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Taiwanese neo-Romantic composer Tyzen Hsiao was born in Kaohsiung on 1 January 1938 and began to learn the piano from his mother, a church pianist, when he was very young. He studied music at the Taiwan Provincial Normal Institute then moved to Japan and studied composition and piano at Musashino Music University. He returned to Taiwan and worked at various schools and colleges. In 1973 he became a professor at the National Taiwan Normal University. In Taipei in 1975, the first Tyzen Hsiao Night, showcasing performances of his music, was organised.
In 1977 he moved to the USA, following difficulties from the failure of his wife's business. After an initial fallow period of depression, he became involved in the California Taiwanese community and began composing again. His March of Democracy displeased the Kuomintang Taiwan government - his music was banned in Taiwan and he was forbidden from returning to the country.
He continued to study, and received a masters in composition from California State University. Los Angeles. Much of his music centred on the subject of Taiwan.
In 1992 the Taiwanese government, moving towards democracy, lifted the ban on his returning, and in 1995 he returned home, settled in Tamsui, continued to compose and began to receive recognition for his music.
He suffered a stroke in 2002 and returned to Los Angeles to enable better recovery, stopping most of his composition work. Hsiao died in Los Angeles on 24 February 2015, aged seventy-seven.