(b Taibei, Taiwan, 11 June 1910; d Beijing, 24 Oct 1983). Chinese composer. Originally named Jiang Wenbin, he moved to Japan in 1923 to pursue his studies of music. Particularly influential was the composer Kōsaku Yamada with whom he studied from 1932 after completing an electrical engineering degree. Some early works were published in Japan under the Japanese pronunciation of his name, Bunya Koh. In 1938 Jiang moved to Japanese-occupied Beijing (then Beiping), where he took a post at the Beiping Normal University. He continued composing works in a wide variety of Western genres, and also provided music for Japanese propaganda films, which led to a ten-month prison sentence at the end of World War II. In 1947 Jiang joined the teaching staff of the National Arts Specialist School, and in 1950 he became a member of the composition department of the newly formed Central Conservatory of Music (founded in Tianjin but soon relocated to Beijing). Classified as a rightist in the political campaigns of 1957, his work as a teacher and composer was severely restricted, and broadcasts and performances of his music were prohibited. During the Cultural Revolution (1966–76) he was again a target, spending much time under arrest or labouring on farms, and although he was cleared in 1978, his health was ruined and he produced little before his death in 1983. Despite recent research, many of his works are lost or incomplete owing to their destruction or confiscation in 1957 and 1966. Typically, Jiang wrote in a Romantic and nationalist idiom, blending Chinese pentatonicisms with Debussian chord streams, classical Western structures such as sarabande, rondo and ternary forms, and polyrhythmic effects.
Ballets: One against Six, op.12, c1936; Xiangfei zhuan [The Story of Xiangfei], op.33, 1942