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Orchid Ensemble 蘭韻樂團 (Vancouver)

From the Stars 星空 – Lan Tung (Taiwan/Canada) 董籃作曲
Sitting under the stars, the elders tell ancient stories that have been passing down from generation to generation.
Recorded in June 2021 for the 2021 Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Festival, produced by the Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Society

The Winged Horses of Heaven 天馬行空 – Moshe Denburg (Canada) 莫協.丹伯格作曲
Recorded in June 2021 for the 2021 Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Festival, produced by the Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Society

“Intimate Portraits Episode 1”, collaboration with Uzume Taiko 

19 years later, the Orchid Ensemble meets with the Uzume Taiko again, after their first collaboration in 2002. In this intimate concert, they find new inspiration through witnessing each other’s artistic growth over the past two decades. The repertoire includes group compositions brought by each ensemble and as well as compositions by John Endo Greenaway, Lan Tung, Jin Zhang, Ed Arteaga, Michael O’Neil, Boyd Seiichi Grealy, and Jason Overy.

sponsored by the Province of BC, the City of Richmond, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the BC Arts Council.

Concerto Etude – Tim Brady (2020), commissioned by Lan Tung
The work falls into 3 clearly defined sections, starting with introductory harmonies and melodic fragments, establishing the relationship between the erhu and the electronic soundscape. This is followed by highly rhythmic section, largely in 9/4 time, building to some rather dramatic glissandi for the erhu. The end of the piece is very calm, almost static, with a simple melody that undergoes for a series of repetitions and transformations. This performance was Lan Tung erhu solo with electronics. It can also be performed with string quintet or a larger strings ensemble.

The commission, performance, and video production were supported by the Canada Council’s Digital Now program during the pandemic. Lan Tung recorded another version of this piece with Turning Point Ensemble in Jan 2021 at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts for its Dot Com Series. 

The Orchid Ensemble has been featured at the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s ACE program for a decade. Every spring the ensemble’s week-long residency brings educational music presentation to numerous schools in the Greater Milwaukee area, performing to thousands of children, teachers, and community members. During the pandemic, tours have been canceled. The ensemble has been invited by the Milwaukee Symphony to produce an online educational video. 

The 2021 Sound of Dragon Digital Festival features two pieces selected from the Orchid Ensemble’s educational presentation. The Sound of Dragon Society hosted the Orchid Ensemble at the Annex Theatre to make these recordings with the support of the City’s Theatre Rental Grant. 



Orchid Ensemble 蘭韻樂團
From A Dream *
Winged Horses of Heaven *
Maqam: Prelude & Dance ^
Harvest Season ^

Intimate Portraits, collaboration with Uzume Taiko,
produced by Uzume Taiko

Concerto Etude – Tim Brady
for solo erhu & electronic soundscape, sponsored by the Canada Council’s Digital Now program

* – produced by the Taiwanese Canadian Society
^ – produced by the Orchid Ensemble & Milwaukee Symphony

Established in 1997, the JUNO nominated Orchid Ensemble is acclaimed as “one of the most adventurous groups uniting Eastern and Western musical traditions” (Georgia Straight). The trio is made up of internationally renowned musicians Lan Tung (Taiwan/Canada) on the erhu/Chinese violin & vocals, Dailin Hsieh (Taiwan/Canada) on the zheng/Chinese zither, and Jonathan Bernard (Canada) on percussion, including the marimba. The ensemble regularly commissions and premieres new compositions. It has embraced a variety of styles in its repertoire, ranging from Taiwanese and Chinese music, World Music, New Music to Creative Improvisation. Its highly regarded interdisciplinary productions fuse music, dance (contemporary, aerial, flamenco, Chinese…etc), visual arts, and media arts.

The ensemble collaborates with artists from various genres, exploring new grounds and breaking down boundaries. In addition, the ensemble has created unique collections of works for its choral, orchestral, and cross-cultural collaboration projects. Past collaborators include Turning Point Ensemble, Vancouver Bach Choir, Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra, Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra (Taiwan), Oktoécho (Montreal), Uzume Taiko, Aeriosa Dance, Mozaico Flamenco Dance Theatre, Chimerik, Moving Dragon…etc.

The ensemble tours regularly across North America, performing at concert halls, educational institutions, and festivals. Recent appearances include The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Smithsonian Institution’s Freer Gallery, Canada Day Celebrations in Ottawa, Festival Miami, the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. As BC’s spokesperson for the UNESCO ASPnet in Canada, the Orchid Ensemble gives educational presentations to various age groups. The ensemble’s four CDs have won two International Independent Music Awards and received numerous nominations for JUNO, Western Canadian Music Awards, Canadian Independent Music Awards, and Canadian Folk Music Awards.