Pasadena City College, Home of the PCC Lancers

Cynthia Hsinmei Hsiang

Personal Info

Cynthia Hsiang, award winning Zheng (Chinese zither) soloist and pianist, graduated from Taiwan Normal University under zheng paster Prof. Tsai-ping Liang and Prof. Diting Lin, and earned her Ph.D. Candidate and Master degrees in ethnomusicology from UCLA. Serving as director of UCLA Chinese usic ensemble from 1992-1996, she currently teaches Asian Music and directs Chiense Music Ensemble at Pasadena City College. She began her professional career as a zheng soloist and composer with the Taiwan National Chinese Orchestra. She has been featured in numerous concerts and recordings in Taiwan, US and Europe, and has premiered many contemporar works with symphony orchestras including Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, San Fransisco Symphony, Los Angeles Opera, Sacramental Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, UC Riverside Symphony, Palisades Symphony, Las Vegas Mirage Casino and Madrid International Theater Festival. She is also an active studio musician, collaboratiing with prominent film composers such as Oscar winning composers Maurice Jarre and James Horner. Her performance credits include personal zheng recital at Taiwan National Music Hall, movie sound tracks such as "setting Sun", "Jade", and Jackie Chan''s "The Legend of Drunken Master", and two CD albums "Nocturne in Autumn Palace" and "High Mountain and Flowing Water". Along with Zhiming Han Chinese Music Ensemble, her performances at the Los Angeles Music Center were telecast by KCET. Her compositions for zheng are widely performed and become standard zheng literature. Representing UCLA, her electronic music composition was premiered in Southern California Electronic and Acoustic Music Festival at Harbor College. She presented her research papers on Vietnamese and Balinese music in Society for Ethnomusicology conference at UCSB and Chinese National Conference on Music Melody at Hong Kong University.

Her honors include Yamaha Foundation Scholarship, Southern California Chinese Society Scholarship, UCLA Edna & Yu-Shan Han Scholarship, UCLA Clifton Webb Scholarship, National Taiwan Normal University Distunguished Students Awards, Champions in Taiwan National Music Competition, and Taiwan Times Songwriting Award. Her teaching philosophy is to help and inspire students to achieve their highest potential in music through professional instruction.