Into the Vast World: A night with Huang Ruo  

Huang Ruo:

Composer & Conductor


Composer Huang Ruo has been lauded by The New York Times for having “a distinctive style.” His vibrant and inventive musical voice draws equal inspiration from Chinese ancient and folk music, Western avant-garde, experimental, noise, natural and processed sound, rock, and jazz to create a seamless, organic integration using a compositional technique he calls “Dimensionalism.” Huang Ruo’s diverse compositional works span from orchestra, chamber music, opera, theater, and dance, to cross-genre, sound installation, architectural installation, multi-media, experimental improvisation, folk rock, and film. 

His music has been premiered and performed by the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, etc., and conductors such as Wolfgang Sawallisch, Marin Alsop, Michael Tilson Thomas, and James Conlon. 

His new opera An American Soldier (with libretto by David Henry Hwang) has recently received its world premiere at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis in June 2018, and was named one of the best 10 classical music events in 2018 by The New York Times.  His installation opera Paradise Interrupted was premiered at the Spoleto Festival USA in 2015 and was performed at the Lincoln Center Festival in 2016, with future touring planning for Europe and Asia.  Another opera, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, was premiered at the Santa Fe Opera in 2014. He served as the first composer-in-residence for Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam, and will be the visiting composer for the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra in Brazil.

Huang Ruo was born in Hainan Island, China in 1976. His father, who is also a composer, began teaching him composition and piano when he was six years old. He received both traditional and Western education at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. His education expanded from Bach, Mozart, Stravinsky, and Lutoslawski, to include the Beatles, rock and roll, heavy metal, and jazz. Huang Ruo was able to absorb all of these newly allowed Western influences equally. 

After winning the Henry Mancini Award at the 1995 International Film and Music Festival in Switzerland, he moved to the United States to further his education. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in composition from the Juilliard School. Huang Ruo is a composition faculty at the Mannes School of Music in NY, and is the artistic director and conductor of Ensemble FIRE. 

He was selected as a Young Leader Fellow by the National Committee on United States–China Relations in 2006. 

Huang Ruo’s music is published by Ricordi. For more information about the composer and his music, please visit: (


Conductor:Zhang Liang

Soprano:Huang Ying

Mezzo-Soprano:Yang Guang

Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra


Programme (subject to change):

1. Two Pieces for Orchestra 

2. Becoming Another

3. An American Soldier、Bound

4. Shattered steps 


1. Still / Motion

2.  An American Soldier、Bound

3. Folk songs for orchestra 

I:Flower Drum Song from Feng Yang

II:Love Song from Kang Ding

III:Little Blue Flower

IV:The Girl from the Da Ban City