To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Tyzen Hsiao’s famous work Taiwan the Green and the composer’s 75th birthday, which falls on New Year’s Day, the Tyzen Hsiao Culture and Education Foundation will hold a birthday concert on Jan. 1. Unfortunately, Hsiao is rumored to have cancer, and Hsiao’s family confirmed this news last Monday, saying his condition is serious. He has been hospitalized and is currently receiving radiation therapy. Chen Hsiu-li, president of the Tyzen Hsiao Culture and Education Foundation, said the concert will hopefully help raise donations for Hsiao, who devoted the first half of his life to Taiwanese music, to cover his medical bills.
The lyrical poem Taiwan the Green, written by Pastor John Jyigiokk Tin, a professor in the Tainan Theological College and Seminary, is based on Taiwanese-independence thinking. Hsiao wrote a choral score in 1993, a year after the poem was written. In 1994, he incorporated the piece into his symphonic poem 1947 Overture, said the foundation.
The pinnacle of Hsiao’s career was during his life in the US. Among the works composed during that period, the three major concerti (Violin Concerto, Cello Concerto and Piano Concerto), the 1947 Overture and the Formosa Symphony are internationally known. Most importantly, it has been said that Hsiao’s music tells Taiwan’s history and the hardships of the Taiwanese people, and that it has instilled a courageous spirit in the Taiwanese. His compositions have given greater recognition and appreciation to Taiwanese folk songs on the international music scene, and overseas Taiwanese find solace and pride in his music.
The birthday concert will be held from 2pm to 4pm at Liberty Square Convention Center on Jan. 1. The address is 2F, 399 Ruiguang Rd, Neihu, Taipei. For more information, please see the foundation’s Web site at http://flyingv.cc/project/183 or call 02-25111069.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Lin Ya-ti)