Story of the Symphony Condor Heroes   by Fu Tong Wong

36 years ago, when I was in graduate school in America, a classmate from Taiwan lent me a 36 volume novel titled “The Condor Heroes.”

This was my first time reading Jin Yong’s martial arts novel and I was immediately mesmerized. At that time I made a momentous vow, which was so much bigger than what I was actually capable of. I vowed that within my lifetime, I would write a symphony for this novel.

To make a vow is easy, but to realize it can be difficult. I did not major in composition, and I never learned any techniques required for composing.

However, the vow gave me tremendous motivation. Therefore, after receiving my master’s degree in violin performance, I started from scratch at the age of 30, and become the pupil of composition masters, and learned the lessons required for composing, especially counterpoint.

So just like that, after studying for 10 years, I felt confident enough that I started composing. After finishing the first draft, it was rehearsed, edited, premiered, edited again, performed, and edited even more. The piece has been edited numerous times, and even yesterday and the day before while rehearsing, we were still refining it. It might have broken the world record for longest time required to finish writing a musical piece.

This piece was originally called “Condor Heroes Symphonic Suite,” it was Mr. Jin Yong who gave it its final touch and named it “The Condor Heroes Symphony.”