Alice Ping Yee Ho


Photo of Alice Ho, an Asian woman with long black hair, wearing a dark red shirt

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  2022 Nova Scotia Symphony’s Maria Anna Mozart Award, 2022 Barlow General Commissioning Award, ​2019 Johanna Metcalf Performing Arts Prize, 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 The 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, "colourful orchestration," and "emotive qualities." Influences evident in her proudly eclectic approach include Chinese folk and operatic idioms, Japanese Taiko, jazz,  pop culture, and other contemporary art forms. 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.”

Often featured at national and international new music festivals such as ISCM World Music Days, Ottawa Chamberfest, Denmark’s CRUSH New Music Festival, and Asian Music Week in Japan, etc. Her works have also been performed by major ensembles and soloists including Finnish Lapland Chamber Orchestra, Esprit Orchestra, the Florida Orchestra, China National Symphony, Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, Polish Radio Choir, Estonia's Ellerhein Girls' Choir, the Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Victoria, Nova Scotia, Hamilton, Kitchener Waterloo, and Windsor Symphonies, the Luxembourg Sinfonietta, Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, New Music Concerts, Penderecki String Quartet, TorQ percussion quartet, Duo Concertante, violist Rivka Golani, pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico, percussionists Sumire Yoshihara, Evelyn Glennie, and Beverley Johnston,  flutist Robert Aitken, Patrick Gallois, and Susan Hoeppner.

A twice JUNO Award Nominee (2015 and 2018), she has an impressive discography released on the Centrediscs, Naxos, Marquis Classics, Blue Griffin, Electra, Leaf Music, and Phoenix labels. She has six solo discs and two new recordings devoted to music written for different genres: "Ming" for percussion, "Glistening Pianos" for two pianos, "The Lesson of Da Di" features her Dora award winning opera The Lesson of Da Ji,  "Mysterious Boot" for flute, cello, and piano, "The Monkiest King" features her children's opera with the Canadian Children's Opera Company, and "Venom of Love" presents a full length recording of her electronic ballet music.  She is currently working on two new solo albums "A Woman's Voice" for female voices and piano on Leaf Music label, and a full length recording of her solo piano music featuring acclaimed Canadian pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico on Centrediscs label.  Her upcoming projects includes a new opera CHINATOWN commissioned by City Opera Vancouver, with renowned Canadian writer/librettist Madeleine Thien and Hoisanese co-writer Paul Yee, opening September 13-17 of 2022 at the Vancouver Playhouse.

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.

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