Taiwanese composer Ma Shui-long dies 75, memorial to be staged

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CNA

TAIPEI — Prominent Taiwanese composer Ma Shui-long (�����s) has died at the age of 75 after a period of illness, Chew’s Culture Foundation said Monday.

The announcement was made more than a week after Ma’s death May 2 because his family wanted time to gain emotional composure, said Chiu Chun-chiang (���g�j), CEO of the foundation, where Ma served as a board member.

Ma’s body was cremated May 6 and his family will not hold a memorial service because Ma ��did not like to disturb others,�� said Chiu, whose father, Andrew Chew, was the founder of the foundation and a childhood friend of Ma.

Born in Keelung in 1939, Ma was the first Taiwanese composer to have his music performed at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York.

He was one of the recipients of the National Award for Arts in 1999, the winner of the Golden Melody’s Special Contribution Award in 2004, and a former president of Taipei National University of the Arts.

His compositions combine the musical traditions and techniques of both the East and the West. He once said that ��music has a nationality, but it crosses national boundaries.��

His best-known compositions include ��The Peacock Flies Southeast�� (�ճ��F�n��) and ��Bandi (Bamboo Flute) Concerto�� (���è?�).

In a review years ago, the New York Times said Ma’s music ��balanced the largely conventional use of Western instruments with the pure intervallic skips and pentatonic melody from his own culture.�� It also praised the composer for ��letting his instruments speak in a European voice but with an Asian mind.��

Culture Minister Hung Meng-chi (�x�s��) mourned Ma’s death Monday and said his ministry has begun the process of applying for a presidential citation for the respected musician.

A memorial concert will also be organized in Ma’s name, Hung said.

Chew’s Culture Foundation, meanwhile, highlighted Ma’s contribution to Taiwan’s music scene.

When he served as CEO of the foundation, Ma initiated the concert series ��Euterpe: Spring and Autumn�� to provide a platform for Taiwanese composers to showcase their work, according to the foundation.

During the decade of its existence until 2001, the concert series showcased new works by over 100 composers.