Ssu-Yu Huang, a native of Taiwan, enjoys an active career in contemporary music. Her compositions – covering a wide range of music with bold and delicate genres – are performed by professional musicians and orchestras around the globe. German maestro Günther Herbig praised her orchestral work, calling it “a modern and complex style, presenting her own characters and creativity.” In 2018, her orchestra piece Heritage of Hakka was premiered at the grand opening ceremony of the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying). Her compositions have been published globally through companies such as Mahin Media (United States), Mark Custom Recording (United States), and Ablaze (Australia). Her wind band and ensemble scores have been published by Golden Hearts Publications (Japan). In recent years, Huang’s works have been increasingly performed throughout European, Asian, and American continents.
Today, Ssu-Yu is our featured artist in “The Inside Story,” a blog series exploring the inner workings and personalities of our artists. Read on to discover Ssu-Yu’s favorite moment in her guitar concerto on the album…
Who were your first favorite artists growing up?
Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Maurice Ravel, and Claude Debussy (in this order).
When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist?
I came to this realization at the of age of 18.
What was your most unusual performance?
The world-premiere of my orchestra piece Heritage of Hakka on October 13, 2018 was part of the opening ceremony of the fantastic concert hall in the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying). The Taiwan president Tsai Ing-Wen was present and congratulated me in person.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Shopping on eBay.
If you could make a living at any job in the world, what would that job be?
I would continue to be a composer.
If you could spend creative time anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Iceland. It has this unique contrast of ice and fire. It’s a quiet, friendly, and beautiful place.
If you could instantly have expertise performing one instrument, what instrument would that be?
It would have to be the cello.
What was your favorite musical moment on the album?
My favorite moment is the cadenza and the following section in my piece Guitar Concerto No. 1 (Remembrance of Hometown).
What does this album mean to you personally?
This album is a significant milestone in my career. Not only it is the world premiere of my first guitar concerto, but it is also a great honor to contribute to this album with fantastic music from other composers.
Is there a specific feeling that you would like communicated to audiences in this work?
This work reflects the mindset of a traveler in foreign places. Behind the excitement and hecticness, the nostalgic thoughts of home always remain and linger on.
Guitar Concerto No. 1 (Remembrance of Hometown) will be available on BENEATH THE TIDE for streaming or purchase through Navona Records on March 22. Click here to pre-order.