Many consider Wang Jie’s stylistic versatility a rare trait among today’s composers. One day she spins a few notes into a large symphony, the next she conjures a malevolent singing rat onto the opera stage. Unveiling beauty in this world and paving new paths for lasting public engagement with classical music are at the heart of her artistry.
At age 29, her Carnegie Hall debut was a career-launcher. Having already surprised the American Composers Orchestra by composing a miniature opera for the concert stage, Jie shape-shifted to become a character in her own opera “From the Other Sky”, swivelled between several keyboard instruments and underwent several costume changes. Since then, her Symphony No. 2, commissioned and premiered by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Leonard Slatkin was streamed live to a worldwide audience. Oboe Concerto, commissioned and premiered by the Orchestra of the League of Composers, earned Jie her first standing ovation. For the past three years, Jie’s Symphony No. 1 has been the most-broadcast work on the most-listened-to-classical music show on public radio. A popular concert opener, her symphonic overture – America the Beautiful is adored by tens and thousands of live audiences across the United States each year.
You might have heard about her pioneering opera “It Rained On Shakopee” during pre-pandemic seasons based on her mentoring experience at the Minnesota state prison. Another example of her innovative approach to pave new paths for greater public engagement with classical music, was her one-of-a-kind “composer-in-residence” with Performance Today, sharing her entire creative process with an audience over a four-day whirlwind of composition on board a cruise ship on the Seine River. Now that the concert stage has unpaused, in 2022 alone, Jie has enjoyed several world premieres with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Colorado Music Festival, the Cathedral of St. John and Divine, and The Apollo Chamber Plays.
Jie holds a Ph.D. in music theory and composition from New York University. Her dissertation was an interdisciplinary investigation of extraordinary artistic creativity through the lenses of Symbolic Philosophy, Psychology and Neuroscience. Additionally, she obtained Artist Diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music, MM and BM from the Manhattan School of Music. Her career is made possible by trailblazers at New York City Opera, The League of American Orchestras, Opera America, American Composers Forum, etc. And she is continuously fueled by organizations that nodded at her endeavors, such as American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Koussevitzky Foundation in the Library of Congress, the McKnight Foundation, the V. Toulmin Foundation, to name a few. These lists are extensive, proof that the whole village must show up to bear witness as an artist struggles daily for her integrity. As James Baldwin says, this daily practice must be considered a metaphor for the universal struggle of all human beings to get to become human beings.