Dr. Angel Lam is a music composer and writer who uses the beauty of soundscape, instrumentation and language to express refined emotions and her passion for life. Her compositions reflect not only her own life, but are also evidence of humanity where time and space interfere with each other in an uncertain, timeless manner. In her firework festivals in In Search of Seasons (for orchestra), or the mysteries of life and death in Empty Mountain, Spirit Rain (for shakuhachi, violin, cello, double bass and percussion), or the purity of a love affair in Love Memo, all these are real, and will exist and forever be alive.
Info: composer (at) angellam.com
, a featured interview with Best Buy, Inc.
Her compositions are praised as "an otherworldly, dreamily poetic short story...rich, singing tone and sense of drama...fanciful music" (New York Times), "an unusually affecting piece, filled with luxuriant chords, tender string songs and sensuous glissandos" (TwinCities Pioneer Press) and "mesmerized...", "a born storyteller" (Financial Times). Lam's compositions feature a blend of evocative expressiveness and East Asian sensitivity and femininity. She is passionate about Chinese aesthetics and literature, and often places her works in historical context. Her music ranges from the delicate depiction of a drop of water for an unconventional instrumentation--guitar, harp, vibraphone, crotales and double bass, to the telling of a forgotten hero for narrator and orchestra, or an age of darkness where Emperors committed acts of evil that to this day, haven't been confronted by any serious criticism. She writes short stories that form an inseparable component of her creative process.
In February 2012, as composer, librettist and artistic director, she premiered her first evening-length theater project, June Lovers, combining opera and musical theater to tell a moving story of marriage attitudes in metropolitan cities and explores the idea of love in the evolution of the human animal. It was commissioned and produced by the 2012 Hong Kong Arts Festival and sponsored by The HSBC Foundation. Her latest project is Ghost Wife, a theater piece in development on a lost diary from 1921. She currently performs the work at various cultural institutions in New York City with her music and documentary visual projections.
In 2010, she is interviewed and featured on Best Buy Inc.'s "Creative Minds", which filmed her In Search of Seasons performed by the Minnesota Orchestra. In 2009, she was voted "Artist of the Month" by Musical America and "Yalie of the Week" by Yale University Yale Alumni Magazine.
She has received three Carnegie Hall commissions, two as emerging composer and most recently a large concerto commission dedicated to solo cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Carnegie Hall's China Festival "Ancient Paths, Modern Voices: A Festival Celebrating Chinese Culture". Her recent collaborations include a commission from multiple Grammy-nominated Yale Cellos, directed by Aldo Parisot, and interviewed on Yale Cellos Featurette youtube video; Yale Norfolk Chamber Music Festival; Minnesota Orchestra Inside the Classics Series (2010) and Composers Institute (2009); Colorado Symphony Orchestra and Earshot; Hong Kong Arts Festival 2010...among others.
She first received a Carnegie Hall commission in 2005-06 working with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Project, then again in 2006-07, where she worked with Grammy Awards-winning composer Osvaldo Golijov and renowned soprano Dawn Upshaw. Her composition Empty Mountain, Spirit Rain is on the touring repertoire of Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble performing in Britain, Canada, China, Japan, Southeast Asia, Switzerland's Lucerne Festival and throughout the United States. This work was released by Sony/BMG on Silk Road Ensemble's CD "New Impossibilities"** in 2007, and recorded again in the new CD "Off the Map" in 2009. "Off the Map" was nominated for a 2011 GRAMMY for Best Classical Crossover Album.
Her other collaborations include performance by Greenwich Village Orchestra (New York), NYU Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Sinfonietta and Grainger Quartet (Australia), University of California Irvine Symphony Orchestra, Orange County Women's Chorus (Los Angeles), Loyola High Men's Chorus and Orchestra (Los Angeles), Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest (Chicago) and a theater composition created under the mentorship of renowned theater artist Martha Clarke and Peabody Dance director Carol Bartlett.
Miss Lam grew up in Hong Kong and the United States. She received her doctorate degree from the distinguished Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, and is also the recipient of a Henry and Lucy Moses full scholarship Artist Diploma from Yale University, and a bachelor's degree (honors) from The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. She is the recipient of the prestigious Hong Kong Jockey Club Music and Dance Fund Scholarship,
Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong Scholarship for
Overseas Studies, Aaron Copland House Award 2012, MacDowell Colony Margaret Lee Crofts Fellow Award 2011-2012, Pacific Music Festival Fellowship, Aspen Music Festival Fellowship and Scholarship Award, among others. Her mentors were Christopher Theofanidis, Aaron Jay Kernis, Martin Bresnick, Ezra Laderman, Robert Sirota, Law Wing Fai, Clarence Mak and Lo Hau Man.
**exclusively sold at Barnes and Nobles
Honors and Awards: (show)
- The Macdowell Colony Margaret Lee Crofts Fellow Award for 2011-2012
- Aaron Copland Award, August-September 2012 Residency
- Macdowell Colony Fellowship, Summer 2011 Residency
- Yaddo Fellowship, Fall-Winter 2010 Residency
- Commission from Carnegie Hall in a professional workshop with Osvaldo Golijov and Dawn Upshaw, culminating to a Carnegie Hall premiere in April 2007
- Commission from Carnegie Hall and Yo-Yo Ma Silk Road Project, culminating to a Carnegie Hall premiere at the "Tradition and Innovation: Silk Road Ensemble Young Artists Concerts" in September 2006
- First Prize Prix d' Ete, Peabody Conservatory of Music, March 2003
- First Prize Millennium Music Competition for Woodwind Quintet Composition, awarded by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council and Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong
--The winning work performed at the 29th Annual International Double Reed Society Conference (Buenos Aires, Argentina), August 2000
- Two ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award (2007 and 2008) and three consecutive year Morton Gould Young Composer Award Honorable Mention (2003, 2004 and 2005)
- Schumann Fellow, Aspen Music Festival Composition Masterclass studies with Christopher Rouse and Poul Ruders, 2003
- Scholarship Award, Aspen Music Festival Composition Individual studies with George Tsontakis, 2002
- Composition Fellow, Pacific Music Festival (Japan), private studies with Detlev Glanert, 2005
- Two time winner of NACUSA (National Association of Composers U.S.A.)Young Composer Competition Second Prize, 2004 and 2005
- Audience Prize for Best Composition, Seoul International Competition for Composers (Seoul, Korea) young composer category, March 2005
- Two time ASCAP/SCI Young Composer Commissioning Award regional winner and national finalist, 2004, 2005
- Southeastern Composer's League, Philip Slates Memorial Composition Contest Second Prize, March 2005
- Randolph S. Rothschild Composition Award at Peabody Conservatory, April 2003
Notable Performances: (show)
- Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble tours with Empty Mountain, Spirit Rain in their 2007 U.S. Spring tour,
Switzerland, China, Japan (2007-2008), North America, Europe (2009), East Asia (2010)
- Theater composition Midnight Run mentored by renowned theater artist Martha Clarke, choreographed by Peabody Dance director Carol Bartlett, premieres at Peabody Dance New Works Showcase, 2007
- Public Reading by Colorado Symphony Orchestra of In Search of Seasons, for orchestra with narration, conducted by Delta David Gier, July 15-16, 2009
- U. S. Premiere of Ambush from Ten Directions for orchestra with narration, Symphony
of Oak Park and River Forest, Chicago, conducted by Kim Diehnelt, May 21, 2006
- Premiere of Ambush from Ten Directions for orchestra with narration, Hong Kong
Sinfonietta, conducted by Yip Wing-Sie, March 18, 2005
Performance was broadcasted on major local television channel and on radio in Hong Kong (TVB Pearl and RTHK radio 4)
- Pacific Music Festival "Pacific Soundings Concert", premiere of Red Peony Sky in Mid June (complete version) at Kitara concert hall, Sapporo, Japan, July 2005
- Premiere of Therefore We do not Lose Heart for women's choir at the festival opening
concert of Songfest 2004, Pepperdine University, Malibu, USA, June 2004
- Ballet Premiere of Red Peony Sky in Mid-June, choreographed by
artistic director Carol A. Bartlett of Peabody Dance Preparatory School, at the Peabody Spring Dance Showcase 2004
- Aspen Music Festival, premiere of Red Peony Sky in Mid-June by Proteus Contemporary
Ensemble, June 2003
- Asian Music Festival, Tokyo, Japan. Japan premiere of chamber work Imagery of Water, September 2003
- Ballet premiere of Love Memo and Love in Cynical City for the multimedia dance production "Love in Cynical City". Program sponsored by HKLCD and CASH, November 1998
- Multimedia sound installation presentation at the Intermedia Festival of the Maryland Institute
College of Arts, May 2002
- My first orchestra composition, The Suite for Orchestra (1998), was selected and performed in the "Contemporary Music Workshop"
of the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, conducted by Tsung Yeh, August 2000
- My compositions were performed and broadcasted on the "Hong Kong New Generation Young Composer's Concert" in 1998 and 2000, a program sponsored by Radio Television Hong Kong
Attended Masterclasses and Lesson with:
George Crumb, Poul Ruders, Christopher Rouse, George Tsontakis, Detlev Glanert, Ingram Marshall, James Primosch, Joel Hoffman, John Harbison, Brian Ferneyhough, Marc-Dalbavie
Scholarships and Grants: (show)
Higher resolution headshots:
Photo 2 (right click to download)
- Yale University School of Music Henry and Lucy Moses Full Scholarship (2007-2009)
- Peabody Institute Composition Graduate Assistantship full tuition award (2004-2006)
- Hong Kong Jockey Club Music and Dance Fund Full scholarship, 2001-2003
- Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong Composition Scholarship for Overseas Studies, 2003-2004
- Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong Composition Scholarship Award, 2000
- Mu Phi Epsilon Foundation, recipient of three grant awards in 2005
- Merle Montgomery Doctoral Grant
- Ellen Jane Lorenz Porter Grant for Graduate Work in Composition
- Lillian Harlan Ramage Grant for Graduate Study in Composition
- Peabody Merit Scholarship, 2001-2004
- Senatorial Scholarship from the State of Maryland, 4 years, 2004-2008
- American Music Center Grants, 2005-present
Contact: composer (at) angellam.com