updated 4 April 2023
© DR

Ying Wang

Chinese composer born 10 September, 1976, in Shanghai

Ying Wang began learning piano at five years old. She started her studies at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music before moving to Germany in 2003 on the invitation of York Höller, whose composition lessons she attended for seven years at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne, alongside Michael Beil’s electronic composition lessons. She was also a student of Rebecca Saunders and Johannes Schöllhorn. In 2010, she obtained a master’s in contemporary music at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts and, in 2011, sat the Konzertexamen at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne. In 2012, she joined the Cursus in composition and computer music at IRCAM. Wang has taught composition at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music since 2013.

Her work has been commissioned by Südwestrundfunk, Deutschlandfunk, the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, Lucerne Festival, NOW Festival, the Arts Foundation of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Brandenburger Symphoniker, Kassel Music Days, the Heidelberg Orchestra, and the Kölner Philharmonie.

Her works have been performed by orchestras and ensembles such as the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, the Gürzenich Orchestra, the Brandenburger Symphoniker, Avanti Orchestra Helsinki, Ensemble Phoenix Basel, Ensemble Alternance, the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Cassatt String Quartet, Norrbotten NEO Ensemble, Ensemble Resonanz, Ensemble UnitedBerlin, MAM.manufaktur für aktuelle musik, Ensemble PHACE, and Ensemble Kontrapunkt. Her pieces have been played in Paris, New York, Stockholm, Berlin, Beijing, and Lucerne, and at festivals such as Tage für Neue Musik Zürich, ACHT BRÜCKEN Cologne, and Wien Modern.

With a father who was a composer and a mother who was a ballerina, Wang was brought up surrounded by European musical culture. Since she became a composer, she has expressed a wish not to be categorized as a Chinese artist, since she is not familiar with her country’s popular music and she does not recognize herself in the widely accepted notion of this musical heritage — such as pentatonicism with triadic harmony. She claims that everyone is unique, as suggests the title of her piece Nur ich (Only Me, 2009). The composition Coffee and Tea (2013) illustrates the binary tension she has experienced, the two drinks incarnating the cultural divergences between Orient and Occident. Wang regularly returns, nonetheless, to traditional instruments and suggestive references to traditional Chinese music. It is most obvious in her piece Illusion (2000) for string quartet and sheng, which drew Höller’s attention to her, and a piece that evokes atmospheric pollution, Groovulation (2013-2014) for ensemble and electronics, in which the cello is played with the player’s nails, comparable to how the guzheng is played.

In 2015, Wang was composer-in-residence at Deutschlandfunk’s Forum neuer Musik in Cologne. In 2018, she was on the jury for the International Competition of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory for young composers NEW CLASSICS, beside Tristan Murail and Ivan Fedele. She lives between Cologne and Shanghai.

Awards and Scholarships

  • Grant from the German Academy in Rome, 2020
  • Heidelberger Künstlerinnenpreis, 2017
  • First Prize at the 25th Irino Prize for chamber orchestra, 2015
  • First Prize at the 5th Brandenburg Biennale, 2013
  • Giga-Hertz Prize, 2013
  • Grant from the Ensemble Modern International Academy, 2009-2010

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2021


Site de la compositrice, Schott, Neue Zeitschrift für Musik.

Liens Internet

(liens vérifiés en mars 2023).


  • Egbert HILLER, « Überwundener Kulturschock – Die Komponistin Ying Wang Zwichen Deutshland und China », Neue Zeitschrift für Muzik, #6, 2017, p. 26-29, lire ici.
  • Egbert HILLER, « Der Inner Klang der Natur – Die Komponistinnen des Konzertprojekts “Young Asia” im Gespräch », Neue Zeitschrift für Muzik, 2015, p. 34-39, lire ici.


  • Ying WANG, Tun·Tu ; Wave in D ; Glissadulation ; Focus Exchange ; Tip to Top ; Coffee and Tea, dans « Tun·Tu (Chamber Music Renewed) », 1 CD Wergo, 2017, WER 7347 2.