Established in 2007, Ding Yi Music Company is Singapore’s most prestigious Chinese chamber ensemble and the creator of two major Chinese music events: the Ding Yi Chinese Chamber Music Festival and the Composium, an international composition competition and symposium. The ensemble is made up of a group of accomplished Chinese instrumentalists who have trademarked Singapore Chinese chamber music with their distinctive approach to music-making and dedication to showcasing a vast repertoire that ranges from traditional Chinese music to contemporary interpretations and cross-genre works.
Ding Yi 鼎藝團 will be represented by the following members at this Canadian debut concert:
Fred Chan 陳宏偉 – erhu 二胡
Ng Hsien Han 黃顯行 – dizi 笛子
Chua Yew Kok 蔡友國 – pipa 琵琶
Tan Jie Qing 陳潔卿 – yangin 揚琴
Soh Swee Kiat 蘇瑞杰 – sheng 笙
Yvonne Tay 鄭怡雯 – zheng 箏
TBC – percussion 打擊樂
Dedric De Li Wong 黃德勵 – conductor 指揮
Dr. Ng Hsien Han – dizi soloist (Ding Yi)
Dr. Ng leads Dicapella, the only dizi ensemble in Singapore. Ng began to study the dizi at the age of 13. His mentors included Lee Heng Quey (Singapore Chinese Orchestra – SCO), Zhan Yong Ming, and Yin Zhi Yang (Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts). Ng has performed as a soloist with SCO and the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Symphonic Wind Ensemble. Ng won the second prize at the National Chinese Music Competition (dizi category–first prize vacant) presented by the National Arts Council in 2014. In 2017, Ng was awarded the prestigious SUTD President Graduate Scholarship to carry out his music research.
Dr. Paolo Bortolussi – flute soloist (SOD)
Dedicated to championing music by living composers, Dr. Bortolussi has premiered over 150 works for flute, including concerti written for him by Dorothy Chang, Jocelyn Morlock, and Aaron Gervais. Paolo is co-artistic director of the Nu:BC Collective, a new music ensemble in residence at the University of British Columbia. Beyond Shadows, Nu:BC’s debut CD, as well as Paolo’s recent solo release Israfel have received multiple nominations at the Western Canadian Music Awards. Raised in Halifax, Dr. Bortolussi is a graduate of the University of Ottawa and the Indiana University School of Music. He serves on the faculties of the University of British Columbia, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and Trinity Western University, and has presented masterclasses across North America as well as in Korea and Taiwan. Paolo is principal flutist of the Vancouver Island Symphony where he is the driving force behind the Canadian Concerto Project, which has commissioned, premiered, and recorded five new concerti by Canadian composers for principal players of the orchestra.
Dedric De Li Wong – conductor (Ding Yi)
Wong De Li, Dedric aspired to be a conductor in his teen years, and his interest was ignited again bythe renowned Chinese music educator and Singapore Cultural Medallion recipient Dr Tay Teow Kiat.With his master’s degree in orchestral conducting at the China Conservatory of Music in Beijing,under the tutelage of renowned Professor Yang Youqing and guidance from conducting maestro andMusic Director of Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO) Tsung Yeh,he aims to push Ding Yi up to newheights of artistic excellence and to develop a unique Singaporean musical direction.In 2013, Wong was selected to participate in the Conducting Masterclass by renowned conductingmaestros Prof Zhang Guoyong and Qu Chunquan, organised by the Taipei Chinese Orchestra. Whilein 2015, he was again selected to attend the Conducting Workshop by Tsung Yeh, organised by SCO.As a 2014 National Arts Council (NAC) Arts Scholarship recipient and a two-time recipient of theSingapore Hokkien Huay Kuan Arts and Cultural Bursary in 2004 and 2006, he has performed in manycountries such as China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, the Philippines, Malaysia,Indonesia and Cambodia.In 2016, Wong staged his conducting recital with theChina Conservatory of Music Middle SchoolYouth Chinese Orchestra with reputable conductor Gu Guanren. In the same year, he assumed theconductor role for the Cultural Symphony Orchestra and was also featured as an outstanding NACscholar in the 2016 Straits Times Scholars Choice.
Rising Dragon, Soaring Merlion: Sound of Dragon Ensemble & Ding Yi Music Company 溫「新」情緣
8pm Friday May 26, 2023 at the Annex (823 Seymour St. Vancouver)
7pm pre-concert talk
Tickets: $19.99 regular (Early Bird $15 by May 10, 2023), $15 students/seniors/children,
free for children under 12
While the dragon represents Asian heritage, the merlion, a mythical creature with a lion head and fish body, is a symbol for Singapore, referring to the city’s origin as a fishing village and its original name — Singapura, meaning lion city. “Rising Dragon, Soaring Merlion” is the meeting of two world class chamber ensembles of Chinese roots from Vancouver and Singapore!
Together the Sound of Dragon Ensemble and Ding Yi Music Company will perform a program of music written for the combination of Chinese and western instruments by Canadian, Singaporean, and Chinese composers. Alice Ho‘s dramatic “Four Dragons” draws on an ancient tale deeply rooted in Chinese mythology, folklore, and culture. The four dragons in the Eastern Sea scooped up sea water and sprayed rain from the heaven to save people from a drought. Then they turned themselves into four rivers Black Dragon River, Yellow River, Yantze River, and Pearl River, to nurture the people on this land. Farshid Samandari‘s “sine verbis” symbolizes the effort to communicate against various types of censorship. Moshe Denburg‘s “Ocean of Tears” is a sonic picture of sadness and reflection written during the pandemic. Jordan Nobles‘ “Foreign Oceans” depicts an imagined underwater world. Jian Min Wang‘s Dream of Angels expresses a young girl’s longing for a bright future with beautiful and thought-provoking melodies. Nixia Li’s The Seven Sages refers to China’s well known seven scholars (200 A.D.) playing seven musical instruments in the bamboo forest. Chenwei Wang‘s “Winds of Affinity” is a double concerto featuring Ding Yi dizi soloist Ng Hsien Han and Sound of Dragon flautist Paolo Bortolussi. The piece depicts a chance encounter between the two musicians that gradually blossoms into friendship. Chenyao Li’s The Allegory speaks of the passing of time, history, and personal stories.
“Four Dragons” (2020) – Alice Ping Yee Ho (ON)
《四天龍》– 何冰頤 (多倫多)作曲
“The Ocean of Tears” (2021) – Moshe Denburg (BC)
“sine verbis” (2021) – Farshid Samandari (BC)
“Foreign Oceans” (2021) – Jordan Nobles (BC)
“Sound of Dragon” (2014) – Lan Tung (BC/Taiwan)
“Dream of Angels” (2004) – Jian Min Wang (China)
“The Seven Sages” (2018) – Li Nixia (China)
“Winds of Affinity” (2016) – Chenwei Wang (Singapore), dizi & flute double concerto
《笛緣》－ 王辰威作曲, 笛子與長笛協奏曲
“The Allegory” (2015) – Chenyao Li (China)
The Sound of Dragon Ensemble is dedicated to creating/presenting new works for the combination of Chinese and western instruments and presenting contemporary music of Chinese roots/influences to the world stage. Established in 2015, the Sound of Dragon Ensemble’s instrumentation has been carefully selected by pairing Chinese and western instruments in the families of bowed strings, plucked strings, and winds, completed by a collection of percussion instruments from both the east and the west. The ensemble’s repertoire represents original Canadian intercultural art music and breaks down genre boundaries, crossing over Chinese traditions, contemporary music, world fusion, and improvisation.
The 2023 lineup of the Sound of Dragon Ensemble 龍吟滄海樂團 includes the following:
Charlie Lui 呂畇初 – dizi/Chinese flutes 笛子
Paolo Bortolussi – flute 長笛
Lan Tung 董籃 – erhu 二胡 & vocal 人聲
Zhimin Yu 于志敏 – zhongruan 中阮 & daruan 大阮
Christopher Blaber – percussion 打擊樂
Itamar Erez – guitar 吉他
Marina Hasselberg – cello 大提琴
Mark Ferris – violin 小提琴
Dailin Hsieh 謝岱霖 – zheng 箏
Taiwan’s prominent conductor Chih-Sheng Chen 陳志昇 (Little Giant Chamber Orchestra) will once again guest conduct the ensemble.
溫哥華喬治亞週報形容龍吟滄海樂團的音樂，兼具「 融合一致的整體性及文化碰撞帶來的異域風情」。樂團集結了大溫地區一群技巧精湛的音樂家， 共同探索跨文化的音樂領域，並提供作曲家、演奏家們創意實現的平台。樂團2015年首次的徵曲，即在國際上受到熱烈的迴響，收到33首來自13個國家作曲家的作品。此外，樂團亦積極委託當代作曲家譜寫新作。目前樂團的保留曲目有加拿大、台灣、中國、美國、義大利、英國作曲家的作品。
Chih Sheng Chen – conductor (SOD)
Chen is active on the international stage as a conductor, educator, and arts administrator, crossing between the disciplines of Chinese music, cross-cultural music, and western contemporary music, and in both orchestral and chamber music settings. He founded Taiwan’s Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra (gCO) in 2000 and has produced/conducted over one thousand concerts, including the orchestra’s national and international tours and full seasons at Taiwan’s National Concert Hall.
Chen has been a guest conductor in Europe (Atlas Ensemble, Amsterdam), Canada (Sound of Dragon Ensemble, Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra, Toronto Chinese Orchestra, Edmonton Chinese Orchestra, BC Chinese Orchestra, BC Chinese Ensemble, Dim Sum Ensemble); China (Wuxu Chinese Orchestra, Zhejiang Song and Dance Theatre Chinese Orchestra, Heilongjiang Song and Dance Theatre Chinese Orchestra, Shenfeng Ensemble of Beijing Central Conservatory, Henan Ping Ding Mountain Chinese Orchestra, and Beijing, Chongqing, Chengdu, Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Henan, Guangdong, Jilin Chinese Orchestra), South Asia (Singapore’s Ding Yi Music Company), and Taiwan (Quanta Philharmonic Orchestra, Evergreen Symphony, Taiwan Chinese Orchestra, Kaoshiung Chinese Orchestra). He has been frequently invited to conduct at various universities and schools throughout China, including the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. From 2004 to 2008, Chen was the Associate Conductor of the Taipei Chinese Youth Orchestra and Teachers Orchestra. He was the executive director of the Quanta Philharmonic Orchestra.
Chen started his musical training as an erhu (Chinese violin) player at the age of ten. He holds a master degree in conducting from Taiwan’s Fu Jen Catholic University and a Ph. D from the Institute of Microbiology and Biochemistry of the National Taiwan University.