YANGQIN ZHAO 趙揚琴
A member of Chinese Musicians’ Association and the Chinese Nationalities Orchestra Society, Ms. Zhao graduated with honors from the Music Department of the Nanjing Normal University and became the head of the faculty of Instrumental Music at the university.She won the highest award by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in 1982. Ms. Zhao also won first prize at the Jiangsu Provincial Arts Festival in 1987 and 1991. Her profile appeared in the “Who’s Who in Young Chinese” and “The Chinese Musicians Yearbook” in 1990. Ms. Zhao has been invited to perform internationally in Australia, the Netherlands, Belgium, Singapore, Hong Kong, Mexico and Germany. In June 1996, she was invited as one of the “Seven Greatest Masters on the Yangqin” to perform at the Tanz & Folk Fest Rudolstadt (Folk Instruments Festival) in Germany.Ms. Zhao also represented China and the United States playing the Chinese hammered dulcimer at the International Santur Festival in Iran in 2003.She has performed at Lincoln Center, with the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Woman Philharmonic, and the San Francisco Symphony.
GANGQIN ZHAO 趙鋼琴
A member of Chinese Musicians’ Association, Gangqin finished her study in the Music Department of Nanjing Normal University in 1987. She was named one of the “Ten Best Musicians” by the university in 1990. She was a Zheng instructor at the Nanjing Children’s Music and Dance School for years before she immigrated to the U.S. in late 1990s.She has performed internationally in Singapore, Demark and Germany. Currently, she is the director of Chinese Arts & Music Center in San Francisco. Her students won the Gold Medals at the 2010 International World Cup Chinese Instruments Competition.
8pm, May 30, 2019, Western Front, Vancouver – BUY TICKETS
This collaboration between the Sound of Dragon Ensemble (Vancouver) and Melody of China (San Francisco) is the first time two professional ensembles of Chinese roots from across the border have come to work together. It also marked Melody of China’s Vancouver debut. The repertoire will include the world premiere of music by Dorothy Chang (Canada), Itamar Erez (Canada), and Yu-Chen Li (US). Guest conductor Chih Sheng Chen (Taiwan) will return to Vancouver to lead the ensemble at this concert. Following the Vancouver concert, the two ensembles will share the stage at Fort Mason Centre for Arts & Culture as part of the San Francisco International Arts Festival at 6pm on June 2, 2019.
“a unified yet exotic sound” – Georgia Straight, 2017
Established in 2015 and debuted at the 2016 Sound of Dragon Music Festival, the Sound of Dragon Ensemble brings together some of the most skillful Vancouver musicians from both the east and the west: Nicole Li (erhu), Lan Tung (erhu & voice), Marina Hasselberg (cell), Charlie Lui (dizi), Mark McGregor (flute), Itamar Erez (guitar), Zhimin Yu (ruan), and Jonathan Bernard (percussion). This instrumentation has been carefully selected by pairing Chinese and western instruments in the families of the winds, plucked strings and bowed strings, completed by a collection of percussion instruments from both the east and the west. Its repertoire includes works by Canadian, US, Taiwanese, Chinese, Italian, and UK composers.
Described as “innovative and dazzling” by the San Francisco Chronicle, Melody of China, based in San Francisco, is the premiere Chinese music ensemble in the United States. The organization was formed in 1993 by a group of professional musicians graduated from some of the most prestigious music conservatories in China. To date, the ensemble has commissioned over 40 works by 20 American and Chinese composers. Melody of China has been guest artists with the Berlin Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony, and it has performed at New York’s Lincoln Center, the Chicago World Music Festival, and the Lotus Festival and the Chicago Jazz Festival. Led by the artistic director Yangqin Zhao (yangqin/Chinese hammered dulcimer), the ensemble has a two-fold mission: to promote Chinese classical, folk, and contemporary music; and to enrich the cultural landscape on the Westcoast through the synergy between an ancient tradition and youthful multi-faceted American culture. The ensemble’s diverse projects included collaborations with dance companies, the Earplay Ensemble, erhu virtuoso Jiebing Chen, and jazz pioneers Francis Wong, Jon Jang, Marcus Shelby and Deszon Claiborne. In addition, Melody of China is dedicated to arts education and conducts numerous classes and workshops for all ages. Melody of China is a partner with the SF Symphony’s Adventures in Music program (AIM).