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Yue Zhuo  PhD, FHEA, MA, MSc, BSc (Hon)

Dr Yue Zhuo


PhD, FHEA, MA, MSc, BSc (Hon)

Lecturer in Composition

+44 29225 14704
33-37 Corbett Road, Room Room 1.03, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3EB


My name is 卓越 (Zhuó Yuè), aka. Jerry Zhuo. I am an active composer, improviser and conductor with a rising reputation in Wales and my hometown Xiamen, China. Here at Cardiff University, I lecture and tutor composition, studio techniques, music theory, and performance practice. I also work as the Deputy Director of International Engagement for the School of Music, facilitating communication with our own international cohort and the partner academic institutions worldwide.

Having grown up in an increasingly postmodern society in China, I produce compositions that question the authenticity of personal identity. I often employ a philosophical approach in organising musical structure, taking inspiration from my experience in electroacoustic performance, improvisation, and audience engagement. Based on this, I have recently started a new compositional and musicological research project in Nan-yin, a type of music from my native Min-nan Chinese (or Hokkien) culture. My other research interests include the use of ancient Chinese poetry in composing, with a current focus on Qingzhao Li (1084–1155) from Song dynasty. These multiple interests have led to the creation of works such as Sheng-sheng-man for mezzo-soprano and large ensemble, which will have its world premiere in 2024.

Audiences have described my compositional outcomes as ‘evocative’ and ‘deeply personal’. I have been selected to participate in music festivals and composition projects worldwide, including Tŷ Cerdd, Vale of Glamorgan Festival, Valencia International Performance Festival, impuls (2019 and 2021) and Chen Qigang Music Academy.

As a performer and promoter of contemporary music and arts, I have become increasingly recognised in Xiamen, China, for which I have received several press interviews, including one by the China Daily. I am the co-conductor of the award-winning Xiamen Foreign Language School Orchestra, and the co-founder of Pavilion Ensemble



Upcoming Projects

  • Shuang-qing-yue-you 双清乐游 Nanyin Project; a series of research and performance activities in Cardiff and London, with premiere of a composition based on a Nanyin melody (April to May 2024).
  • Conference paper 'Rediscovering Nan-yin in the Context of Contemporary Composition and Performance Practices' to be presented at the 5th Silpakorn International Conference, Thailand in June 2024.

Current Projects

  • ‘The Path to High-Quality "Non-Specialised" Student Orchestra', a music pedagogy research project funded by the Bureau of Education, Xiamen, China (2023-2024). 

Recent Research Outcome

  • Sheng-sheng-man 声声慢, a piece for solo female voice and large ensemble (20'), premiered and recorded at Cardiff University by Daniella Sicari (soprano), Yajie Ye (conductor) and Pavilion Ensemble (7-9 March 2024).
  • The time of Childhood 细汉的时阵, concert of original works, commissioned by Three Shadows Xiamen Photography Arts Centre, China in 2024.
  • Ju-ian 如烟, a solo Clarinet piece (9') premiered during the European Clarinet Congress Tilburg, Netherlands, in December 2023 by Nelly Rodríguez.
  • Sea, Amoy! (2022) for orchestra (6'30"), which was premiered by BBC National Orchestra of Wales during their 'Composition: Wales' concert on 7 March 2023.
  • 'Game of Sounds and Signs: Exploring the Three-Cornered Network of Interactions Between the Composer, Conductor and Singers', a conference paper to be presented at Spheres of Singing Interdisciplinary Conference (November 2022, University of Glasgow).
  • under the Sun... (2022) for piccolo, sheng, pipa, viola and percussion (8'), premiered at Tunghai University Music Centre, Taiwan on 18 September 2022. The piece was written for TimeArt Academy 2022, with the topic subject 'Forgotten Voices', exploring the connection between contemporary music and different traditions. 
  • Dream: Pavilion by the Water (2020-2) for mezzo-soprano and piano (9'), presented under the same title at the 12th Biennial Internation Conference on Music Since 1900 (Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, July 2022).
  • 'Who Do You Think You Are?' concert of original works, commissioned by Three Shadows Xiamen Photography Arts Centre, China in 2021. This concert features improvisation, Fluxus, audience participation, electroacoustic, and audio-visual elements, including the opening piece Sound of Luck (2021) and The Way to Fly (2021).

Research Interest

Compositional process and ideology:

  • 'Poetic space' — non-linear musical structure
  • 'Dramatic form' and theatricality in music and performance arts

Identity expression in music and arts:

  • the 'identity sampling process' — the perception and construction of 'self' in music
  • Chineseness — the act of self-stereotype in music and arts
  • Languages, the translation of and the politics of, including research in Min-nan dialect

Performance, improvisation, and collaborations:

  • The New Discipline: the identity of a composer-performer in musical works
  • The design of improvisation using notated, graphic, and text scores
  • Relationships involved in improvisation among the composer, conductor, performers, and audience

Electroacoustic and computer music:

  • Use of electronics and digital devices such as tapes, synthesisers, pre-recorded video, smartphones and computer programmes (e.g. Max/MSP, Ableton Live)

Ethnomusicology-inspired composition:

  • Nan-yin (南音) — its history and present and how it can be integrated into contemporary composing.


Undergraduate Teaching:

  • Composition 1A (module leader)
  • Composition 3 (final year major composition project supervision)
  • Elements of Tonal Music (seminars)
  • Studio Techniques (tutorials, second and final years)

Postgraduate Teaching:

  • Studio Techniques (module leader)
  • Ensemble (module leader)
  • Composition Portfolio (tutorials)
  • Contributes to specialist classes in Research Skills, 20th&21st Century Music, and Cultures of Performance modules

International Teaching:

  • 'Becoming an International Musician: Research and Communication on the Global Stage' (course leader)


Education and qualifications

  • 2023: FHEA (Higher Education Academy)
  • 2022: PhD Music (Composition), Cardiff University, UK
  • 2020: AFHEA (Higher Education Academy) with Distinction
  • 2017: MA Music (Composition) with Distinction, Cardiff University, UK
  • 2016: MSc International Management (IMEX), London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
  • 2015: BSc Hons Economics, University of Bath, UK

Honours and awards

  • 2023: Acapela Studio Award for Composers, Welsh Music Guild (with commission)
  • 2021: 1st prize, String Orchestra Category, Xiamen Middle and Primary School Arts Exhibition, China (conducting)
  • 2021: 1st prize, Symphonic Winds Category, Xiamen Middle and Primary School Arts Exhibition, China (conducting)
  • 2021: 1st prize, Instrumental Music Category, Fujian Provincial Music and Dance Festival, China (conducting)
  • 2021: 2nd prize for Original Choral Compositions and Excellent Ensemble Leader, Chongqing Universities Arts Exhibition (provincial level), China
  • 2020: Graduate Tutor of the Year Award, Cardiff University, UK
  • 2020: Selected participant of Ty Cerdd 'CoDI Sound' and 'CoDI Mentor' projects with grants
  • 2017–2020: Full Studentship, Cardiff University School of Music, UK
  • 2016: International Studentship, Cardiff University College of AHSS, UK
  • 2015: Outstanding Alumni, Xiamen Foreign Language School, China

Academic positions

  • 2021–present: Lecturer in Composition, Cardiff University School of Music, UK
  • 2017–2019: A-Level Economics Teacher (part-time), St John's College Cardiff, UK

Committees and reviewing

  • 2024: Session Chair, Electroacoustic composition workshop, BFE-RMA Research Students' Conference, Cardiff, UK
  • 2021: Session Chair and Session Panel Leader, BFE-RMA Research Students' Conference, Cambridge, UK
  • 2019: Conference Lead Organiser, PGR Study Day, Cardiff University, UK
  • 2019: Music Education Advisor, Phuket Taihua School, Thailand
  • 2018: Concert Co-organiser, Contemporary Music for All (CoMA) Festival, Cardiff, UK


Please note I am currently unavailable as PGR supervisor.