Dr. Frederick Lau
Professor of Music
Frederick Lau is the chair and professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. His area of research includes Chinese and Western music, particularly on issues related to identity, nationalism, modernization, politics, globalization, diaspora, and musical hybridity. He is author of Music in China (Oxford UP 2008) and co-editor of Vocal Music and Cultural Identity in Contemporary Music: Unlimited Voices in East Asia and the West (Routledge 2012) and Locating East Asia in Western Art Music (Wesleyan University Press 2004). His articles have been published in journals such as Yearbook for International Council for Traditional Music, Ethnomusicology, Asian Music, British Forum for Ethnomusicology, Journal of Musicological Research, Sojourn, and as book chapters in collected volumes and in encyclopedias. Lau has received numerous research grants from agencies such as the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Scholarly Communication with the PRC, and the German Academic Exchange (D.A.A.D.). He served as the former book review editor of the Yearbook for Traditional Music and is the editor of a new book series entitled Music and Performing Arts of Asia and the Pacific, University of Hawai‘i Press. He is the president of the Society for Asian Music and former president of Music of East Asia Study Group and the Association for Chinese Music Research. He served as an external examiner and program reviewer for University of Hong Kong, UCLA, UBC, University of Melbourne, Chinese University of Hong Kong, and National Taipei University of the Arts.
As a flutist, Lau has performed in Europe, Asia, and the US, earning a reputation for his expressive style, silvery tone, and interpretation of the baroque and avant-garde repertory. He has appeared as a soloist with the Berkeley Symphony under Kent Nagano, the Annual Baroque Ensemble under Clifton Swanson, and as a dizi soloist with the Honolulu Symphony under Joan Landry. Lau has performed with the Illinois Contemporary Players, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, London Highgate Chamber Orchestra, Kennsington Philharmonic, Decatur Symphony, San Luis Obispo Symphony, Annual Baroque Ensemble, Kona Symphony, Hawai‘i Chamber Orchestra, and the Hikari Ensemble. As a strong advocate of avant-garde music, he has collaborated with composers Salvatore Martirano, Brian Ferneyhough, Vicko Globokar, Harvey Sollberger, and David Liptak, Garry Eister, and has premiered many new compositions. He is currently a member of the UH faculty ensemble Trio Xia.
His flute teachers include Alexander Murray, the former principal flutist with the London Symphony Orchestra, Trevor Wye, Kate Lucas, and Stephen Preston. In addition, he studied extensively with William Bennett, Harvey Sollberger, Peter Lukas-Graf, and Julius Baker. As a conductor, he served as the music director of the Cal Poly Chamber Orchestra and the San Luis Obispo County Youth Symphony Orchestra from 1992–2000. He founded the Cal Poly Contemporary Music Ensemble and the Hikari Ensemble. Lau studied conducting at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the London Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He is in demand as a guest conductor and clinician for orchestras and instrumental ensembles. He conducted the University of Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Band, and was a guest conductor of the Oahu Band Directors’ Association junior high honor band. He was invited by the Singapore Minister of Education as music adjudicator for the Singapore Youth Festival (2010, 2012). He served as an external examiner and program reviewer for University of Hong Kong, UCLA, UBC, University of Melbourne, Chinese University of Hong Kong, and National Taipei University of the Arts.