The displacement of Chou Wen-chung from his native China in 1948 forced him into Western-European culture. Ultimately finding his vocation as a composer, he familiarized himself with classical and contemporary techniques but interpreted these through his traditionally oriented Chinese cultural perspective. The result has been the composition of a unique body of repertoire that synthesizes the most progressive Western compositional idioms with an astonishingly traditional heritage of Asian approaches, not only from music, but also from calligraphy, landscape painting, poetry, and more. Chou’s importance rests not only in his compositions, but also in his widespread influence through his extensive teaching career at Columbia University, where his many students included Bright Sheng, Zhou Long, Tan Dun, Chen Yi, Joan Tower, and many more. During his tenure at Columbia, he also founded the U.S.-China Arts Exchange, which continues to this day to be a vital stimulus for multicultural interaction. The volume will include an inventory of the Chou collection in the Paul Sacher Stiftung in Basel, Switzerland.

chapter 1|16 pages

Chou Wen-chung

Voice of authenticity in the age of change

chapter 2|69 pages

Chou Wen-chung

A biographical essay

chapter 3|36 pages

Musical brushstrokes

Calligraphy and texture in Chou Wen-chung’s music

chapter 4|2 pages


Chou Wen-chung and developments in contemporary music

chapter 6|6 pages


Chou Wen-chung’s responsibility to the world

chapter 8|4 pages


Chou as composer and collaborator

chapter 12|21 pages

Chou Wen-chung

Works list and annotated bibliography