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Alice Ping Yee Ho's Bio

Photography by Bo Huang


One of the most acclaimed composers writing in Canada today, Hong Kong-born Alice Ping Yee Ho has written in many musical genres and received numerous national and international awards, including the 2016 Louis Applebaum Composers Award, 2014 Prince Edward Island Symphony Composers Competition, 2014 Kitchener Waterloo Symphony Friendship Orchestral Composition Competition, 2013 Dora Mavor Moore Award “Outstanding Original Opera” for her opera Lesson of Da Ji, 2013 Boston Metro Opera International Composition Competition, K.M. Hunter Artist Award, du Maurier Arts Ltd. Canadian Composers Competition, MACRO International Composition Competition, Luxembourg Sinfonietta International Composition Prize, and International League of Women Composers Competition.

Critics have called her music dramatic and graceful, while praising its “organic flow of imagination,” “distinctly individual” style", colorful orchestration, and emotive qualities. Influences evident in her proudly eclectic approach include Chinese folk and operatic idioms, Japanese Taiko and African drumming, and jazz. Her ongoing goal is to explore new musical styles that are provocative to the ears.

“Colors and tonality are two attractive resources to me: they form certain mental images that connect to audiences in a very basic way.” [AH]  

Often featured at national and international new music festivals such as ISCM World Music Days, Ottawa Chamberfest, Demark's CRUSH New Music Festival, Asian Music Week in Japan, etc. Her works have also been performed by major ensembles including Finnish Lapland Chamber Orchestra, Esprit Orchestra, China National Symphony, Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, Polish Radio Choir, the Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Victoria, and Windsor Symphonies; the Luxembourg Sinfonietta, Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, and the Penderecki String Quartet.

A twice JUNO Award Nominee (2015 and 2018), she has an impressive discography released on the Centrediscs, Naxos, Marquis Classics, Blue Griffin, Electra, and Phoenix labels. She has four solo discs (Centrediscs/Naxos) devoted to music written for different genres: "Ming" for percussion, "Glistening Pianos" for two pianos, "The Lesson of Da Di" features her full length award wining opera, and "The Mysterious Boot" features chamber music for flute, celo, and piano. In June, 2019, She will be producing her 5th CD for her children's opera "The Monkiest King" with the Canadian Children's Opera Company on Centrediscs/Naxos labels. This new opera with libretist Marjorie Chan has just been nominated for the 2019 Dora Mavor More Award's "Outstanding New Opera".

Ms. Ho holds a Bachelor of Music degree in composition with high distinction from Indiana University and a Master of Music degree in composition from the University of Toronto. Her teachers have included John Eaton (USA), Brian Ferneyhough(Germany), and John Beckwith (Canada).

She is a noted classical pianist and an active advocate of contemporary music. She had performed in many new music festivals, including a solo piano recital recorded by CBC Radio 2 in which she premiered Tan Dun’s solo piano work “Traces II”. She now makes her home in Toronto.