VIDEO PODCAST: Slava Ukraini! - recorded on 24 February 2022, the day Europe woke up to the news that Vladimir Putin's Russian forces had invaded Ukraine. A fifty minute video which also features Caitríona O'Leary and Eric Fraad discussing their new film Island of Saints, and pays tribute to Joseph Horovitz, Malcolm Troup and Maria Nockin.
Taiwanese composer and teacher Chen Mao-shuen was born in Beigang on 7 January 1936 into a musical family - his father Chen Chia-hu was a skilled trumpeter, arranger, composer and head of the Beigang Melody Band, who had a concert hall named after him. Chen Mao-shuen studied piano, music analysis and composition at Taiwan Provincial Normal College and then began to work as a teacher at Chiayi Normal College. Later he studied composition in Vienna at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst.
He returned to Taiwan to teach at Soochow University and National Taiwan Normal University, where he later became dean of the Institute of Music Research and the Department of Music. He was also deputy director of the Experimental Symphony Orchestra (now known overseas as the Taiwan Philharmonic) and the National Experimental Choir - now the Taiwan National Choir.
He created a music society and also a composer organisation which has since expanded to about thirty composer members with annual concerts introducing new works. He established the Music Council of the Republic of China, and also established, with pianist Wang En, the WACH Music Conservatory, which created teaching materials and set up a nationwide music testing system.
Chen Mao-shuen died on 15 July 2023, aged eighty-seven, leaving a considerable output as a composer, including seventeen piano sonatas, thirty-five piano sonatinas, the ballet Dayan and Tien Lien, twenty-nine Chinese lieder, four instrumental concertos and five works for symphony orchestra.