The New York Philharmonic premiered a composition by 13-year-old Shanghai native Wendy Wen at Lincoln Center on Saturday.
The hour-long “Young People’s Concerts – Youth as Creator” featured compositions written by Very Young Composers program participants from China, Finland, Israel and the United States, including “Lady Liberty in a Thunderstorm” of Wen.
The concert was originally scheduled to take place in 2020 to mark the 25th anniversary of the very young composer’s program for the symphony – and Wen has been commissioned to compose a new piece to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution legalizing women’s suffrage – but was delayed due to the pandemic.
The educational program was founded by the Philharmonie in 1995 to celebrate the power of children’s imaginations and showcase their ideas. The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra joined in 2016 and held the first young composers’ workshop in the city that summer. He has since selected ten young composers for the workshop each summer.
Wen joined in 2019 shortly after he started learning how to compose music.
“Joining the program really increased my interest in composing and had a huge impact on my music career. The mentors used games to help us understand how to compose from a unique perspective, and I realized at how fun and lively it could be,” she said. . “I still remember how the mentors asked us to team up in groups of three and spontaneously compose on the theme of melting ice. I was quite worried because I didn’t have my violin with me, but I saw a bottle of water. It occurred to me that we could make ice melting noises with the bottled water.”
The piece was later premiered at the symphony’s annual Music in the Summer Air festival.
Wen, who is currently studying in Kansas City, started playing the piano at age four and the violin at age 6.