Huanghe Cantata，2 symphonies.
Educated in music schools and conservatories in Canton (1918), Beijing (1926) and Shanghai (1928), Xinghai Xian travelled to France in 1930 to study composition with d’Indy and Dukas and take violin lessons. After a period at the Paris Conservatoire he returned to Shanghai in 1935; he subsequently worked for the Pathé (Baidai) Record Company, headed the music section of the left-wing New China (Xinhua) Film Company, and composed many songs for use in anti-Japanese popular movements. With the outbreak of war with Japan in 1937, Xian moved to Wuhan then to the Communist headquarters at Yan’an, where he became head of music at Lu Xun College of the Arts (1938), composed several significant nationalistic compositions, such as the cantata Huanghe (1939), and encouraged the study of folk music so that it could be better adapted by reformist composers. In 1940 he moved to Moscow for further study, and remained in various parts of the Soviet Union and Mongolia until his death. As with his contemporary Nie Er, Xian’s image was held up after his death by the Communist Party as that of a model revolutionary musician: his present reputation in Chinese musical circles stems more from politically motivated discussions of his life and personality than from the impact of specific compositions.