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 composed a series of music works in different genres, including contemporary classical, film and TV score, modern ballet, musical, world music and pop music. His works have been performed by leading ensembles including the China National Symphony Orchestra, China Philharmonic, NCPA Orchestra, The Orchestra of China National Opera House, The Orchestra of Shanghai Opera House, Brno Philharmonic, China Broadcast Symphony Orchestra, Senzoku Gakuen New Philharmonic, Lviv Chamber Orchestra, Eighth Blackbird, Sound Ways Ensemble, Ensemble Les Amis, RTE ConTempo Quartet, Baroque Camerata, Lemberg Sinfonietta, Villiers String Quartet and many others 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 later transcribed the orchestral version of the Beijing Olympic Theme Song You and Me for the 2012 New Year’s Concert at the China National Centre for the Performing Arts, conducted by Lorin Maazel.
In contemporary domain, Zhiyi has won 1st prizes from Red Note International Composition Competition, International Alfred Schnittke Composition Competition, Senzoku Gakuen International Composition Competition and Malta International Composition Competition, as well as prizes from International Sergei Slonimsky Composition Competition, International Antonín Dvořák Composition Competition and International Franz Liszt Competition for Composers. He was a recipient of the Grawemeyer Fellowship, which was from the same foundation that supports the Grawemeyer Award in music composition, and the Outstanding Young Alumni Award from Oberlin College, which made him the seventh awardee in the history of the school. Zhiyi has been Composer-in-Residence at the Shanghai Opera House, the National Sun Yat-sen University in Taiwan, Sacrarium International Composers’ Forum in Ukraine and the International Contemporary Arts Academy in Romania. He received commissions from Shanghai Opera House, Beijing Contemporary Dance Theater, National Sun Yat-sen University in Taiwan, Qingdao Symphony Orchestra, Romanian Ministry of Culture, 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics Organizing Committee, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Chinese Opera Peony Awards, Jiangsu Provincial Party Committee and China Central Television, among others. Zhiyi is an adjunct faculty at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and Virginia Commonwealth University Global Summer Institute of Music.
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. He became the second Asian nominee after Tan Dun to be acknowledged in the same award category since 2001. In 2017, he won 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. Moreover, he composed the original music for TV series and documentaries, including The Man of Soccer, The Forbidden City 100 and Huai, The Open Door. He also wrote many hit songs for screen, including Love Love Aloha for film I love That Crazy Little Thing, The Origin of Fates for documentary Jinling: Predestined to Buddha, and Romantic Attachment for documentary The Louvre Meets the Forbidden City.
In pop music, Zhiyi received two nominations for Best Arrangement in the 25th Golden Melody Awards for Fu Xian Lake and Blooming from the album Li Jian Classic Remake Collections. He also arranged the string orchestra for Sandy Lam’s 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, and X-Factor, by recreating classic songs.
As a member of World Soundtrack Academy and The Recording Academy, 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 resides in Los Angeles.
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.
Assignment of soundtrack for TV series "New Fortress Besieged" in 2018.
A String Quartet work commissioned by Shanghai Conservatory of Music to be premiered by Ensemble Les Amis in 2018.
A symphonic suite commissioned by Qingdao Symphony Orchestra to be premiered in 2019.
Music composed for various genres
Film and TV Scores
2008 Beijing Olympic Games Opening Ceremony
The Official Album for Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
2008, Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee
Collection of Excellent Works by Alumni from SHCM
The 90th Anniversary of Shanghai Conservatory of Music
2017, Shanghai Conservatory of Music
Sample clips in different genres
Track from the Film Score
Theme song of the documentary The Louvre Meets the Forbidden City, vocal by Shilei Chang.
Elegy for Strings
Lviv chamber orchestra, Conductor Ferdinando Nazzaro,
St. Maria Magdalena's Church, Lviv, Ukraine