© Denis-Carl Robidoux
Born in 1983 in Malaysia, Zihua Tan has had his works performed in Asia, North America and Europe: in events such as the Fontainebleau Summer School Music Program (France, 2013), Accès Arkea (Canada, 2013), Composit Festival (Italy, 2012), Beijing International Composers’ Workshop (China, 2011), Kansas City Electronic Music and Arts Alliance’s Finale Concert (USA, 2011), and Kuala Lumpur Contemporary Music Festival (Malaysia 2009).The ensembles he has worked with since 2008 include, among others, Ensemble Mosaik, Studio musikFabrik (Southeast Asia), Ensemble L’Arsenale, Ensemble Arkea, and the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.
In December 2013, Tan was a featured composer at the Young Composers in Southeast Asia Festival, organized by the Goethe Institut. Recently named the composer in residence at McGill University, his work “In Moving Stillness” will be performed by the Contemporary Music Ensemble in February 2014. In the past, he has won prizes at Accès Arkea, HSBC Young Composers Competition and the Ton de Leeuw International Composition Competition.
Tan is one of the founding members of the Society of Malaysian Contemporary Composers. He is currently a doctoral student at McGill University, under the tutelage of John Rea. He has taken lessons with Philippe Leroux, Tristan Murail, Joshua Fineberg, Allain Gaussin, François Paris and James Mobberley. Prior to his studies in composition, Tan worked as an electrical engineer. He holds an engineering degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Tan often draws his inspiration from nature and the complexity of the human condition.
"Walking on the Mångata" for Flute, Clarinet (+ Bass Clarinet), Oboe, Percussion, Piano, Guzheng, Violin, Viola and Cello
© Zihua Tan
"In “Walking on the Mångata”, I will explore my own sense of belonging living in an increasingly flattened world. The inclusion of a Swedish word “Mångata”, means the glimmering reflection the moon creates on the sea. The English title as well as the use of a Chinese instrument alongside a Western ensemble may be, coincidently, indicative of the “flattened” phenomenon, even though they were merely born out of an artistic decision. Certain technical aspects of the composition will be molded according to the 24 solar terms."