• Biography

    Zhiyi Wang (b.1980) is a multi-award winning composer for contemporary classical and film genres.

    Zhiyi’s characteristics of composing reflects all the genres he has touched, with a sophisticated amalgam of Oriental tinctures and Western avant-garde, as well as influenced by classical traditions. He has created an aesthetics of musical language that many regard as a distinctive voice of his generation. Representative of his acclaim, the president of Shanghai Opera House, Guoyong Zhang, praised him during his residence as, “the greatest composer of all time in our opera house”. Zhiyi’s works have been performed by leading ensembles worldwide, including the China National Symphony Orchestra, China Philharmonic, NCPA Orchestra, The Orchestra of Shanghai Opera House, Brno Philharmonic, Senzoku New Philharmonic Orchestra, Lviv Chamber Orchestra, Eighth Blackbird, Sound Ways Ensemble, Ensemble Les Amis, RTE ConTempo Quartet, Baroque Camerata, Lemberg Sinfonietta, and many other renowned ensemble groups throughout Asia, North America and Europe.


    As a core member of the music crew in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Zhiyi composed various music programs for the Opening Ceremony. His Fanfare for the Ceremony was performed when Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee, and Liu Qi, President of the Beijing Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games, entered the stadium to make their opening speeches. His arrangements included four programs: the theme song, You and Me (performed by Sarah Brightman and Liu Huan), the duet song, Dream of the Five Rings, Ritual Music, and Lighting of the Olympic Cauldron. Zhiyi’s immense contribution to the spirit of the Ceremonies has been officially acknowledged by the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee.


    He further composed a series of music works in different genres, including film and TV scores, contemporary classical, pop music, modern ballet and musicals. Regarding film and TV, Zhiyi composed an original score for the films, But Always and Highway of Love, for which he received the “Discovery of the Year” nomination from the 15th World Soundtrack Awards, together with fellow composers for Birdman and Ex Machina. He became the second Asian nominee after Tan Dun to be acknowledged in the same award category since 2001. In 2017, Zhiyi was awarded the Gold Medal from Global Music Awards for his original film score Dali Holiday. Zhiyi also orchestrated and produced the film scores for Coming Home and The Flowers of War by Zhang Yimou. The Coming Home, soundtrack featuring pianist Lang Lang with the China Philharmonic, won the Best Original Score in the 51st Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan. The Flowers of War, soundtrack featuring violinist Joshua Bell, choir Allmänna Sången with the China Philharmonic, received a nomination for the Golden Globe Awards and six nominations for the Asian Film Awards. Moreover, Zhiyi composed the original music for major documentaries of CCTV, including The Forbidden City 100, Huai, The Open Door, The Louvre Meets the Forbidden City, and Jinling: Predestined to Buddha.


    In serious music domains, Zhiyi was appointed by the Shanghai Conservatory of Music to establish Composing for Film and Stage Drama, a course designed for senior-grade composition students, beginning in 2015. He gave lectures as well as invited renowned film composers as guest lecturers. Zhiyi has won more than 10 prestigious international composition prizes and has been granted by major international composer programs as composer-in-residence and honored participant, including at the Shanghai Opera House, Shanghai Spring International Music Festival, the National Sun Yat-sen University in Taiwan, Sacrarium International Composers’ Forum in Ukraine and the International Contemporary Arts Academy in Romania. In 2017, Zhiyi won the 1st Prize from RED NOTE International Composition Competition in the United States. In 2016, He also won the 1st Prize from the Alfred Schnittke International Composition Competition in Ukraine. In 2014, he won two 1st Prizes from Malta International Composition Competition and the Senzoku Gakuen International Composition Competition in Japan. The winning works, string quartet Three Overlapping Sounds and chamber music Maple in Twilight, have been highly praised for their ability to meld diverse cultural influences. The orchestral work, The Aroma of Exotic, was published worldwide in fall 2014 by Ablaze Records in Orchestral Masters Vol. 2. Zhiyi also won the International Antonín Dvořák Composition Competition in Czech Republic, the International Sergei Slonimsky Composition Competition in Russia and the International Franz Liszt Composers' Competition in Italy, as well as being awarded the Grawemeyer Fellowship from the University of Louisville, and the Outstanding Young Alumni Award from Oberlin College.


    With regard to pop music, Zhiyi received two nominations for Best Arrangement in the 25th Golden Melody Awards for Fu Xian Lake and Blooming from the 2013 album Li Jian Classic Remake Collections. He also arranged the string orchestra for Sandy Lam’s 2012 album, GAIA, which swept several major awards including Best Album from the 24th Golden Melody Awards in Taiwan. Zhiyi had been actively involved in China’s most popular Singer Reality Shows, I am a Singer, Grammy Salute to China Star, as well as X-Factor, by recreating classic songs.


    As a member of World Soundtrack Academy, The Recording Academy and Hollywood Music in Media Awards, Zhiyi holds BM and MM in music composition from Oberlin College Conservatory and the University of Louisville, where he studied with Randolph Coleman and Marc Satterwhite, and he is a superb pianist as well. He held several piano concerts of his own compositions and also performed, premiering new works in various concerts and music festivals. He is now living in Los Angeles. When asked about his compositional philosophy, he shares, “I think an open-minded artist should be sensitive to absorb nutrition from anything musically inspiring.”

  • news

    Commissioned projects and upcoming events

    Monography of Chamber Music

    A series of chamber works are to be recorded into a monography CD, which will be released in 2018.

    Scoring for TV Series "The Story of Zheng Yang Gate, Part II"

    A symphonic suite commissioned by Qingdao Symphony Orchestra to be premiered in 2018.

    Assignment of soundtrack for TV series "New Fortress Besieged" in 2018.

  • Works

    Music composed for various genres

    Film and TV Scores

    • Every Bastard Has A Sorrow, Original Film Score
    • The Man of Soccer, Original TV Series Score
    • Dali Holiday, Original Film Score
    • Highway of Love, Original Film Score
    • But Always, Original Film Score
    • The Flowers of War, Orchestration and Production of Film Score
    • Coming Home, Orchestration and Production of Film Score
    • Forbidden City 100, Original Documentary Score
    • Huai, the Open Door, Original Documentary Score
    • Jinling: Predestined to Buddha, Original Documentary Score
    • Spy Game in Ancient Soochow, Original TV Series Score
    • Feng Yu Diao Hua Lou, Original TV Series Score


    • The Vanishing River
    • The Aroma of Exotic
    • Color of Tears
    • Chrysalides


    • Maple in Twilight for six instruments
    • Three Overlapping Sounds for String Quartet
    • Piano Trio for Violin, Violoncello and Piano
    • Three Art Songs for Soprano and Piano
    • Elegy for String Orchestra
    • Yue Wei Yang for Traditional Chinese Instruments Ensemble
    • Frailty for Tenor and Piano


    • Etude for Concert for Piano
    • Melody of Autume for Piano
    • Variation for Piano
    • The Grand Canal for Piano
    • Sonata for Piano


    • Home In Jiangsu, Theme Song of 1st Jiangsu Development Summit
    • Love Love Aloha, Theme Song of the Film I Love That Crazy Little Thing
    • The Man of Soccer, Theme Song of the TV Series The Man of Soccer
    • The Origin of Fates, Theme Song of the Documentary Jinling: Predestined to Buddha
    • Romantic Attachment, Theme Song of the Documentary The Louvre Meets the Forbidden City
    • The Sorrow from Wind and Rain, Theme Song of the TV Series Feng Yu Diao Hua Lou
    • The Echo of Strings, Theme Song of the TV Series Spy Game in Ancient Soochow

    2008 Beijing Olympic Games Opening Ceremony

    • Fanfare for the Ceremony, Original Composition
    • You and Me, (Official Theme Song of 2008 Beijing Olympics, Performed by Sarah Brightman and Liu Huan) Orchestration
    • Dream of the Five Rings, Orchestration
    • Ritual Music, Orchestration
    • Lighting of the Olympic Cauldron, Orchestration
  • Recordings

    The Official Album for Beijing 2008 Olympic Games

    2008, Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee


    Tomorrow I Am Marrying You for Baroque Camerata

    2014, Wind Music

    Orchestral Masters, Vol. 2

    The Aroma of Exotic for Orchestra

    2014, Ablaze Records

    But Always

    Original Motion Picture Score

    2015, Z-1 Music Records

    Highway of Love

    Original Motion Picture Score

    2015, Z-1 Music Records

  • Listen

    Sample clips in different genres

    Forbidden City 100

    Documentary Score

    The first episode of the documentary Forbidden City 100

    Romantic Attachment


    Theme song of the documentary The Louvre Meets the Forbidden City, vocal by Shilei Chang.

    Elegy for Strings

    Contemporary Classical

    Lviv chamber orchestra, Conductor Ferdinando Nazzaro,
    St. Maria Magdalena's Church, Lviv, Ukraine

  • reviews

    "Zhiyi's music demonstrates an innate lyricism, and also shows a great deal of craft and skill. Like many composers he seeks to fuse the music of Asian heritage with the techniques and forms of Western classical music, and he does so in a very convincing manner. His Asian background is apparent, but he avoids clichés and the obvious. His music demonstrates a broad emotional range, as well, and he can paint effectively on both large- and small-scale musical canvases."

    -Marc Satterwhite, Director of Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition

    The Aroma of Exotic

    "The Aroma of Exotic is very interesting and can be viewed as a cross-cultural experience by an Occidental experiencing Oriental culture or vice versa. At times I was reminded of the dawn section of Ravel's Daphnis and Chloe, and I liked this work a lot."

    -Geoff Pearce, Music & Vision

    Elegy for Strings

    "The score is deep and inspired by an exceptional musical talent! "

    - Ferdinando Nazzaro, Artistic Director of KLK New Music

    Three Overlapping Sounds

    "This three-movement piece unfolds varied waves of sentiments by distinct expressions of strings. The first part creates an atmosphere where all four instruments resonate as a group in terms of the dynamic change, the shifting of harmony and the collocation of melodic lines. Though it has a long breath and very delicate sound, a latent tension is possessed within the drive of adagio. The second part reveals an inside throbbing by imitating wings of insects to portrait those subtle affections, which touch our inner feelings in a sentimental way. The third part is relatively contrastive, from a tranquil start to an insanely wild presto, then back to peace ultimately. It reflects certain unpredictable mood that twists without signs. The piece adopts western form and vocabulary, yet conveys implicit oriental flavor."

    -Alice Jiang, Music Weekly Journal


    "The skills in composition and orchestration are very achieved, and the writing tasteful and touching."

    -Gabriel Yared, Academy Award-winning Composer

    Three Art Songs

    "They sound like an opera!"

    -Morton Subotnick, Composer

  • Awards

    Gold Medal Award

    Original Score, Composer

    Global Music Awards


    Outstanding Young Alumni Award

    Oberlin College and Conservatory


    1st Prize

    RED NOTE International Composition Competition


    1st Prize

    International Alfred Schnittke Composition Competition

    UKRAINE, 2016

    Discovery of the Year Nomination

    World Soundtrack Awards

    BELGIUM, 2015

    Special Mention

    The Sacrarium International Composers' Forum and Competition

    UKRAINE, 2015

    Best Arrangement Nominations

    Golden Melody Awards

    TAIWAN, 2014

    1st Prize

    Senzoku Gakuen International Composition Competition

    JAPAN, 2014

    1st Prize

    Malta International Composition Competition

    MALTA, 2014


    Ablaze Records Orchestral Masters Call for Score


    3rd Prize

    International Sergei Slonimsky Composition Competition

    RUSSIA, 2012

    3rd Prize

    International Antonín Dvořák Composition Competition CZECH, 2012

    Honor Certificate

    Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee

    CHINA, 2008

    Grawemeyer Fellowship

    University of Louisville


    3rd Prize

    International Franz Liszt Competition for Composers

    ITALY, 2004

  • Contact