Taiwanese composer and music educator. He graduated from the National Taiwan University (1967-71) then studied composition with Lehmann at the Musikhochschule and Musikakademie in Zürich (1974); he continued his studies with Helmut Lachenmann at the Hochschule für Musik and Theater in Hanover (1976-8) and with Isang Yun at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin (1978-80). Upon his return to Taiwan he became professor of music and composition at the National Institute of the Arts in Taibei and founded the Modern Music Centre there in 1984. This organization became the kernel of the Taiwan branch of the ISCM, which Pan co-founded with Wen Longxin and Zeng Xingkui in 1989.
While making use of the entire array of modernist and avant-garde techniques, Pan's music is often inspired by Chinese philosophical or mythical concepts. Hudiemeng (1979) and Du, ein sterblicher, unnützer Mensch (1981) are based on texts by the Daoist philosopher Zhuangzi. Yijing (1995) makes use of the Classic of Changes (also an inspiration to Cage), while Penglai (1978) is a sonic depiction of a Chinese paradise. His compositions series Yin-Yang (1992-5) and Wuxing shengke (1979-86) are based on the Chinese philosophy of change in which all parts of the cosmos are said to be in constant flux. These works depict the permutations of the five primary elements as they successively produce and destroy each other: movement generates new movement, or is destroyed by new movement. Each motif is subjected to constant metamorphosis: change may occur in sound colour, texture, structure, dynamics or metre. (© New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians)


Edward M. Pickman Concert Hall at Longy | April 8, 2000