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Taiwan New Sound Concert
Requiem for the 228 Incident 

Editor/Felicity Fei-Hsien Chiu (邱斐顯)

Date: 2008 April 7, Monday.
Time: 19:30 p.m.
Venue: National Concert Hall,
National Chiang Kai Shek Cultural
Center (

The incident that set off the February 1947 uprising occurred in the area near the Tien-Ma Cafe (Tea House) on Nan-Ching West Road in Taipei on the evening of February 27 of 1947 when a policeman attempted to confiscate cigarettes being peddled by an elderly Taiwanese woman. The woman, Lin Chiang Mai, resisted and was then pistol-whipped by the policeman. An angry crowd soon gathered around Lin and the policeman. A warning shot fired by a policeman went astray and killed an onlooker, and that was the spark that lit the so-called 228 Incident. 

The 228 Incident of 1947 was a spontaneous uprising by the Taiwanese people against suppression by the Kuomintang (KMT
government which took control in Taiwan in 1945 in the wake of Japanese colonization. Thousands of Taiwanese elites and ordinary citizens were killed in the incident. 

The upcoming concert will open with “The Requiem for the 228 Incident,” composed by Ko Fang-Lung(柯芳隆)

Professor Ko, the composer.

The famous poet, Lee Kuei-Hsien
wrote the lyrics for the song, which represents the great spirit of the Taiwanese people in their darkest hour.

Lee Kuei-Hsien, the poet.

Members and the program

Composer: Ko Fang-Lung 

Lyricist: Lee Kuei-Shien  

Apo Ching-Hsin Hsu, the conductor

Conductor: Apo Ching-Hsin Hsu 許瀞心

Vocal Soloists: Chen Yun-Yi 陳允宜, Yang Ai-Lin 楊艾琳Hsueh Ying-Tung 薛映東, Chen Jung-Kui 陳榮貴  

Chorus of the Department of Music, National Taiwan Normal University(國立台灣師範大學樂系合唱團), The Philharmonic Symphony which was formed by professors and elite alumni of National Taiwan Normal University(台灣師友愛樂交響樂團), Taipei Century Chorus(台北世紀合唱團), and La Voix d'Azur(蔚藍之聲合唱團)

The program includes Beethoven
Symphony No.3“Eroica”and Ko Fang-Lung“The Requiem for the 228 Incident”.

A note about Ko Fang-Lung

Ko Fang-Lung was born in Taichung, Taiwan, in 1947. He graduated from the Music Department of National Taiwan Normal University NTNUin 1972, and in 1980 entered the Berlin University of the Arts where he majored in composition under Professor F. M. Beyer. He graduated in 1985 and returned to NTNU to teach.  

Professor Ko is currently the chairman of NTNU’s Music Department. From 1994 to 1995, he served as president of ISCM. He received the Wu San-Lien Music Award in 2002.

His works combine eastern traditions and western techniques, and reflect his individual characteristics and the influence of his culture. His chamber music compositionQuintet IIreceived rave reviews when it was performed in Europe and the U.S. His Orchestral piece “Crying Mermaid" is the most frequently performed piece of modern music in Taiwan . The Three Movement Symphony for Chorus and Orchestra, “Dream of Year 2000, " has been performed 10 times since its premiere, each time with about two to three hundred people on stage.

A note about Lee Kuei-Shien

Lee Kuei-Hsien, born in Taipei in 1937, is a famous poet who graduated from Taipei Institute of Technology. He began writing poems in 1953, and by 1976 had become a member of the International Academy of Poets in England . He helped to establish the Taiwan PEN and was elected vice president of the organization in 1987 and president in 1995.

His poems have been translated and published in Canada , Greece , India , Japan , Korea , Mongolia , the Netherlands , New Zealand , Romania , Russia , Spain , the U.S. and Yugoslavia .

His awards include Merit of Asian Poet, Korea (1994); Taiwanese Poet Prize (1997); Poets International, India (1998); Poet of the Millennium Award, International Poets Academy, India (2000); and the Lai Ho Literature Prize and Premier Culture Prize, both in Taiwan (2001). His name was put forward by the International Poets Academy of India three times as a nominee for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001, 2003, and 2006. This brought great honor to Taiwan , even though he was just a nominee for the prize.

He also won the Michael Madhusudan Best Poet Award (2000), the Wu San-Lien Prize in Literature (2004) and the Poet Medal from the Mongolian Cultural Foundation (2005).

He has attended international poetry festivals in El Salvador , Japan , Korea , India , Mongolia , Nicaragua and the U.S. He served as Chairman of the National Culture and Arts Foundation from 2005 to 2007.

Lee will give a poetry reading at the upcoming concert.

A note about Apo Ching-Hsin Hsu

Apo Ching-Hsin Hsu, a native of Taiwan , earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in piano studies at National Taiwan Normal University . She did her graduate studies in the U.S. at the Hartt School of Music in Connecticut under the legendary double bassist, Gary Karr. She also earned an MM in double bass and an Artist Diploma in Conducting under Charles Bruck. She attended the Pierre Monteaux Domaine School in Maine for Advanced Conductors, the Conductor's Institute in South Carolina , studying under Harold Farberman, and the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado , studying under Murry Sidlin. 

Apo Hsu entered her fifth season as Orchestra Director at National Taiwan Normal University in the fall of 2007. She had previously served as Music Director and Conductor of the Springfield Symphony in Missouri . She also served as Artistic Director of The Women's Philharmonic in San Francisco and earlier as Music Director and Conductor of the Oregon Mozart Players in Eugene , Oregon , after she completed her three-year tenure as Affiliate Artist/NEA Assistant Conductor of the Oregon Symphony.

Apo Hsu has made guest appearances at concerts all over the U.S. , in Russia , Asia, and Australia . Hsu was also invited to guest conduct the Festival Orchestra for the 2003 Summer Presidential Concert in Chungli, and the Presidential Holiday Concert in Tainan , Taiwan in December 2003.

During the University's 60th Anniversary celebrations in May 2006, Apo Hsu led the National Taiwan Normal University Symphony Orchestra on a week long cultural exchange tour of Australia , performing in Brisbane , Sydney and Canberra , Australia . The National Taiwan Normal University Symphony Orchestra and the Festival Chorus also went tour of California tour where they performed “Formosa Dreaming” by Ko Fang-Lung and “Ilha Formosa : Requiem for the Formosan Martyrs” by Hsiao Tyzen. Apo Hsu conducted the Orchestra in September 2007 in three concerts that were presented at UCSD, San Gabriel and San Jose to critical acclaim.

Photo courtesy of the Department of Music, National Taiwan Normal University


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Bilingual Taiwanese and English Opera  

 “MackayThe Black Bearded Bible Man”World Premiere  


EditorFelicity Fei-Hsien Chiu(邱斐顯)

Date: 2008 November 27th ~30th    

The first bilingual Taiwanese and English Opera, “Mackay
The Black Bearded Bible Man,” will world premiere at the National Theater on November 27 and will run until November 30. 

Taiwanese composer Gordon S.W. Chin had a dream in 1998 to work on an opera based on the legendary life of George Leslie Mackay. His dream did not come true at that time because of a shortage of money. However, in 2003, Chin was commissioned by the Council for Cultural Affairs to compose “Mackay
The Black Bearded Bible Man. ” By 2004, all the music for the opera was written and in 2007 it was billed as a “flagship production” of the CKS Cultural Center. 

At the beginning of 2008, the cast and crew of
“MackayThe Black Bearded Bible Man” was chosen. Over a hundred brilliant opera singers and production crew members from Europe, Asia, and the USA were brought into the grand project. 

Its premiere will mark a new milestone in the musical history of Taiwan and put the country on the global stage.


A note about George Leslie Mackay


George Leslie Mackay, a Canadian missionary, was known to the Taiwanese people as “Reverend Kay” or the “Black Bearded Bible Man”. He vowed to be a missionary to people who never heard of Jesus Christ. His destiny was intertwined with that of Taiwan ’s since he first arrived in
Tamsui, northern Formosa in 1872, which remained his home until his death in 1901. 

Starting with an itinerant
dentistry practice amongst the lowland aborigines,
Mackay later established churches, schools – including Taiwan ’s first girls school -- and a hospital that practiced Western biomedicine. He learned to speak the vernacular Taiwanese fluently, and married a Taiwanese woman Chang Tsung-Ming. Today, Mackay’s influence on the island is still as profound and as it is noticeable. 


A note about Gordon S.W. Chin(金希文), composer 

Gordon Shi-Wen Chin is a member of the faculty of Taiwan National Normal University. He earned his doctoral degree at the Eastman School of Music under Christopher Rouse and Samuel Adler. As Taiwan ’s most prolific composer, his works have been performed by the Seattle Symphony, San Diego Symphony, and Vancouver Symphony, as well as well as by ensembles in Tokyo (Euodia Orchestra), France (Ensemble 2e2m), the U.S (International Sejong Soloists) and many others. 


A note about the international team 

International brilliance has been brought together for this unprecedented event. German director Lukas Hemleb was invited from France , where he made his fame in the field. The principal guest conductor Chien Wen-Ping
(簡文彬)is leading the National Symphony Orchestra, Taiwan.  


Thomas Meglioranza
, who has been hailed as “one of America ’s finest young baritones”, will sing the title role, “Mackay”. 

An “immaculate and inventive recitalist” (The New Yorker), Meglioranza is in demand throughout the world for his vivid performances. He recently released an acclaimed CD of songs by Franz Schubert. He is also known for his illuminating performances of contemporary music, inspiring many composers to write for his voice.


Mackay’s first disciple “A-Hua” is performed by Korean tenor Seung-Jin Choi
(崔勝震), who has impressed the opera world across Europe with the amazing power and beauty of his voice. 

Winner of Competition San Remo, International Competition Giuseppe Verdi, Competition Ranieri I Cestelli, International Music Competition and Competition Ranieri I Cestelli, Choi has been in great demand on the international stage.


Soprano Chen Mei-Ling
(陳美玲), the most noted Taiwanese opera singer, plays Chang Tsung-Ming(張聰明), Mackay’s Taiwanese wife. 

Chen was the first-prize winner of the Taiwan National Voice Competition in 1996, and one of the winners of the Arising Stars Vocal Competition in 2000 in Taiwan . She has sung with major orchestras in Taiwan , including National Symphony Orchestra, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, and Kaoshiung City Orchestra. 

With this
ensemble of opera talent from Europe, Asia and the U.S. , audiences can look forward to a captivating interpretation of Chin’s written work and a showcasing of Taiwan ’s deeply grounded musical brilliance. 

Photo courtesy of
CKS Cultural Center   

The above information was edited by Felicity Fei-Hsien Chiu
(邱斐顯), former editor of the Center for Web and Wireless News Service, Central News Agency. 


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Early Taiwanese Coffee Culture

Date: 2008 May 27th~ 2009 January 4th
Venue: National Museum of History
Gallery:2F Room 202 

The development of coffeehouses in Taiwan under Japanese colonial occupation

In the history of Taiwan, the terms “coffee” and “coffeehouse” were introduced by the Japanese colonial government. In the early years of Japanese colonial rule, coffeehouses in Taiwan were mostly run by Japanese.

In Taipei City, coffeehouses, such as the Chung Yang Restaurant(中央食堂), Parma Cafe and Daiichi Eiraku(第一永樂), were mainly located in the Sakaemachi area (around today’s Heng-Yang Road).

During this period, many Taiwanese students who had studied abroad and had become acquainted with Western culture returned home after completing their studies. They helped to popularize the culture of coffee and coffeehouses in Taiwan society. It was therefore not long before some Taiwanese people began to run coffeehouses.

These coffeehouses included Werther(維特), Tianma Teahouse(天馬茶房)and Bolero(波麗路). Most of them were located in Dadaocheng(大稻埕)District (around today’s Di-Hua Street). They were in fact restaurants, teahouses, cabarets and diners. Bolero, established in 1934, has been in operation for more than 74 years.

These coffeehouses played a very important role in the lives of intellectuals during the period of Japanese colonial rule. For example, the well-known composer Deng Yu-Shian, who composed many popular songs such as “Love Song of Four Seasons”(四季紅), “Sorrow in a Moonlit Night”(月夜愁), “Longing for the Spring Breeze”(望春風), and “Flowers in a Rainy Night”(雨夜花)for Taiwanese people, often went to Bolero to gain inspiration. The owner of Tianma Teahouse, Chan Tian-Ma, also composed “Crying Peach Flowers”(桃花泣血記)at his coffeehouse around that same time.

The term “coffeehouse”, in early Taiwan, was not really a coffeehouse, but rather was a place for Western style recreation. Most customers were Japanese people or Taiwanese students who had studied abroad. At the time, it was quite costly to patronize those coffeehouses. 

Photo courtesy of National Museum of History

More information please check the following website:

Link 1: 

Link 2: http://www.nmh.gov.tw/zh-tw/Exhibition/Content.aspx?Para=0|23|421&unkey=20

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