City, Iowa, Ching-chu Hu studied at Yale University, Freiburg Musikhochschule in Freiburg, Germany, The University of Iowa, and the University of Michigan, where he earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Composition. His composition teachers included William Bolcom, William Albright, Michael Daugherty, Leslie Bassett, Bright Sheng, Evan Chambers, and David Gompper. His conducting teachers included Alastair Neale, David Stern, and James Dixon. He also studied piano with Donald Currier, Stéphane Lemelin, and Logan Skelton and bass with Diana Gannett and Eldon Oberecht. He is active as a pianist and conductor, and wrote the scores for several short award-winning films. Recent commissions include works for the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival, the Granville (Ohio) Bicentennial Committee, the University of Iowa School of Music’s Centennial celebration, the Greater Columbus Community Orchestra, the Newark Granville Symphony Orchestra, the Columbus Children’s Choir and the Chamber Music Connection, string duo Low and Lower, Western Springs Suzuki Talent Education Program’s 30th Anniversary Concert in Chicago Symphony Center’s Orchestra Hall as well as Newark Granville Youth Symphony’s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts performance. Upcoming premieres include commissioned work by the University of Iowa Symphony Orchestra, West Texas A&M orchestra, marimbist Mayumi Hama and pianist Minju Choi.
Conductor Donald Portnoy and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra performed In Frozen Distance and violinist Wolfgang David premiered Passions at Wigmore Hall in London, England. Other notable performers include flutist Betty Bang Mather, bassists Robert Black and Anthony Stoops, violinists Scott Conklin and Gabe Bolkosky, Moscow Conservatory’s Studio New Music Ensemble, Brave New Works New Music Ensemble, Brooklyn Rider String Quartet, the National Dance and Opera Orchestra of China, and the Kiev Philharmonic. His music can be heard on the ERM Media’s “Masterworks of the New Era” CD series (vol. 4), Albany Records CD “Finnegan’s Wake” (Troy 680), “Star of the County Down” (Troy 937), “Spirals: American Music in Moscow” (Troy 1095), “Vive Concertante” (Troy 1110-11), “Violinguistics” (Troy 1138) “Insights: New Music for Double Bass” (Troy 1457) and Capstone Records’ “Journeys” (CPS-8809), with an upcoming CD release from Scott Conklin.
He was the first recipient of the Bayley-Bowen Fellowship, Denison University’s first endowed fellowship for a junior faculty member and it is a three-year fellowship for 2004-07. Ching-chu Hu is Associate Professor of Composition and Theory and is the Richard Luicer Distinguished Professor. More information can be found at: www.chingchuhu.com
Learning & Teaching
My goal as a composer is to create music that is lyrical and driven by narrative. My music tends to be tonal centric, yet filtered through a contemporary lens. I write both instrumental and vocal music in many different genres for solo, chamber, and large ensembles. Currently, most of my work tends to be commissioned for specific performers or ensembles. I write for young musicians and professional artists for a variety of occasions, including solo recitals, centennial/bicentennial celebrations, festivals, and international tours. Each composition clearly expresses my “voice,” reveals my “fingerprint.” Being raised in an artistic Chinese family in the middle of the United States has influenced my music, just as my formal training has refined my compositional skills.
- Insights (contrabass and piano) and Beyond (contrabass) on Albany Records Insights: New American Music for Double Bass, recorded by bassist Anthony Stoops (Albany Records Troy 1457)
- In Frozen Distance (orchestra) on Journeys, Capstone’s Society of Composers, Inc. CD Series, recorded by the National Chinese Dance and Opera Orchestra (Volume 23)
- The Swash of Water and Red (string) on Albany Records Spirals: American Music in Moscow, recorded by Moscow Conservatory Studio of New Music (Albany Records Troy 1095)
- Snow Ash (violin and piano) on Albany Records Violinguistics, recorded by Scott Conklin and Alan Huckleberry (Albany Records Troy 1138)
- A Tempered Wish (violin and chamber orchestra) on Albany Records Viva Concertante, recorded The University of Iowa Center for New Music (Troy 1110-11)
- Glaciers Red: Vistas Veiled (violin and piano) on Albany Records Star of the County Down, recorded by Wolfgang David and David Gompper (Albany Records Troy 937)
- In Frozen Distance (orchestra) on ERM Media’s Masterworks of the New Era CD Series, vol. 4, recorded by the Kiev Philharmonic
- Passions (violin and piano) on Albany Records Finnegan’s Wak,e recorded by Wolfgang David and David Gompper (Albany Records Troy 680)
- Performed on accompanying CD for Proof Through the Night: Music and the Great War, by Glenn Watkins (UC Berkeley Press). Ravel, "Frontispice" (Gompper, Lecuona, Hu)