About the Piece

Game of Players was commissioned by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra in celebration for their 25th anniversary. The composition develops around the work “game”; people play games as children, and when they “grow up,” they play games as adults whereby the games evolve into more complex forms involving relationships, competitive sports, politics, etc. In Game of Players, I have isolated certain instruments (and their players) and have given them musical motives or identities. The musical lines are tossed back and forth, sometimes interrupted and then resumed but perhaps in a slightly altered way. I incorporate several familiar nursery and children’s tunes that become at times whimsical, humorous, or dark and foreboding. But in the end, the mood is more reflective in nature as we hear “row, row, row your boat gently down the stream” with the music ending on an unresolved, final cadence chord. [Program note by the composer]

About the Composer

As a national and international award-winning composer, Stella Sung’s compositions are performed throughout the United States and abroad.

Dr. Sung is director of the Center for Research and Education in Arts, Technology, and Entertainment (CREATE) at the University of Central Florida, and is Professor of Music in UCF’s School of Visual Arts and Design (Digital Media), College of Arts and Humanities. Dr. Sung holds a “Pegasus” Professorshi, the highest honor awarded to distinguished faculty members at the University of Central Florida, and also holds an Endowed “University Trustees Chair” professorship.

A recipient of a “Music Alive” award, a three-year award sponsored by New Music USA, the League of American Orchestras, ASCAP, the Aaron Copland Fund, and the Andrew Mellon Foundation, Dr. Sung recently served as Composer-in-Residence (2013-16) with the Dayton (OH) Performing Arts Alliance (Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, Dayton Ballet, and Dayton Opera). During the course of her three-year residency, she created new works for orchestra, ballet, and opera. The DPAA was one of five, nationally selected cohort recipients of the “Music Alive” award residencies, during which composers and orchestras collaborated to create new, innovative works that engaged communities and artists during the residencies.

Stella Sung is the recipient of the 2007-2010 Phi Kappa Phi National Artists Award, as well as a 2009-10 “Meet the Composer” award. She is a two-time winner of a Florida Individual Artist Fellowship, sponsored by the Division of Cultural Affairs for the State of Florida, as well as the 2005 recipient of a Florida Artists Enhancement award. She was a Fellow at the prestigious MacDowell Colony, and was the recipient of the Norton Stevens Fellowship. Other awards have been from the National Endowment for the Arts, New Music USA, Meet the Composer, the German Ministry of Culture, the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), and the Division of Cultural Affairs of the State of Florida.

Dr. Sung is also an active composer for film, and was the composer and music supervisor for the score for the full-length documentary film, Voices in the Clouds, which received critical acclaim in national and international film festivals. Her music was featured in the short animation film, Atlas’ Revenge, (based upon Sung’s orchestral work of the same title), which was selected as the First Place winner at the 2010 SIGGRAPH conference (Time and Space category). She wrote the score for a new animated short film, Farmer Glorp, produced by the Character Animation students at the University of Central Florida (Class of 2016). She recently completed the score for Marching Forward, a new award-winning documentary film by Lisa Mills, tracing the performances of two high school bands from Orlando, FL, at the 1964 World’s Fair with the Civil Rights movement as a backdrop to the film.

Sung holds the Bachelor of Music degree (piano performance) from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), the Master of Fine Arts degree (Composition) from the University of Florida, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree (piano performance) from the University of Texas at Austin. Her piano teachers included Theodore Lettvin, Louis Nagel, Gary Wolf, and David Renner. She studied composition with John D. White, Edward Troupin, Donald Grantham, and Eugene Kurtz. Dr. Sung has been recognized by the University of Florida as a Distinguished Alumna, an Alumna of Outstanding Achievement, and has also received a Distinguished Achievement Award from UF.

Performance Materials

Perusal Score (PDF open in a new tab)

Score and parts available from the composer:



Credit: Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Eric Jacobsen (Music Director)
January 20, 2018.