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Kwan Leung Ling | Music Technology

Kwan Leung Ling

Ling, Kwan Leung
Adjunct Instructor
Music Technology 


Kwan Leung LING is a composer and performer born and raised in Hong Kong. His instrument is suona, a traditional Chinese double reed instrument. His musical style is influenced by his national identity and upbringing. Hong Kong is a city bursting with international life and color. His music concerns itself with finding varying fusions between multicultural music styles and searching for the connection between sounds.

Creating music based on the sounds from nature is a fundamental aspect of traditional Chinese music. Ling has been practicing suona since he was ten years old, the DNA of traditional Chinese music has been carved into his genes. Orchestrating the soundscape in his daily life is an integral part of his compositional process. Ling gathers found objects with no apparent relation to each other into collections and improvises and records their unique sound qualities. Those recordings become the key to expanding my sonic imagination.

Collaboration is one of the most important portions of his artistic journey. Ling has collaborated with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, SPLICE Ensemble, Trio Mythos, Duo Entre-Nous and UMKC Graduate Fellowship String Quartet. In 2012, Ling performed in A Sedan Chair for the Bride The Wonderful Winds of Guo Yazhi concert. Ling had performed as a Suona, Guanzi and Clarinet player in Portraits of America – Scottsdale Concert Band (2015), Cat’s Cradle (2016), Calarts Ok Composer Concert  (2017), Calarts Sonic Boom (2017),Vinny Golia Large Ensemble (2017), Beirut Orchestra Music Video (2017), SPICE Ensemble X UMKC Composers’ Guild (2022), Charlotte Street Foundation (2022) in the United State from 2015 to 2022. Moreover, Ling has been collaborating with artists from outside the field of music. These collaborations include a documentary film with Filipino/Singaporian filmmaker – Brian Yulo Ng, the collaboration – 24 has been nominated and screened in 17 film festivals from 2019 to 2022. Ling’s suona and fixed media piece – Midden has been selected in the New York City New Electroacoustic Music Festival 2022. In 2022, Ling has commissioned ten composers to compose new pieces for suona and western instruments, Ling has held a week-long event about the evolution and use of modern suona. Ling and Guo Yazhi premiered and read ten new pieces in the week-long event. In the summer of 2022, Ling performed a piece for five ancient Chinese instruments and Orchestra, composed by Tan Dun, as a bili and suona soloist, with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of Tan Dun himself.

Ling is extremely passionate about receiving new ideas and inspiration through different artists. He had participated in the Highscore festival where he attended master classes held by Helmut Lachenmann, Christopher Theofanidis, Toivo Tulev, Dmitri Tymoczko, Amy Beth Kirsten, and Sarah Kirkland Snider.

Ling holds a BFA in composition from California Institute of the Arts and a MM in composition from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Ling is currently completing his DMA in Composition at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory with a full scholarship and Graduate Teaching Assistantship position, directing the Improvisational Music/Media Performance Ensemble. Here Ling is exploring new sound by putting in different mediums into his own music, furnished by Chen Yi, Yotam Haber, Paul Rudy and Zhou Long. Ling has also participated in master classes held by Chaya Czernowin, Du Yun, Michael Daugherty, Hans Thomalla, Ken Ueno and Amy Williams while attending the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Ling is currently an adjunct instructor at the University of Century Missouri, teaching Digital Audio Production, supervising young artists in music making and leading them to find their creative voice. The experiences of collaborating with a number of artists from different fields have become his secret weapon and has strengthened his understanding of the synergetic capabilities of music.


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