Michael-Thomas FOUMAI: “Relics” for solo violin (2018)

(Commissioned and premiered by violinist Patrick T.S. Yim)



February 10, 2018 at the “Spirit of the Adventurers Concert Series” at the Hong Kong Museum of History, Hong Kong. (World Premiere Performance)

August 18, 2018 at the National Museum of Denmark (The Danish Music Museum), Copenhagen, Denmark. (excerpt)

December 1, 2018 at the “Saturday Music Platform” (Presented by Kung Music Workshop & Tai Kwun Center for Heritage and Art), Tai Kwun Laundry Steps, Hong Kong. (excerpt)

January 13, 2020: Solo Violin Recital at Mae Zenke Orvis Auditorium, Honolulu, HI, USA. Organized by Music at Mānoa​. Sponsored by Lion Strings Hong Kong and Ebb and Flow Arts Hawaii.

Programme Notes

Relics was commissioned by violinist Patrick Yim as companion pieces that could be performed at the Hong Kong Museum of History’s special exhibit Miles upon Miles: World Heritage along the Silk Road.

The exhibition is one of the highlight programs of the Hong Kong Government to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region showcasing the cultural relics from China, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. The work is a suite of eight movement inspired by an artifacts featured at the exhibition.

(Gold Mythical Beast)
(Wooden-Slip Document Recording the Diplomatic Visit of a Sogdian Envoy)
(Woolen Saddle Pad with Leaf Motif)
(Galloping Jade Stallion and Winged Rider)
6. TOMB COSTUME [3:30]
(Costume of an Aristocrat from a Tomb at Yingpan)
7. JUMP DANCER [1:30]
(Gilt Bronze Leap Dancer)
8. BUDDHA ROCK [3:00]
(Buddhist Stone Carving)

19-20 minutes

Movements can be performed extracted, separately or performed in different order.

About Michael-Thomas FOUMAI

Dr. Michael-Thomas Foumai (b. 1987, Honolulu, Hawai‘i) is a composer of contemporary concert music. His music has been described as “vibrant and cinematic” (New York Times) and “full of color, drama, and emotion” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). A prolific composer of symphonic music, his work focuses on storytelling and the history, people and culture of his Hawaiʻi home.

Recent work includes RAISE HAWAIKI, a choral symphony based on the story of the Polynesian voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa, commisioned by the Wallace, Elizabeth and Isabella Wong Family Foundation. The first ever symphonic work honoring the Hōkūleʻa and her worldwide voyagae Mālama Honua, the historic world premiere brought together an unprecedent collaboration between 10 organizations: The Hawaiʻi Symphony Orchestra, Oʻahu Choral Society, the choirs from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Music Department, Hawaiʻi Youth Opera Chorus, Kapiʻolani Community College, University of Hawaiʻi West Oʻahu, community choirs, the Polynesian Voyaging Society, ʻŌiwi TV, IONA Contemporary Dance Theatre, the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation, hula, visual projections and artwork by Herbert Kāne and voyager Hana Yoshihata.

Dr. Foumai’s orchestral music has been performed and commissioned by the Minnesota Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Albany Symphony, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Portland Symphony Orchestra, Hawaiʻi Symphony Orchestra, Hawaiʻi Youth Symphony and the Royal Hawaiian Band among others. Various chamber groups including Alarm Will Sound, Dolce Suono Ensemble, Music from Copland House, Chicago Ensemble, and Ebb and Flow Ensemble have presented his music across the country as well as in Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia and Europe.

The recipient of awards and prizes from many competitions and institutions, his honors include the Fromm Foundation Commission from Harvard University, the Music Teachers National Association Distinguished Composer of the Year Award, Jacob Druckman Prize from the Aspen Music Festival, three BMI composer awards, ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, The American Prize, Intimacy of Creativity Fellowship from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the inaugural Kaplan Fellowship from the Bowdoin Music International Music Festival, and was selected by the late Maestro Lorin Maazel as winner of the Composers Competition at the Castleton Festival.

As an arranger, Dr. Foumai has composed for guest artists, including Raiatea Helm and the Hawaii Youth Symphony, Iwalani Kahalewai and the Royal Hawaiian Band and bass soloist Soloman Howard and the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. As an educator, Dr. Foumai currently serves on the faculty of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in the theory and composition area. He holds degrees from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and the University of Michigan. His music has been recorded by the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Ian O’Sullivan, the Royal Hawaiian Band and The Brass Project on various labels.