June 27, 2022: The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) and Music Director Gustavo Gimeno proudly announce that Canadian composer Alison Yun-Fei Jiang has been selected as the TSO’s new RBC Affiliate Composer. Described as a composer who creates “musical narratives and experiences with a lyrical, dynamic, and storytelling nature”, Ms Jiang explores “the intersections of cultures and genres by drawing inspirations and influences from an array of sources such as East Asian aesthetics, Chinese opera, natural landscapes, Buddhism, art, film music, popular music, and literature.”
The TSO’s Affiliate Composer position is a significant and prestigious opportunity for an emerging composer in Canada as it provides a chance to compose works for one of the country's finest orchestras, and allows for valuable insights into the inner workings of a major symphony orchestra, with full integration into all areas of the organization.
“Alison’s music is full of originality and colour, and she has an important voice to share with our orchestra and audiences,” says Music Director Gustavo Gimeno. “We were impressed by Alison's blending of cultures and genres into exciting melodies and textures and look forward to the works that she will write in the seasons ahead.”
During her two-year term with the TSO, Ms Jiang will compose two works for the Orchestra. Her first work for the TSO will première on May 24, 25 & 27, 2023 under the baton of Jader Bignamini. She will also participate in educational work with young audiences as part of the TSO’s community-engagement programs, and will help facilitate the TSO’s NextGen Composer initiative and other programs involving local and regional composers, including the TSO’s acclaimed Explore the Score new music reading session.
“I am looking forward to learning from and working with the TSO Music Director Gustavo Gimeno, Composer Advisor Gary Kulesha, and the artistic staff at the TSO,” says Alison Yun-Fei Jiang. “And I'm really excited to be joining and serving the TSO community with my music.”
Earlier this year, the TSO had an open call for applications that was met with an overwhelming response. Ms Jiang was selected from a pool of highly talented Canadian composers working and studying across the country and internationally by a jury composed of TSO musicians, Music Director Gustavo Gimeno, staff, and prominent composers. A highly sought-after position, this two-year residency fosters the development of artists and represents an important investment in the Canadian arts community.
Alison Yun-Fei Jiang succeeds Emilie LeBel, who held the position of RBC Affiliate Composer with the TSO from September 2018 to June 2022. Ms. LeBel is now enjoying a thriving career with a number of commissions in progress and an album of chamber music entitled Field Studies being released this autumn.
About Alison Yun-Fei Jiang:
Canadian composer Alison Yun-Fei Jiang explores the intersections of cultures and genres by drawing inspirations and influences from an array of sources such as East Asian aesthetics, Chinese opera, natural landscapes, Buddhism, art, film music, popular music, and literature, creating musical narratives and experiences in a lyrical, dynamic, and storytelling nature.
Alison was a Carrefour Composer-in-Residence with Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra (2020-22). She has collaborated with ensembles such as Esprit Orchestra, the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, JACK Quartet, the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, Imani Winds, and Molinari Quartet. Her music has been performed in Canada and across the United States, featured on CBC Radio, the Royal Conservatory of Music 21C Festival, as well as the University of Toronto New Music Festival. Awards and recognitions come from the SOCAN Foundation, the Graham Sommer Competition for Young Composers, ASCAP, the American Prize, and International Alliance for Women in Music.
Alison holds degrees in music composition from the University of Chicago (Ph.D.), New York University (M.M.), and Manhattan School of Music (B.M.). Based in Toronto, Canada, her work has been generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, SOCAN Foundation, and the Michael and Sonja Koerner Charitable Foundation.
About the TSO:
One of Canada’s most respected arts organizations, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) is celebrating its centennial season in 2022/23, and has played a vital role in the city’s dynamic cultural life for 100 years. Music Director Gustavo Gimeno brings an expansive artistic vision, intellectual curiosity, and sense of adventure to programming the 93-musician Orchestra. The TSO is committed to serving local and national communities through vibrant performances, extensive educational activities, and impactful community relationships. It has a notable recording and broadcast history and has been celebrated internationally during its many tours. The TSO remains synonymous with musical versatility and growth, and artistic distinction.
The TSO acknowledges Mary Beck as the Musicians’ Patron in perpetuity for her generous and longstanding support.
The TSO Season Presenting Sponsor is BMO Financial Group.
The appearances of Gustavo Gimeno this season are generously supported by Susan Brenninkmeyer in memory of Hans Brenninkmeyer.
The TSO gratefully acknowledges the RBC Foundation for its generous support of emerging artists through the RBC Resident Conductor and RBC Affiliate Composer positions.
The TSO is grateful for the support of the Toronto Symphony Foundation and all levels of government, including the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, the Government of Canada, and the Government of Ontario.