Composer - Him, Sophy

The First Strike (written for NZTrio and Cambodian ensemble Tray So – premiered March 2011) – 10′

HIM Sophy is the most important composer living and working in Cambodia today.  He is a professor at the Royal University of Fine Arts and the Royal Academy of Cambodia.  Born into a musical family in Prey Veng province, he began his musical studies in 1972.  During the Pol Pot regime he was forced to work in a labour camp.  In 1985 he received a scholarship to study in Moscow, where he lived for the next decade, earning doctorates in composition and musicology.  His opera, Where Elephants Weep, which integrates Cambodian instruments with a western rock band, was a sensational success when it was produced in Cambodia in 2008.

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