Darren Xu is a Canadian-born composer who is based in Vancouver. He enjoys writing music for acoustic instruments, films, and cross-disciplinary collaborations. He had the opportunity to work with various ensembles, including Standing Wave, Piano-Erhu Project (PEP), and Rose Geller String Quartet. His first orchestral composition, To Liberate, will be premiered by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra at the Winnipeg New Music Festival in January 2022. Darren’s collaborations with the Musqueam artist Debra Sparrow culminated in performances of his music as parts of installations and showcases of Debra’s Salish weavings, which took place at venues across Vancouver, such as the Museum of Anthropology at UBC, Christ Church Cathedral, and the Vancouver international Airport. His film score, Stargazer, was awarded Best Score by New York Film Awards in November 2018.
Darren began studying the piano at age 5 and began composing at the age of 19. Having spent his youth in Guangzhou China, Darren is inspired by the melodious language of Cantonese. He received a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Music from UBC, and is currently pursuing his Master of Music at UBC, where he continues to study composition and research the relationship between Cantonese and music.