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Performance of “or/and” - A Chamber Operatic Poem by Shih-hui Chen and Monique Truong

Jul 03, 2022 | 07:15 PM
Concert "or/and"

Concert "or/and"

Shih-Hui Chen

Shih-Hui Chen
Image Credit: David Long

Monique Truong

Monique Truong
Image Credit: Haruka Sakaguchi

As part of the Taiwan Lecture series, the CATS Worldmaking Project “Epochal Life Worlds: Man, Nature and Technology in Narratives of Crisis and Change" is delighted to present a performance of a 60-minute chamber operatic poem for soprano and chamber ensemble, by Shih-hui Chen, the current composer-in-residence at the CATS.

The concert will take place on the July 3, 2022, 20:00, at the Neue Aula der Universität. The composer and performing ensemble will also be giving a pre-concert talk from 19:15 – 19:45. All are welcome to attend.

or/and is a chamber operatic poem, following the journey of a composer who finds her voice only when she accepts the seeming contradictions of her immigrant identity. Choosing “and" over the divisive “or," this work taps into the inclusive power of AND to help mend our divided world.

About the Composer

Immigrating to the U.S. in her early twenties, Taiwanese-American composer Shih-Hui Chen is fascinated by the narratives at the intersection of identity, culture, and tradition. In her works, she seeks to cross boundaries between music and society, between the music of distinct cultures, and between music and other art forms. 

Shih-Hui Chen has worked with Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, Utah Symphony and National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra. Recognition of her work has come from institutions that include: American Academy in Rome, Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and American Academy of Arts and Letters. She is currently on faculty at the Shepherd School of Music, Rice University.

About the Librettist

Monique Truong is the Vietnamese American author of the award-winning novels The Book of Salt (2003), Bitter in the Mouth (2010), and The Sweetest Fruits (2019), with German translations published by C.H. Beck Verlag. Recipient of a John Dos Passos Prize, John Gardner Fiction Book Award, Guggenheim Fellowship, U.S.-Japan Creative Artists Fellowship, and NYPL Young Lions Fiction Prize, among others, Truong is a former refugee from S. Vietnam, essayist, intellectual property attorney, and librettist.