66. Justine F. Chen 陳潔思, Violin and Composer/2014/10

Justine F. Chen 陳潔思, Violin and Composer


Native New Yorker composer/violinist Justine F. Chen has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards and commissions, including prizes from BMI and ASCAP. She has been commissioned and performed by New York City Opera, New York City Ballet, The Juilliard School, New York Festival of Song, New Juilliard Ensemble, Washington Ballet, Brooklyn Philharmonic, FLUX Quartet, Elements Quartet, Concertante, Long Leaf Opera, American Lyric Theater, Chants Libres (Montreal), and Tapestry New Opera (Toronto).

She studied violin and composition at the pre-college division of The Juilliard School, and trained at the School of American Ballet. As a dancer, she performed in various productions with New York City Ballet at the New York State Theater. Among her principal composition teachers are Robert Beaser, David Diamond, and Andrew Thomas.

Because of her unique inter-disciplinary background, Ms. Chen has a keen interest in artistic collaborations. To this end, she has written incidental music for numerous theatrical productions starting in high school, including Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and Shakespeare’s Macbeth. In 2002, The Playwright’s Theater in New Jersey produced James Glossman’s award-winning adaptation of Jim Lehrer’s novel, The Special Prisoner, with Justine’s incidental music that juxtaposed soundscapes of the modern world with the musical traditions of Noh theater. Critics wrote “…A distinct asset is the atmospheric original score, performed by composer Justine Chen, who uses … traditional kabuki sound effects.” (Variety.com), “Justine F. Chen’s musical motifs and sound effects add the necessary tension and her presence on the stage provides a visual third dimension that suits the stark atmosphere.” (Independent Press,). In 2001, she collaborated with digital artist Ye Won Cho on a short animation Trilemma, which was selected for and screened at such prestigious festivals as the Hiroshima Animation Festival, the New York Expo, the Student Academy Awards, Anima Mundi in South America, and broadcast on PBS in “Reel New York” June 2002.

Her collaboration with choreographer Katarzyna Skarpetowska (David Parsons Dance Company, Lar Lubovitch) Perpetual Flux, premiered at Alice Tully Hall in 1998, was subsequently programmed on Juilliard’s Summer Dance Tour. Other collaborations include Of Roots and Stones, a dance piece with lyun Harrison (Alvin Ailey), performed in the Juilliard Spring Dance Concert, by the Juilliard Dance Ensemble and Orchestra at the Juilliard Theater in 2000. On this piece, the New York Times wrote, “Justine Fang Chen… blended popular dance rhythms into the kind of propulsive, emotionally resonant score that choreographers tend to dream of.” In 2004, she collaborated with choreographer Adam Hougland on a commission from the New York Choreographic Institute, in conjunction with New York City Ballet and The Juilliard School.

As an accomplished violinist, she has performed worldwide and specializes in the performance and interpretation of contemporary music. She recently performed at the Darmstadt Ferienkurse, and also with ICE as one of the 6 violin soloists at the US premiere of James Dillon’s much – anticipated Nine Rivers. As a scholar, she has lectured on electronic music, and Mario Davidovsky and his Synchronisms series. Since 1 999, she has been actively studying the intricacies of interactive computer music program MAX/MSP. Her studies, guided by Mari Kimura, cutting-edge violinist and MAX/MSP programmer, has resulted in the creation of several interactive pieces, including a computer-enhanced chamber opera for The Juilliard School. This chamber opera, The Maiden Tower, was also presented as a part of New York City Opera’s VOX: Showcasing American Composers in May 2006. Scenes from The Maiden Tower were presented by Montreal’s premiere contemporary opera company, Chants Libres, in December 2008.

As composer-in-residence for Long Leaf Opera 2007-2008, she was commissioned to write a youth opera. On her opera, an adaptation of Macbeth, the Classical Voice of North Carolina wrote, a promise of outstanding hope for the musical and theatrical future of America and the world. Three, Two, One – Bang!, a short teen-lingo opera by Justine Chen, was performed by teenagers from all around the Triangle …for a show that was both charming and provocative… The very talented Chen. was commissioned by LLO to compose a half-hour opera in a format accessible to teens both as performers and as audience… Chen’s approach to teen opera is both practical and entrancing.”

May 2008, scenes from her second opera, Jeanne, based on the life of Joan of Arc, were performed by New York City Opera in their VOX 2008 Showcase, and was described by the New York Times as “lyrical, atmospheric… striking… Throughout, Ms. Chen balances despair and humor.”

Notable recent projects include a song cycle Philomel for soprano Jennifer Zetlan’s Marilyn Horne Foundation recital; songs commissioned for Elizabeth Futral by New York City Opera, performances of Philomel by Lucy Shelton and Beta Collide, and miniatures for the Machine Project at the Hammer Museum’s Little William Theater at UCLA. In spring 2011, cellist Laura Usiskin premiered alaripu, a cello solo work inspired by Chen’s studies of Bharatanatyam (classical South- Indian Temple Dance) at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. Taiwan’s prestigious SpringAutumnMusic Festival bestowed the honor of its first commission to Ms. Chen for a piece for guzheng and string quartet, which was premiered at the Hong Gah Museum in Taipei, Taiwan. Later that same spring, her chamber opera based on the life of Charles Darwin was premiered by American Lyric Theater at Symphony Space.

Ms. Chen served as composer-in-residence for Underworld Productions Opera in 201 1 -2012, and has been Resident Artist at American Lyric Theater since 2012, where she is collaborating with librettist David Simpatico on a full-length opera based on the life of computer scientist Alan Turing. When workshopped in June 201 3, Opera Pulse noted “Chen has a real knack for encapsulating space through sound…” The entire version of The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing will be workshopped at Merkin Concert Hall in March 201 5.

In 2005, she completed her doctoral studies in composition at The Juilliard School, where she also earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in violin and composition.

台裔美籍小提琴和作曲家陳潔思出生及成長於紐約市布魯克林區,八歲進入茱莉亞音樂學院預科, 完成小提琴與作曲雙主修預科,學士與碩士畢業時,均榮獲校長獎,並取得該院作曲博士學位。小提琴方面曾任茱莉亞音樂學院樂團首席,演出於林肯中心艾佛利費 雪廳。並曾擔任獨奏者,與俄國波修瓦劇院交響樂團〈Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra〉合作演出,巴爾托克第二號小提琴協奏曲等,其獨奏會與室內樂演出遍及美洲、亞洲、歐洲等地。並於美國芭蕾舞學校〈School of American Ballet〉習舞十年。

作曲方面,曾經贏獲許多項作曲獎包括柯布蘭兒童作曲獎、茱麗亞學院、BMI、 ASCAP與青年作曲獎。其接受委託創作作曲單位包括:紐約市歌劇院〈New York City Opera〉、紐約市芭蕾舞團〈New York City Ballet〉、茱莉亞學院〈The Juilliard〉、紐約歌唱節慶〈New York Festival of Song〉。紐約時報對其創作舞蹈曲讚稱“為編舞家所夢想的音樂”。師事小提琴家與MAX/MSP 演奏家Mari Kimura,因此創作及演出電腦互動音樂,包括為茱莉亞音樂學院創作含有電腦的歌劇“少女塔〈The Maiden Tower)”,該劇由紐約市歌劇院VOX〈美國歌劇作曲家特展)2006年演出,亦被加拿大Chants Libres 2008年演出。其第二部劇“聖女貞德〈Jeanne〉"也由紐約市歌劇院VOX 2008年演出,紐約時報讚為“抒情詩調的、有美感的、驚人的、具絕望與幽默的對稱與平衡…”。

曾任北卡州長葉歌劇院〈Long Leaf Opera〉駐院作曲家,為其以莎士比亞名劇“馬克白"故事所創青少年歌劇“3,2,1,鳴槍!〈Three, Two, One, Bang!〉”首演於2008年六月,北卡州Classical Voice of north Carolina譽稱“迷人的、煽動的、務實與狂喜地!”。2009美國名花腔女高音Elizabeth Futral,首演陳氏“古埃及豔后〈Cleopatra〉"歌曲於歌倫比亞大學。陳氏的聯篇歌曲“夜鶯〈Philomel〉”,2009 年 由Marilyn Horne Foundation委託創作;Jennifer Zetlan首演,紐約時報電台(WQXR) 廣播其現場錄音;“夜鶯”並於 2010年由著名現代音樂歌唱家Lucy Shelton與Beta Collide樂團演出。 2010年其電聲磁帶作品於奧利岡州巴哈節慶(Bach Oregon Festival),和 加州洛杉磯哈默爾博物館〈Hammer Museum in Los Angeles〉演出。

2010-11 參與美國抒情劇院 (American Lyric Theater) 駐院作曲家, 創作多首詠嘆曲, 包括:”裕仁天皇投降演說之前刻” 等。 2011年五月七日, 邱再興文教基金會之春秋樂集 (Spring Autumn Music)委託創作及發表其 “新箏 –為弦樂四重奏與古箏而作”,首演於台北鳳甲美術館 。 2012年4月20日皇后交響樂團 (Queens Symphony Orchestra) 假皇后區法拉盛市政廳( Flushing Town Hall) 演出其其作品“夜鶯 (Philomel)” 。

2012年11月29 日大提琴演奏博士Laura Usiskin 演出其大提琴獨奏曲 ”Alaripu”於耶魯大學音樂廳,該曲 2011年由Usiskin首演於蒙哥馬利美術館( Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts ) , 此曲為陳氏學習印度南方古典舞蹈與音樂感受之創作。 2014年三月二十八日紐約巴納德學院(Barnard College) 慶祝女性作曲家,推出音樂及講座會“繆斯的聲音”, 介紹陳氏及演出其作品“夜鶯 (Philomel)”。

2014 年 五月十七至 十九日 大地歌劇製作 (Underwolrd Productions Opera)假紐約市Symphony Space 紐約舞台首演其歌劇“ 未來夜鶯的語音 (Voice for a Future Nightingale) ”Broadway Review 評為 “陳氏的音樂和肯蓋斯(Ken Gass)的曲詞 簡潔完美地恰好” 。以及 Classicalite 讚稱 “作曲陳潔思和編劇肯·蓋斯給予無聲的受害者,驚艷的聲音”。

2013年 五月30日美國抒情劇院委託創作和演出其 歌劇“圖靈項目(The Turing Project)”敘述關於20世紀英國數學和邏輯大師、被稱為現代電腦科學之父的科學家艾倫.圖靈(Alan Turing)的傳奇故事, 作詞家為David Simpatico ;於此音樂會後. Opera Pulse 樂評讚以”陳氏真有訣竅,她可通過音樂 , 建全地簡化時間和距離…” 。 該歌劇“艾倫.圖靈的生和死 (The life and Death(s) of Alan Turing) ”的整個版本, 將在2015年三月假紐約墨爾金音樂廳(Merkin Concert Hall)演出 。


Justine at Metropolitan Museum, looking at the painting of Joan of Arc , that painting inspired her to composer her 2nd opera "Jeanne" (聖女貞德)
Justine at Metropolitan Museum, looking at the painting of Joan of Arc , that painting inspired her to composer her 2nd opera “Jeanne” (聖女貞德)