© Huihui Cheng
Born in 1985, Huihui Cheng (程慧惠) attended a high school for musically-gifted children and won her first prize for composition at the age of 17 with the piano suite The Game for Notes (Yanhuang Composition Competition, 2002). She started to study composition in her hometown Beijing and completed her Bachelor and Master degree at the Central Conservatory of Music. Several of her compositions were performed publicly and she won several prizes, including the competition Con Tempo – Young chamber Music China with the piano trio Ripples in 2007. Cheng deepened her interest in German music and culture in her doctoral thesis that dealt with composer Helmut Lachenmann.
After graduation in 2010, Cheng went to Germany to take soloist classes at the State University of Music and Performing Arts, Stuttgart. Besides composing, she was also involved in the echtzeitEnsemble, the university’s student orchestra for New Music. In some of her compositions, Cheng uses Chinese instruments such as the Pipa (lute) or the Qin (zither). She also likes to experiment with electronic sounds and different vocal registers. Her piece Shining for large orchestra received the Isang Yun International Composition Prize, 2011. In this work, she explores the endless possibilities of tone-relations through continuous pitch variations in the whole ensemble and on all levels, including microtonal shifts.
“Kinetic Distance” for flute, clarinet, piano, violin, cello and percussion
© Huihui Cheng
“In this piece I try to translate the visual effects of kinetic art into music. In this context, the “kinetic effect” relates to movements and illusions. I want to represent the continuous movement of similar rhythmic units through different instruments. Each part of the piece has a distinct character that goes hand in hand with the movement. At the same time, every now and then the material of previous parts can be heard as a background through the new layer. From a musical point of view, this effect is akin to an echo; from a visual perspective, it resembles a shadow. It is not necessary to actually perceive this idea – it only served as an inspiration that I drew from during the composition process.”