It is such regret and sorrow for Taiwan that the film score composer Shih Jei-Young (Gerald Shih) passed away in illness at National Taiwan University Hospital on the 22nd of August 2011, at the age of 53.
He had recently conducted the newly established Taiwan Film Orchestra (TFO) in performance of The Golden Age of Mandarin Cinema - Movie Fantasia Symphonic "Show", a performance held in the form of film image and symphony, also first seen in Taiwan music history. As conductor of the performance he interacted humorously with the audiences and said: "This is like moving the backstage of film scoring studio on to stage, you can all see how music and music effect are combine with film images." He spoke to audiences among the performances that night and shared his ideals and thoughts about music, nothing seem unusual, but till the last song Seediq Bale was performed, he shook hands with the singer, paid tribute to the audiences then moved slowly toward the side stage and fell.
Gerald Shih was son of the Taiwan ethno music pioneer Shih Wei-liang, inherited the handsome features of his father with profound looks, his cool handsome appearance was as his attitude toward music, scrupulous and requirements to the best, embraced both movie and music with great enthusiasm. After graduating from the National Taiwan University of Arts, majored in composition, with his classical music back round, he threw himself into the world of cross-border music and popular music, back then the attitude towards classical music was still very conservative, but already he had the vision and the courage to try. He use to call himself as "sei gai yong" (homophonic of Shih Jei-young, which means the world's bravest man.)!
He sure was the world's bravest man, in music, he not only firmed his basic skills, he was also brave to create and dare to imagine, built his empire of music bit by bit. His collaborations with the director Wan Xio-di were many of great popularity, including TV Dramas Grand Hospital and the Interns, Banquet, Police et Vous, the movie Bear Hug, the animation Magic Grandma etc., and he once said that Director Wang was a good friend , good partner and together they created a lot of work. His film score compositions are numerous: The Heroic Pioneers (Best Original Music Score and Best Original Film song of the 23rd Taipei Golden Horse Awards), Red Dust (Best Original Film Score of the 27th Taipei Golden Horse Awards), The Daughter in Law and fantôme, où es-tu ? , his traces were like his music, infiltrated into our daily lives. The highlight song sung by Wu Bai and Chen Sheng at the closing ceremony of the World Games 2009 Kaohsiung, this unforgettable music feast was his work of creation. Moreover, as many of us may not have known that the famous theme song of the BCC News Radio Authority was also work of his. He is a man who wholly dedicates oneself to create music.
He also introduced the world- renowned VGL (Video Games Live) music concert and the Distant Worlds music from Final Fantsy Concert into Taiwan, so to meet the wish of video game fans in Taiwan and stirred up a new trend of music. Meanwhile, invited the famous Japanese animation score master Joe Hisaishi to Taiwan twice, in spite of the cost, to share a new sense and vision of image and music with people here. Despite the position he already had in the field of music, he is always close to the people and is never short at sharing his knowledge and skills to the younger generation, no matter how busy he was, he still traveled around the island to teach at schools and brought new visions of music to students so to inspire their music talents. The Golden Age of Mandarin Cinema - Movie Fantasia Symphonic Show was a concert of unique and sensation, but to be the fare well concert to the world of Sir Gerald Shih, how sudden and unbearable it is to us all. Not time enough for his curtain calls, yet the light he brought to the world shall always remain in the hearts of the audiences! What treasures the father and son of Shih brought to Taiwan, was innumerable.