Local composer hoping to win a Grammy Award

An associate professor of composition at Michigan State University is up for a Grammy Award on Sunday night in New York City.

Musical composer Zhou Tian and his work is nominated in the category “Best Contemporary Classical Composition.” Tian was commissioned by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra to create a composition and the request blossomed into a piece Tian titled “Concerto for Orchestra,” a contemporary classical piece lasting 35-minutes and comprised of four movements: Glow, Indigo, Seeker’s Scherzo, with the finale titled Intermezzo. It took six months to complete, with Tian composing thousands of notes designed for a full symphony orchestra involving more than 80 people.

“It’s a celebration of people making music together,” says Tian.

Now the celebration is focused on him and this work because Tian is heading to the Big Apple. His “Concerto for Orchestra” is nominated for a Grammy award, an honor Tian says humbles your soul.

“It makes you appreciate this job so much.”

Tian says he knows a few of his fellow nominees and is excited to be part of this with them. He of course hopes to win music’s biggest award, but admits, red carpet treatment and hanging out with the world’s best musicians is a big win itself.

“I keep telling my students, my big hope is to mingle with Jay-Z and get a selfie with Cardi B.”

“Concerto for Orchestra” is Tian’s 10th orchestral piece he has composed since graduating from Juilliard School for Music.

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