Hsin-Lei Chen

About the Piece

Instrumentation: Chamber Orchestra + SATB Choir: 1011-0000, Pno, strings
Duration: 4 min

Program Note from the composer:

The lyrics is from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s play, “Faust”:

I am ready,

I am free, 

On a novel flight

To cleave the sky.

I am ready,

I am free,

To novel sphere

Of pure activity.

The music is a process of ascending from la to do#. It depicts a journey of a “novel flight” roaring into the sky to reach the “novel sphere”.

Conductor’s Perspective

This work has its challenges with the choir being not strictly tonal, but the vocal line is always supported by the orchestra, so when you rehearse the two groups together, they will feel much more secured than just with the piano.

The piano part is virtuosic and requires a good player. There are some extended techniques for the strings, but it can be easily done. A good way to introduce newer music to musicians.

About the Composer

A native of Taipei, Taiwan, the young rising composer and columnist of Muzik Taiwan, Hsin-Lei Chen received her Bachelor degree from National Taipei University of the Arts (NTUA) studying Composition with Prof. Hung, Chung-Kuen. She studied her Master’s in composition from College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati (CCM) with Prof. Michael Fiday, Prof. Mara Helmuth and Prof. Joel Hoffman. While still a student at NTUA and CCM, Chen has composed numerous instrumental and vocal works for various ensembles, among which Concerto for Violin and Orchestra Deep made finalist in the 2004 Formosa Competition held by the Council of Cultural Affairs in Taiwan. In 2007, her orchestral work, Ebb and Flow, won ERM Media’s competition and recorded by Kiev Philharmonic. Chamber orchestral work, “Renaissance” won a composition competition of National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra.

Her works have been widely performed in major concert halls including National Concert Hall and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall in Taipei, Werner Hall in Cincinnati, Carnegie Performing Art Center’s Weill Hall in New York, Sam Sung Music Hall in Seoul, as well as National Performing Art Center in Beijing.

In 2014, Taipei Philharmonic commissioned her a choral piece, which will be published and performed in Hungarian International Choral Festival; New Art Agent commissioned her a violin concerto and a flute concerto to be recorded and release an album and performed in Taiwan National Music Hall. Her most recent work Four Seasons of Tree for piano quintet will be performed by MYX’D quartet in Luxembourg Music Festival 2022.

Performance Materials

● Score and parts can be obtained through the composer (click for email)


Recording on YouTube by the Georgia Tech Concert Orchestra conducted by Chaowen Ting (an intermediate non-major all-campus orchestra)