Zhou Long (simplified Chinese: 周龙; traditional Chinese: 周龍; pinyin: Zhōu Lóng; born July 8, 1953 in Beijing, China) is a Pulitzer-prize-winning Chinese American composer.


Zhou Long (b. July 8, 1953, Beijing) is internationally recognized for creating a unique body of music that brings together the aesthetic concepts and musical elements of East and West. Deeply grounded in the entire spectrum of his Chinese heritage, including folk, philosophical, and spiritual ideals, he is a pioneer in transferring the idiomatic sounds and techniques of ancient Chinese musical traditions to modern Western instruments and ensembles. His creative vision has resulted in a new music that stretches Western instruments eastward and Chinese instruments westward, achieving an exciting and fertile common ground.

Zhou Long was born into an artistic family and began piano lessons at an early age. During the Cultural Revolution, he was sent to a rural state farm, where the bleak landscape with roaring winds and ferocious wild fires made a profound and lasting impression. He resumed his musical training in 1973, studying composition, music theory, and conducting, as well as Chinese traditional music. In 1977, he enrolled in the first composition class at the reopened Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. Following graduation in 1983, he was appointed composer-in-residence with the National Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra of China. Zhou Long travelled to the United States in 1985 under a fellowship to attend Columbia University, where he studied with Chou Wen-Chung, Mario Davidovsky, and George Edwards, receiving a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 1993. After more than a decade as music director of Music from China in New York City, he received ASCAP’s prestigious Adventurous Programming Award in 1999.

Zhou Long was awarded the prestigious Pulitzer Prize in Music for his first opera, Madame White Snake. In their citation the jurors described the work as 'a deeply expressive opera that draws on a Chinese folk tale to blend the musical traditions of the East and the West.' He has been awarded 2012-2013 Elise Stoeger Prize from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; the largest prize devoted to chamber music composition and is presented every two years in recognition of significant contributions to the field. Zhou Long is currently Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance.

In 2012, Zhou Long composed two orchestral works: University Festival Overture and Beijing Rhyme - A Symphonic Suite, commissioned by the Beijing Symphony Orchestra, premiered and recorded on EMI in 2013; a solo piano work Pianobells, commissioned by Dr. Susan Chan and premiered at the Musica Nova concert in the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance; a chamber work, Cloud Earth for chamber ensemble, commissioned by The New York New Music Ensemble and premiered on its 35th anniversary celebration at the Merkin Concert Hall in New York City. In 2013, Zhou Long composed his epic evening-length symphonic work Nine Odes on poems by Qu Yaun (ca. 340 BCE - 278 BCE) for four solo vocalists and orchestra, commissioned by the Beijing Music Festival Arts Foundation and premiered in October 2013 as a tribute to his 60th.

2014 saw the completion of a new chamber work, Tales from the Nine Bells, co-commissioned and premiered by the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society in New York and Wigmore Hall in London for their 2014 Seasons, and a new piano concerto, Postures, co-commissioned by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and BBC Proms, which was premiered on 4 July 2014 in Singapore and 2 September 2014 at Royal Albert Hall, as part of the BBC Proms' 2014 season.

Recent work includes a commission from the World Saxophone Congress – Temple Bugler for Soprano Saxophone and Orchestra is an adaption of his earlier work The Rhyme of Taigu, and was premiered at the World Sax Open in July 2015. Zhou Long was also commissioned to compose a 9 minute piece for solo horn, to be used in the 2016 ARD International Music Competition.

A United States citizen since 1999, Zhou Long is married to the composer-violinist Chen Yi. It should be noted that Zhou is his family name and Long is his personal name, and thus he should be referred to as Mr. Zhou or Dr. Zhou.



  • Dong Shi (ballet), large orchestra, 1983
  • Sheng Sheng Man (incidental music for a dance show, text by Li Qingzhao), soprano, ensemble of instruments from China, 1989
  • Flying to Heaven/Butterfly (dance music), fixed media, 1994
  • Hidden Voices (dance music), 4 players, fixed media, 1994
  • Madame White Snake (opera, libretto by Cerise Lim Jacobs), 2010


  • Fisherman's Song (symphonic poem), large orchestra, 1981
  • Guang Ling San Symphony, large orchestra, 1983
  • King Chu Doffs His Armour, pipa (lute from China), orchestra, 1991
  • Da Qu, percussion, large orchestra, 1991 (also version for percussion, orchestra of instruments from China, 1991)
  • Tian Ling, pipa, small orchestra (14 players), 1992
  • Beijing Drum, pipa, orchestra, 1994
  • Poems from Tang, string quartet, large orchestra, 1995 (version of work for string quartet; third and fourth movements may be performed separately as Two Poems from Tang)
  • Concerto, saxophone, orchestra, 1999–2000
  • Out of Tang Court, pipa, zheng (zither from China), erhu, orchestra, 1999–2000
  • The Rhyme of Taigu, large orchestra, 2003
  • The Immortal, large orchestra, 2004


  • Song of the Ch'in, string quartet, 1982 (also incorporated into Poems from Tang)
  • Valley Stream, dizi (transverse flute from China), guan (oboe from China), zheng, percussion, 1983
  • Taiping Drum, violin, piano, 1983
  • Su, flute, huqin (family of spike fiddles from China), 1984 (also version for flute, harp/pipa, 1990)
  • Green, dizi, pipa, 1984 (also version for flute/shakuhachi [bamboo flute], pipa, 2001)
  • Triptych of Bell-Drum Music, percussion, 1984
  • The Moon Rising High, pipa, ensemble (dizi, daruan [bass lute from China], yangqin [hammered dulcimer from China], zheng, erhu, percussion), 1986
  • Heng – Eternity, dizi, pipa, yangqin, zheng, erhu, percussion, 1987
  • Soul, string quartet, 1987
  • Ding (Samadhi), clarinet, zheng, double bass, 1988 (also version for clarinet, double bass, percussion, 1990)
  • Variations on 'A Poetess' Lament', ensemble of instruments from China, fixed media, 1989
  • Dhyana, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, 1990
  • You Lan, erhu, piano, 1991
  • Wu Ji, zheng, piano, percussion, 1991 (version of work for piano; also versions for harp, piano, percussion, 1991; piano, percussion, 2000)
  • Soul, pipa, string quartet, 1992
  • Secluded Orchid, violin, cello, piano, 1992 (also version for pipa, erhu, cello, percussion, 2000)
  • Wild Grass, cello, 1993 (also version for viola, 1993)
  • Five Maskers, French horn, 2 trumpets, trombone, tuba, 1994
  • The Ineffable I, flute (+ piccolo), pipa, zheng, violin, cello, percussion, 1994 (also version for flute, zheng, percussion, 1994)
  • The Ineffable II, 2 dizi, cello, 2 percussion, 1995
  • Poems from Tang, string quartet, 1995 (incorporates Song of the Ch'in; also version for string quartet, large orchestra)
  • Metal, Stone, Silk, Bamboo, dizi, flute (+ piccolo), clarinet (+ bass clarinet), violin, cello, percussion, 1996
  • Sizhu, Silk and Bamboo, dizi, xun (clay flute from China), viola, cello, 1996
  • Tales from the Cave, huqin, 4 percussion, 1998
  • Spirit of Chimes, violin, cello, piano, 1999
  • Rites of Chimes, cello, ensemble of instruments from China, 2000
  • Partita, violin, piano, 2000
  • Harmony, string quartet, 2003
  • Taigu Rhyme, clarinet, violin, cello, 3 percussion, 2003
  • The Five Elements, flute (+ piccolo, claves), A-clarinet (+ claves), violin, cello, piano, percussion, 2003 (also version for dizi, clarinet, pipa, erhu, cello, percussion, 2003)
  • Mount a Long Wind, dizi, pipa, zheng, erhu, percussion, 2004


  • Words of the Sun (text by Ai Qing [translated by the composer]), mixed chorus, 1982, revised 1997
  • Two Poems, mixed chorus, 1997 (version of two sections of Shi Jing Cantata)
  • The Future of Fire, children's chorus/mixed chorus, large orchestra, 2001


  • Ballade of the Sea (song-cycle, text by Tuo Huang), soprano, piano, 1979
  • Green (vocalise), soprano, pipa, 1984 (also version for soprano, guitar, 1991)
  • Li Sao Cantata (text by Qu Yuan), soprano, small orchestra (14 players), 1988
  • A Poetess' Lament, soprano, pipa, zheng, erhu, 1989, revised 2000
  • Shi Jing Cantata (text from The Book of Songs [English translation]), soprano, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass, piano, 1990 (also version of two sections as Two Poems, mixed chorus)
  • Pipa Ballad (text by Bai Juyi), soprano, pipa, cello, 1991
  • Konghou Fantasia (text by Li He), soprano, pipa, zheng, erhu, string orchestra, 1995
  • Emperor's New Suit (text by Li Yan), baritone, piano, 2001


  • Wu Kui, 1983
  • Wu Ji, piano, fixed media, 1987 (also versions for zheng, piano, percussion; harp, piano, percussion; piano, percussion)


Chinese Folk Songs (folksongs from China), string quartet, 1998 (also version for string orchestra, 2004)


  • Valley Stream; Green (instrumental work; original version); Song beneath the Moon; Su (original version); Triptych of Bell-Drum Music. Chen Tao, Wang Ci-heng, dizi; Bao Ji-an, Hu Zhi-hou, guan; Han Guo-liang, flute; Wu Man, pipa; Huang He, yangqin; Li Meng, zheng; Wu Wen-guang, huqin; He Jian-guo, Li Zhen-gui, percussion (China Record Corporation: CRC RL-29, 1984)
  • Guang Ling San Symphony; Fisherman's Song; Dong Shi. Bian Zu-shan, Shao En, Yao Guan-rong/Central Philharmonic Orchestra (China Record Corporation: AL-52, 1986)
  • Tian Ling; Su (second version); Wu Ji (second version); Ding (Samadhi) (second version); Dhyana. Barbara Siesel, flute; Allen Blustine, clarinet; Victoria Drake, harp; Wu Man, pipa, zheng; Victor Kioulaphides, double bass; Gwendolyn Mok, piano; Frank Cassara, Erik Charlston, percussion; Efraín Guigui/Composers Conference Ensemble; Donald Palma/Speculum Musicae (Composers Recordings, Inc.: CRI 679, 1994)
  • Song of the Ch'in. Shanghai String Quartet (Delos Productions: DE 3162, 1994)
  • King Chu Doffs His Armour. Zhang Hong-yan/Shanghai Symphony Orchestra (Shanghai Audio and Video Company: CD 0020, 1994)
  • Li Sao Cantata. Lan Rao, soprano; Mak Ka Lok/Russian Philharmonic Orchestra (Hugo Productions, 1995)
  • Green (vocal work; original version). Min Xiaofen, soprano, pipa (Avant: AVAN 021, 1998)
  • Two Poems from Tang. Daniel Harding/London Symphony Orchestra (BBC Music Magazine: 67, 1998)
  • The Ineffable I; Wild Grass; Five Maskers; Ding (Samadhi) (original version); Metal, Stone, Silk, Bamboo. Allen Blustine, clarinet; Gregory D. Evans, French horn; Kevin Cobb, Wayne J. du Maine, trumpets; Thomas Hutchinson, trombone; Stephen Foreman, tuba; Fred Sherry, cello; Donald Palma, double bass; Claire Heldrich/Chen Tao, dizi; David Fedele, piccolo, flute; Jean Kopperud, clarinet, bass clarinet; Min Xiaofen, pipa; Ann Yao, zheng; Thomas Chiu, Laura Park, violins; Chris Finckel, Joshua Gorden, cellos; William Trigg, percussion (Cala Records: CACD 77008, 1998)
  • Chinese Folk Songs; Poems from Tang; Soul (second version). Min Xiaofen, pipa; Shanghai String Quartet (Delos Productions: DE 3233, 1998)
  • Two Poems from Tang. Daniel Harding/London Symphony Orchestra (EMI Classics: 72826 2, 1998)
  • Words of the Sun. Chanticleer (Teldec: 3984-24570-2, 1999)
  • Su (second version). Susan Glaser, flute, Emily Mitchell, harp (Koch International Classics: KIC-CD-3-7497-2, 2000)
  • Out of Tang Court. Shui Lan/Singapore Symphony Orchestra (BIS Records: BIS-CD-1222, 2002)
  • Da Qu (original version). Dame Evelyn Glennie, percussion; Shui Lan/Singapore Symphony Orchestra (BIS Records: BIS-CD-1322, 2003)
  • Shi Jing Cantata; Pipa Ballad; Konghou Fantasia; A Poetess' Lament; Green (vocal work; original version); Li Sao Cantata. Lan Rao, soprano (Cala Records: CACD 77009, 2003)
  • Tales from the Cave; Heng; Valley Stream; Secluded Orchid (second version); The Five Elements (second version). Music from China (Delos Productions: DE 3335, 2004)
Zhou Long
Info: Chinese American composer
Type: Person Male
Period: 1953.7.8 - ..
Age: 64 years
Labels: / Composer / China / Modernist music


Update Time:2017-10-13 13:27 / 1 month, 1 week ago.