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Lei LiangChinese-born American composer Lei Liang (梁雷, b. Nov. 28, 1972, Tianjin) is Associate Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego. He received his first piano lessons at the age of four, and began composing at age six. His piano teacher Zhou Guang-ren encouraged him to compose without formal training. He received several awards in China for composition and piano performance during childhood, including three honors in the Xinghai National Piano Music Competition (special distinction, 1984; Third Prize, 1987; Second Prize, 1988), where his early piano music has been in the mandatory repertoire since 1984, and Second Prize for piano performance in the Jing-Jin-Sui competition (1988). In 1989, Beijing Qingnianbao—Beijing Youth Daily—named him one of its ten “Persons of the Year.” 

In 1990, Liang left his family for the USA as a high school student. He studied piano with William Race in Austin, Texas before shifting his focus to composition. He received degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music (BM & MM, both with academic honors and distinction in performance) and Harvard University (PhD). His composition teachers include Sir Harrison BirtwistleRobert CoganChaya CzernowinMario DavidovskyJoshua FinebergElliott GygerLee Hyla and Bernard Rands. In addition, he had masterclasses with Magnus LindbergJames Tenney, and Chinary Ung at Harvard, and with Georg Friedrich HaasToshio Hosokawa and Wolfgang Mitterer at the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik at Darmstadt

Lei Liang received the George Whitefield Chadwick Medal—the honor the New England Conservatory bestows upon its most outstanding graduates—as well as the Tourjée Alumni Scholarship Award (both in 1996). He was a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow (2002-4), and received a grant from the Milton Fund at Harvard University (2001), a Heinrich Strobel Foundation bursary from the South West German Radio Experimentalstudio (2004), a Meet the Composer/MetLife Creative Connections Grant (2007), a Fondazione William Walton Residency Award (2008), an Aaron Copland Award (2008), ASCAPLUS Award (2008) and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2009). He is the recipient of the Elliott Carter Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome (2011), and the Alpert/Ragdale Prize in Music Composition (2012). He received an honorable mention in the Aliénor Awards harpsichord composition competition (2004, for Some Empty Thoughts of a Person from Edo), the George Arthur Knight Prize from Harvard University (2006, for Serashi Fragments) and was a finalist for the Thailand International Composition Competition for Saxophone (2006, for Parallel Gardens). 

Lei Liang's music is published exclusively by Schott Music Corporation (New York). His early piano music appears in numerous anthologies of contemporary Chinese piano music published by Huayue Music Press and Renmin Yinyue Chubanshe—People's Music Press (Beijing). His recordings are released on SpektralGM, Einstein, Encounter, Opal and Telarc Records. A portrait CD of his works was released on Mode Records in 2009, funded in part through a grant from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc. His 3rd portrait CD was released on New World Records in 2011, funded in part through grants from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, and Alice Ditson Fund of Columbia University. His next portrait CD will be released on Naxos International. 
Among other organizations, ensembles, and soloists, Liang has received commissions from:
Groups and soloists who have performed his works include:
Lei Liang’s music has been performed around the world, at venues such as:

His music has been performed at:

His electronic music has been featured at:

NPRPBSCBCRadio Free Asia as well as TV and radio programs in China have broadcast his music. 

Lei Liang composed film music for “The Giver” (dir. Agnes Mei-Yee Chu), “Shall We Sing?” (dir. by Reina Higashitani) and incidental music for “Der gute Mensch von Sezuan” (Brecht, dir. Ying Qian). His music has been choreographed by Garth FaganTiffany RhynardLing Chu, Jeong-Ae Yoon, You Shao-ching, and Butoh dancer Masashi Harada

As a scholar, he is especially interested in the research and preservation of traditional Asian music. In collaboration with the World Music Archive at Loeb Music Library of Harvard University, he conducted an extensive interview with the huqin-player Ni Qiu-ping (1905-95). He also digitized historical recordings of guqin music for the Music Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Arts in Beijing. He is the co-producer of the historical recordings of the Mongolian chaoer player Serashi (1887-1968) released by China Record Corporation

His articles about traditional and contemporary Asian music have appeared in numerous journals in the USA and China, notably in:
He has been invited to give lectures at universities and conservatories in the USA, Asia and Europe, including:
Lei Liang was a Junior Fellow at the Society of Fellows of Harvard University (1998-2001) - the highest honor bestowed by the University to a young scholar. He has taught in China as Honorary Professor of Composition and Sound Design at Wuhan Conservatory of Music (2000) and as the Distinguished Visiting Professor at Shaanxi Normal University College of Arts in Xi’an (2004). He taught music theory at Harvard University (2003-2006) where he received the Derek Bok Distinguished Teaching Award. He taught composition and theory at Middlebury College as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music (2006-2007). As Chair of the Boston chapter of the National Guild for Piano Teachers (2005-2006), Lei Liang also shared his passion for music with children. He was named a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum in 2008.