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NYWC Spotlight: Jing Zhou

We are excited to continue our collaboration with the New York Women Composers. This month, we spotlight composer and conductor Jing Zhou.

Composer Jing Zhou. Photo Courtesy Jing Zhou.

Composer Jing Zhou. Photo Courtesy Jing Zhou.


Jing Zhou is a composer and guzheng performer. She fuses new and bold musical ideas with her traditional Chinese musical heritage to create a distinct compositional style. She recently finished her DMA in composition at the University of Missouri – Kansas City, where she studied with Zhou Long, James Mobberley and Chen Yi. Previously, Zhou completed her Master’s in Composition at the New England Conservatory of Music and her Bachelor’s in Composition at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing.

As a composer and performer, Zhou is a fixture at events around the world, with her music performed in halls across China, America, and Europe. Groups that have performed her pieces include Music from China, 15.19 Clarinet Ensemble, Dinosaur Annex, members of Eighth Blackbird, and the NEC Philharmonia. Zhou was a ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award finalist, and was selected by Louis Andriessen for the Young Composers Project at the Beijing Modern Music Festival.

Featured Work: “Melancolique” for cello and guzheng


  • Title: “Melancolique”
  • Composer: Jing Zhou
  • Year of Composition: 2013
  • Instrumentation: cello and guzheng
  • Movements: 1
  • Duration of Work: about 9 minutes
  • Number of Measures: unmeasured
  • Number of pages: 10
  • Tempo: moderate
  • Performance Notes: the cello imitates a glissando style from Chinese traditional music
  • Difficulty Level: professional
  • Highest Position Reached: thumb
  • Techniques Employed: harmonics; bowing with overpressure; glissandos, sul tasto and sul ponticello; con sordino; double and triple stops; tremolo; wide vibrato and microtones; bass, tenor, and treble clefs; wide range of dynamics (from pppp to fff)
  • Publisher: self-published
  • Where to Purchase the Score: email the composer
  • Cost of Score*: $10.00


Program Notes

“Melancolique is based on my experiences visiting museums and watching films in New York City and Washington DC in December 2012. I saw a wide range of styles and ideas presented in both those places that inspired different feelings in me. This piece attempts to depict and expand on some of the moods that I felt, as well as those present in those works of art, making it a sort of artistic/emotional travelogue. There are two versions, including cello solo and duet for cello and guzheng.” – Jing Zhou

Jing Zhou’s Other Work with a Prominent Cello Part

  • Melancolique for unaccompanied cello


A Collaboration with the New York Women Composers (NYWC)

The NYWC series at the Cello Museum was created to showcase its members who have composed various pieces for cello, informing cellists seeking new music to add to their repertoire, and helping listeners find new favorites. Many thanks to the NYWC for this wonderful collaboration.

Read other installments in the series here.

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*Prices are accurate at the time of article publication, but the Cello Museum cannot take responsibility for subsequent price changes.