HIM SOPHY’S many compositions include: String quartet for violins, viola and cello (1987); A Memory from Darkness: Trio for violin, cello and piano (1990); Decline of Angkor – for soprano, flute, clarinet, cello, harp and percussion (1992); Symphony for large symphony orchestra (1993); The Mondolkiri Landscape — for cello and recorder (1998); I walk…and I cry on the island Poulouway – for recorder flute, alto flute, and bass flute (1998); and The Onomatopoeia of rhythm of ensemble Pin Peat – for recorder, flute, alto flute, and bass flute (1998). His music for dance includes Apsara — Dancing Stone: Music for contemporary Cambodian dance (1994).
Sophy has also written extensively for film, including such compositions as Blood and Life, No Home Too Far, and Cambodia Dreams. In 2008, his musical Where Elephants Weep premiered at Phnom Penh’s Chenla Theater. His most recent commission premiered in March 2011 at the Auckland Arts Festival.
Sophy is a professor of music at the Royal University of Fine Arts and the Royal Academy of Cambodia, and an instructor at the Northbridge School. Born into a musical family in Prey Veng province, Cambodia, Sophy began his studies in music in 1972 at the music school of the University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh and resumed his music studies in 1981. In 1985, he received a full scholarship from the former Soviet Union to study in Moscow, where he lived for the next decade. He studied piano with Prof. Lvovitch Bogomolov and Anatolievna Rima and composition with Prof. Konstantin Batashow and Prof. Roman Ledeniev. He also studied musicology with Russian musicologist Dr. Yri Kholopov. He earned a Master of Fine Arts in music composition in 1993, his doctorate in composition in 1995 and his PhD in musicology in 1998. With support from an Asian Cultural Council fellowship, Sophy traveled the USA as a visiting artist in 2001 and 2002.