About

D.M.A – University of Toronto
M.Mus – University of Toronto
B.Mus – University of British Columbia
L.R.S.M in Piano Performance – ABRSM U.K.

Biography

Dr. Roydon Tse (b.1991) is an award-winning Chinese-Canadian composer and educator.  He is passionate about communicating to audiences from all backgrounds and his works for orchestra, chamber and vocal forces are inspired by the fusion of Eastern and Western elements, the visual arts and the environment. 

His 2023 began with the US Premiere of “Yellow Crane Tower” by the Philadelphia Orchestra and iSing! Suzhou at the Kimmel Center and Lincoln Center under the baton of Liu Kuokman. In June 2022, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under Gustavo Gimeno gave four performances of their NextGen commissioned work, “Unrelenting Sorrow“, described as a composition which “succeeds admirably” in taking us in a late-Romantic direction. (Leslie Barcza). His new chamber opera “Shikata Ga Nai” based on the life of WWII veteran Jimmy Doi opened at the Atlanta Opera and was included as part of a docu-series on their 96-hour opera project. Upcoming in 2023 are premieres with the Esprit Orchestra, Shanghai Philharmonic, and l”Orchestre Symphonique des Trois-Rivieres.

The pandemic led to a time of renewed creativity and expanding collaborations with artists across the globe. “Fantasies on Tang Poetry” was commissioned by dean of the Tianjin Juilliard School Katherine Chu for baritone and chamber ensemble and premiered by members of the TJS Ensemble with baritone Jose Rubio in 2021. His first percussion quartet “Revolution” was commissioned & premiered by SORI Percussion in South Korea in that same year. The International Double Reed Society commissioned “To Earth” for bassoon and piano for their 50th anniversary and annual conference in Boulder, CO. Returning to the string quartet medium after a brief hiatus, the Lunenburg Academy and Verona Quartet co-commissioned “Blank Canvas” in 2021, a 20-minute quartet based on painting techniques. The Verona Quartet has subsequently toured with the work performing it in Seattle Town Hall and Ottawa ChamberFest. Recent performances in Europe include the Finnish premiere of “Starscape” at Musica Nova Helsinki and his wind orchestra work “Flow” in Paris, by La Musique des Gardiens de la Paix and Orchestre de la Garde Republicaine in 2022.

Prior collaborators include the Brussels Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Hamilton Philharmonic, Shanghai Philharmonic, Vancouver Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Suzhou Symphony, Niagara Symphony, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, National Youth Orchestra of Canada, Vancouver Chamber Choir, Vancouver Bach Choir, City Opera Vancouver; the Interro, Bozzini, Cecilia, and Verona Quartets; and members of the Paris Opera and La Scala Orchestras, among others.

Roydon has won several awards, including seven SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers, the Washington International Composition Prize, CMC Prairies Emerging Composer Prize, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta’s Emerging Artist Award, and the Johanna Metcalf Performing Arts Protégé Prize.  He was named to CBC music’s top “30 under 30” Canadian Classical Musicians list in 2017 and received the Weinzweig Award from the University of Toronto for exceptional potential in composition. Additionally, he has received support for commissioning from the Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, SOCAN Foundation and the Canada Council for the Arts.

A passionate educator, Roydon has taught composition to students of all levels at the University of Toronto and the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance.  As a musical ambassador in the community, he has worked with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Community Music Schools of Toronto, BC’s Health Arts Society and the Canadian Opera Company to bring music to youth. A pianist by trade, his complete piano music is featured in the 2022 revised edition of the RCM Piano Syllabus.

Born in Hong Kong, Roydon studied piano and violin in the U.K. as a teenager and earned composition degrees from the University of British Columbia (B.Mus) and the University of Toronto (M.Mus, D.M.A).  He is based in Toronto Canada.

January 2023

Awards

▪ SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers, 2nd Prize (Solo & Duet)  
▪ Fondation JM Canada Young Musicians Competition, Artistic Prize          
▪ iSing! International Composition Competition, Grand Prize
▪ Mississauga Symphony Orchestra Composers Competition, 1st Prize  
▪ University of Toronto Faculty of Music Graduating Award
▪ SOCAN Foundation Award for Young Composers, 1st Prize (Vocal)
▪ Cantabile Choirs BIPOC Composition Competition, Honorable Mention
▪ Coups de Vents International Composition Competition, Honorable Mention
▪ Ottawa Pops Orchestra Call for Scores, Winner
▪ Johanna Metcalf Foundation Performing Arts Prizes, Protégé Prize 
▪ Lyra Harp Society Costello Composition Competition, Winner   
▪ New Ariel Piano Composition Competition, Finalist     
▪ Thailand International Rapee Sagarik Composition Prize, Finalist    
▪ Lieutenant Governor of Alberta’s Emerging Artist Award                      
▪ Vancouver Bach Choir Choral Composition Competition, Winner  
▪ Emilio del Rosario Foundation Emerging Composer Competition, Winner          
▪ Bloomington Symphony Orchestra Call for Scores, Winner   
▪ Musequal Composer Competition, Finalist
▪ BMI Student Composers Award, Finalist                                
▪ Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra Young Composers Competition, 1st Prize    
▪ Warren County School of Music Young Composers Competition, 1st Prize 
▪ Sir James Lougheed Award of Distinction (2016)
▪ SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers, 1st Prize (Large Ensemble)
▪ SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers, 3rd Prize (Solo & Duet)    
▪ Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra Composition Competition, Winner      
▪ Locrian Chamber Players Call for Scores
▪ University of Oklahoma 4×4 Prizes for Composers, Finalist    
▪ Austin Civic Orchestra Composition Competition, 2nd Prize                           
▪ East Carolina University Orchestral Composition Competition, Winner      
▪ University of Toronto String Quartet Composition Competition, Winner                
▪ University of Toronto Friendship Orchestra Composition Competition, Winner  
▪ Washington International Composition Competition, 1st Prize   
▪ Sir James Lougheed Award of Distinction (2015)                   
▪ SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers, 2nd Prize (Solo & Duet)        
▪ Canadian University Music Society’s Student Composition Prize               
▪ Chengdu International New Music Composition Prize, Finalist           
▪ Land’s End Ensemble National Composer’s Competition, 2nd Prize                
▪ Alberta Arts Graduate Award
▪ Etobicoke Philharmonic Young Composers Competition, 1st Prize                 
▪ Orchestre Nouvellé Générataion Composers Competition, Winner     
▪ Canadian Music Center Prairies’ Emerging Composer Prize            
▪ Mississauga Festival Choir Composition Competition, Winner        
▪ Toronto Symphony Orchestra Call for Scores, Selected Composer               
▪ Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra Call for Score, Selected Composer
▪ Trio Anima Mundi International Composition Prize                    
▪ Robert Avalon International Composition Competition, 2nd Prize    
▪ Vanguard Premieres International Composition Competition, Young Composer Prize   
▪ Vancouver Chamber Choir Young Composers’ Competition, Best of BC Prize      
▪ University of British Columbia Cooke Topping Memorial Medal      
▪ University of British Columbia Wesbrook Scholarship
▪ Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra Composition Competition, Winner         
▪ University of British Columbia Dean’s Prize in Composition
▪ Russell Patrick Arts Undergraduate Research Award, Runner Up
▪ Land’s End Ensemble National Composers’ Competition, Winner      
▪ Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Orchestra Composition Competition, 1st Prize     
▪ Edmonton Mayor’s Celebration for the Arts STANTEC Emerging Artist Award 

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