How a Composer was Reunited with a Long-lost Score

It’s not every day that you hear of a librarian reuniting a composer with their long-lost work. Incredibly, this is exactly what happened when a paper score that needed some TLC was brought to UBC Music Librarian Kevin Madill late last year. I spoke with Kevin, who is the Music Librarian at UBC’s Music, Art & Architecture Library, to get the behind-the-scenes story of how Taiwanese composer Ya-Wen Lien was able to be reunited with a long-lost score through UBC Library, and how two of his scores were subsequently made available through UBC’s Open Collections.

In late 2023, a UBC percussion ensemble who were performing the piece Overture for Six Drummers by composer Ya-Wen Lien brought the score to Madill to be replaced due the paper having become creased and crumpled from repeated use. Unfortunately, there was no readily available information on the publisher of this score or where a new copy could be procured.