LY, Joseph (1923-1984)was a music scholar, composer, and music educator. He was born in Shahe County, Hebei Province. At an early age he decided to dedicate his life to God, and, after being ordained to the priesthood in 1951, he received rigorous training in philosophy and music. In 1955 he earned a master’s degree in religious music from the Pontificium Institutum Musicae Sacrae, and the following year he received a Maestro degree; in 1959, he earned a doctorate degree in philosophy from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, and in 1965 earned a master’s degree in composition from the Ambrosian Institute of Sacred Music in Milan.
In 1968, Father Ly was invited to Taiwan to serve as the head of the Commission for Sacred Liturgy, Section for Sacred Music of the Chinese Regional Bishops’ Conference. His works such as A Collection of New Liturgical Choral Pieces for Mass and The Musical Treatment of Chinese Language were profoundly influential, and his musical compositions such as “Our Father” and “Ave Maria” are well-known songs among Chinese Catholics. He served as the Chairman of Music at the National Taiwan Academy of Arts, and in 1983, under the direction of President Archbishop Stanislaus Lo Kuang of Fu Jen University, became the founding Chairman of its Music Department. Busied with education, administration, and his own writing endeavors, he collapsed at his desk at home due to a myocardial infarction in 1984.