Concert Preview: The Philadelphia Orchestra Opens Concerts with Composer Vivian Fung’s Dust Devils

Thursday, January 23, 2020 at 7:30pm
Friday, January 24, 2020 at 2:00pm
Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 2:00pm

Academy of Music | Philadelphia, PA

Listen to Dust Devils and Learn More

“One of today’s most eclectic composers” – NPR

Philadelphia, PA (December 4, 2019) — On Thursday, January 23, 2020 at 7:30pmFriday, January 24, 2020 at 2:00pmand Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 2:00pm at Philadelphia’s Academy of Music, The Philadelphia Orchestra opens its concert with JUNO Award-winning Canadian composer Vivian Fung’s Dust Devils. Led by Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the concert also includes Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 featuring Yefim Bronfman and Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 3, which was premiered at the Academy of Music in 1936.

Fung’s 10-minute-long Dust Devils (2011, rev. 2014) was commissioned by the Eastern Music Festival for its 50th Anniversary and premiered in July 2011 by the Eastern Festival Orchestra led by conductor Gerard Schwarz. It received its European premiere with the Staatskapelle Karlsruhe led by Mei-Ann Chen in November 2014. Fung says, “Dust Devils is the journey of emotional swirls in my mind, sometimes calm, but more often than not, full of raw and intense energy.  The opening starts quite forcefully and darts back and forth, culminating in a fiery pounding of the timpani, which wanes and brings this section to mere silent breaths in the brass. A slow section ensues, filled with upward cascades of arpeggios that interrupt the ethereal atmosphere. An ominous eerie string section follows leading to a powerful chorale in the brass, which overtakes the music and brings the work to an emphatic close.”

Performance Information
The Philadelphia Orchestra – BeethovenNOW: Yefim Bronfman
Academy of Music | 240 S Broad St | Philadelphia, PA 

Thursday, January 23, 2020 at 7:30pm

Friday, January 24, 2020 at 2:00pm

Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 2:00pm

Fung – Dust Devils
Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 4
     Yefim Bronfman, piano
– Intermission – 
Rachmaninoff – Symphony No. 3

About Vivian Fung
JUNO Award-winning composer Vivian Fung has a unique talent for combining idiosyncratic textures and styles into large-scale works, reflecting her multicultural background. NPR calls her “one of today’s most eclectic composers.”  

Highlights of Fung’s 2019–2020 season include the UK premiere of Birdsong, performed by violinist Midori at Kings Place in London, world premiere performances of a new trumpet concerto with trumpeter Mary Elizabeth Bowden and the Erie Philharmonic, performances of Dust Devils by The Philadelphia Orchestra led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra led by Peter Oundjian, Fanfare with the Florida Orchestra, Aqua by the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal under conductor James Gaffigan, Earworms with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra led by Bramwell Tovey, Pizzicato with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra led by Miguel Harth-Bedoya. Fung will also write new works commissioned by Standing Wave Ensemble in Vancouver and L’arc Trio in San Francisco.

Recent highlights include A Child Dreams of Toys, commissioned by the 2019 Winnipeg New Music Festival; a new Concerto for Two Violins and String Orchestra for the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra; the world premiere of String Quartet No. 4 “Insects and Machines” performed by the American String Quartet; Earworms, which musically depicts our diverted attention spans and multi-tasking lives; and The Ice Is Talking for solo percussion and electronics, commissioned by the Banff Centre, using three ice blocks to illustrate the beauty and fragility of our environment. 

With a deep interest in exploring different cultures, Fung traveled to Cambodia in 2019 to connect with her roots and collect research for a new opera. She traveled to Southwest China in 2012 to study minority music and cultures, and has also explored North Vietnam, Spain, and Bali.

Fung has received numerous awards and grants, including the 2015 Jan V. Matejcek New Classical Music Award for achievement in new music from SOCAN, a Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, the New York Foundation for the Arts’ Gregory Millard Fellowship, and grants from ASCAP, BMI, American Music Center, MAP Fund, American Symphony Orchestra League, American Composers Forum, and the Canada Council for the Arts.  She is an associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre and currently serves as Vice Chair of the board of the American Composers Forum. Passionate about fostering the talent of the next generation, Fung will mentor young composers this summer in programs at the American Composers Forum, San Francisco Contemporary Chamber Players, and Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. 

In 2012, Naxos Canadian Classics released a recording of Fung’s Violin Concerto [No.1], Piano Concerto “Dreamscapes,” and Glimpses. The Violin Concerto earned Fung the 2013 JUNO Award for “Classical Composition of the Year.”  Several of Fung’s other works have also been released commercially on the Telarc, Çedille, Innova, and Signpost labels.

Born in Edmonton, Canada, Fung received her doctorate from The Juilliard School.  She currently lives in California with her husband Charles Boudreau and their son Julian and is on the faculty of Santa Clara University. Learn more at

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