Shuya Xu


Xu Shuya, professor of composition, director of Academic Committee of Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Born in May 1961 in Changchun of Jilin Province, he entered the composition and conducting department of Shanghai Conservatory of Music in 1978 and studied with famous composers as Zhu Jian’er and Ding Shande. In 1983, he graduated and worked in the same department as a young faculty member. He won an art scholarship of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1988 and was sent by the Chinese Ministry of Culture to Paris to pursue his studies in form of Sino-French cultural exchange. In 1989, Xu was awarded Excellent Prize of senior composition class (master degree) of Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris. In the same year, Xu was admitted in the senior composition class of Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris (CNSMDP), his professors including Ivo Malec and Alain Bancquart of composition, Gérard Grisey of orchestration, Betsy Jolas of analysis and Laurent Cuniot of electronic music composition. He also studied in the composition master classes of Karlheinz Stockhausen, Franco Donatoni and Klaus Huber. Xu was awarded in 1992 the certificate of Premier Prix of senior composition class (master degree) with “unanimous approval”, and certificate of composition master class (doctoral degree) of CNSMDP in 1994. He was enrolled then in the same year in the doctoral class of Institut de recherché et de co-ordination acoustique-musique (IRCAM) of Centre Pompidou for one year, and settled in Paris.

In 1982, Xu’s maiden work Violin Concerto won the First Prize of the Alexander Tcherepnin Foundation in USA. In 1992, his symphonic work Cristal au Soleil couchant won the First Prize of the 5th Besançon International Competition of Symphonic Composition in France (the famous Italian composer Luciano Berio was chairman of the jury). It was designated to be a final round piece of the 43rd International Besançon Competition for Young Conductors in 1993, and was premiered by l’Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse. It is also selected in Beijing as “Chinese Music Classics of the 20th Century’s”. In 1993, his work Taiyi II for flute and electronic music won the 2nd Prize of the 21st Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Competition in France (first prize vacant), the 2nd Prize of the 15th “Luigi Russolo International Competition” in Italy, and the ACL Yoshiro Irino Memorial Prize in Tokyo.

In 2000, Xu worked with the famous French choreographer Jean Claude Gallotta to create the contemporary ballet “Les Larmes de Marco Polo”, which was successfully premiered in the International Art Festival Lyon France, also was performed in Festivals in Paris, Marseilles, Brussels and Rio de Janeiro, and toured in Bangkok, Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul and Tokyo and well acclaimed by the audiences. It also received very positive critics from New York Times, Le Monde and Le Figaro. In 2002, his commissioned 3-acts opera Snow in August had its world premiere in Taipei Theatre, and Mr. Gao Xingjian, Nobel Prize winner of Literature was the playwright and director. In 2004, his opera In Memory of Taiping Lake commissioned by NPS Radio of the Netherlands was successfully premiered in Amsterdam Concertgebouw. In 2005, his opera Snow in August was performed in Marseilles Opera House and was awarded “Best Annual Opera in 2005” by the Opéra International in France. In the same year, Xu’s musical West Street of Yangshuo commissioned by Bureau of Culture of Guangxi Province was performed by Guangxi Opera and Dance Drama Theater in Nanning. In 2007, the Shanghai Spring International Music Festival commissioned him to compose symphonic poem Yun for two sopranos and symphony orchestra which was world premiered at the opening ceremony of the Festival. In 2008, his large-scale magic show Monkey King commissioned by the Chinese Puppet Show Theatre has been staged more than two hundred times. In 2010, he was co-commissioned by Radio France and Shanghai Spring International Music Festival to compose the symphonic poem World Expo Imagination and was premiered at the opening ceremony. In 2011, the Taipei Palace Museum commissioned his opera Emperor Kangxi and the Sun King Louis XIV and had its world premiere in the Museum.

In 2010, Xu Shuya acted as Music Director of the Opening Ceremony of Shanghai World Exposition. From 2009 to 2014, he acted as President of Shanghai Conservatory of Music.

Xu Shuya is the Chairman of Shanghai Musicians Association, Director of Art Committee of Shanghai Spring International Music Festival (SSIMF). Moreover, he is Director of Academic Committee, professor of composition and electronic music composition of Shanghai Conservatory of Music.

His scores were published by Lemoine & Jobert Publishing House in France.