Born June 23, 1905, in Aomen (Macao), Kwangtung Province; died Oct. 30, 1945, in Moscow. Chinese composer. Member of the Communist Party of China from 1938.
Hsien graduated from Lingnan University in Kuangchou (Canton) in 1926. From 1927 to 1929 he studied at the Shanghai Conservatory and from 1930 to 1935 at the Paris Conservatory, where he studied violin under P. Oberdörffer and composition under V. d’Indy, L. Court, and P. Dukas. From 1935 to 1937 he worked in Shanghai, and in 1938 he began teaching composition at the Lu Hsün Academy of Arts in Yenan. From 1940 to 1945 he lived in Moscow, and many of his compositions were first performed in the USSR.
In 1970, Hsien’s Huang Ho Cantata was reworked by a group of composers into a concerto for piano and orchestra; the choral section was deleted, since the text had become “unacceptable.” Hsien’s other works include the Symphony of the People’s Liberation War, the Symphony of the Sacred War, and more than 100 lyric and popular songs, including songs written for films. Since the end of the 1960’s Hsien’s songs have been sung in the People’s Republic of China with new words, glorifying Mao Tse-tung.
A. N. ZHELOKHOVTSEV