Shuwen Liao was born in China in 2001. In 2011, she studied composition with Dr. Weihao Qiang in Shanghai. In 2012, she attended the Music Middle School Affiliated to Shanghai Conservatory of Music, where she majored in composition with Dr. Wenpei Ju. In 2018, Shuwen was admitted to the undergraduate composition program at Manhattan School of Music. Shuwen is currently pursuing her Master of Music degree in composition at Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Professor Susan Botti.
In 2014, Shuwen became the first young Chinese composer whose work was included in the New York Philharmonic's collection of “Very Young Composer” program. Her work, Shadow of the Wolf, was performed by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in Lincoln Center, and Shanghai Symphony Orchestra concert hall in Asia. She later wrote an international music postcard, The Skeleton Demon, which was premiered in New York by the New York Philharmonic and subsequently toured around the world.
In 2015-2017, Shuwen participated in the Third “Spring Awakening” National Composition Contest, and her composition, Wolf Shadow, won the first place in the chamber music group. She won the second prize of the 29th Excellent Student of Shanghai Tang Junyuan Education Foundation for her outstanding academic performance. Her work, Transfinite, won the prize of excellent composition in the Second National Composition Competition “Yinzhong Cup”. She participated in the Fourth “Golden Oriole Awakening Spring Dawn” International Composition Contest and won the third prize for her work, The wind comes across the sea, laughing in the leaves.
In 2018, Shuwen curated “Incandescence”, a two concert series at the Yibo Gallery in Shanghai, featuring her music and that of 8 of her composer colleagues.
In 2020, her string quartet, Pure. Fire, won the third place of the Manhattan Prize at Manhattan School of Music.
In 2021, Shuwen’s wind quintet, Warm Station, was commissioned by Windscape to perform in New York in celebration of Carl Nielsen’s 100th anniversary.Her work, Wolf Shadow, was included in the publication of featured alumni compositions of Music Middle School Affiliated to Shanghai Conservatory of Music 70th anniversary celebration.
In 2022, Shuwen received this year’s awardee of the Giampaolo Bracali Award for Music Composition at Manhattan School of Music. Her orchestral piece, Elegant Cloud, won the Grand Prize in the Red Maple Composition Competition.