Original Composition from Professor Xi Wang to Be Performed at Carnegie Hall

Associate professor of music composition and theory, Xi Wang, will have her new original composition performed at Carnegie Hall by the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Xi Wang

On Tuesday, December 13, associate professor of music composition and theory Xi Wang, will have her new original composition, Ensō, performed at Carnegie Hall by the Philadelphia Orchestra.


Ensō is a healing piece that is a response to the global tumult of 2020 and the pandemic. It follows another original composition titled YEAR 2020, a concerto for violin, trumpet and orchestra, that was a more reactive piece to the outside world. Ensō, which refers to a sacred symbol in Buddhism called the “circle of enlightenment,” is a more reflective piece in which Xi Wang drew inspiration from inside herself. She wanted this new composition to represent the circle of enlightenment by symbolizing simplicity, elegance, balance and stillness.


These themes can be heard throughout the piece through the use of traditional symphony instruments like piano, brass, and woodwinds, but also with multi-cultural instruments such as Tibetan singing bowls. For composers, being able to hear a live orchestra play your original composition is an incredible gift and not one often granted to living composers. Xi Wang is thrilled to see her composition performed by such a talented group of musicians.


“What’s written on paper will be born alive as sound under their hands,” she says. “To hear the Philadelphia Orchestra playing my music showed me that dreams do come true in this country.”


In her early years in her home country of China, Wang dreamed of being a pianist. But she had small hands for a pianist, and after she was not accepted into piano conservatories at ages 10 and 11, her childhood music teacher suggested she try composing instead. Between her extraordinary writing and great imagination, Wang’s talent at composing was palpable and it became clear that this was the path she was meant to take.


“Composing is the calling of my life,” she explains. “It is very fortunate for me to know my calling and be able to be dedicated to it.”


This Carnegie Hall performance of Wang’s composition is one of many exciting Meadows-affiliated events taking place in New York City this December. To view a full list of events, click here.