JUNO Award-winning composer Vivian Fung has a talent for combining idiosyncratic textures and styles into large-scale works, reflecting her multicultural background. Her work often assimilates disparate influences such as non-Western folk music, Brazilian rhythms, and visual inspirations.
Fung has enjoyed numerous high-profile projects in recent years as her music has continued to move in new directions. Her Violin Concerto No. 2 was commissioned and premiered in February 2015 by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra with Jonathan Crow, violin. Last year, her Biennale Snapshots opened the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s 2015-16 season alongside Beethoven’s Violin Concerto. The 25-minute work, commissioned by the Vancouver Biennale and inspired by five artworks from the Biennale exhibition, garnered much attention: “If [violinist] Miriam Fried was what everyone was talking about when they arrived at the concert … Vivian Fung was all they talked about when they left” (Georgia Straight, Sept. 28, 2015).
Among Fung’s premieres this season are Launch!, a new fanfare for the Toronto Symphony and Ontario Philharmonic; and Bounce, a new Horn Trio for Boston Symphony principal hornist James Sommerville, violinist Scott St. John, and pianist Peter Longworth. Her 2016–17 season highlights include performances of Dust Devils with Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the U.S. premiere of Biennale Snapshots with the La Jolla Symphony, and String Sinfonietta with Symphony Nova Scotia. Among her upcoming commissions are a new work for the Daedalus Quartet and clarinetist Romie de Guise-Langlois, co commissioned by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Chamber Music Northwest, and Philadelphia Chamber Music Society; a work for cello and electronics, for a consortium of cellists in Canada and the U.S.; a new work for the San José Chamber Orchestra; and a new orchestral work commissioned by the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa.
Many distinguished artists and ensembles around the world have embraced Fung’s music as part of the core repertoire. Conductors with whom she has collaborated include Justin Brown, Mei-Ann Chen, Andrew Cyr, Barbara Day Turner, Peter Oundjian, Edwin Outwater, Steven Schick, Gerard Schwarz, and Bramwell Tovey. Fung’s Glimpses for prepared piano has been championed by a diverse group of pianists, including Conor Hanick, Jenny Lin, Margaret Leng Tan, and Bryan Wagorn. Fung’s orchestral and chamber works have also been performed by the Alabama Symphony, American Opera Projects, Chicago Sinfonietta, Milwaukee Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, San José Chamber Orchestra, Shanghai Quartet, Staatskapelle Karlsruhe, Suwon Chorale of South Korea, and Ying Quartet, to name a few.
In 2012, Naxos Canadian Classics released a recording of Fung’s Violin Concerto [No.1], Piano Concerto “Dreamscapes,” and Glimpses. The Violin Concerto earned Fung the 2013 JUNO Award for “Classical Composition of the Year.” Several other of Fung’s works have been released commercially on the Telarc, Çedille, Innova, and Signpost labels.