By Dusty Fleener
Have you ever heard of the pipa? I hadn’t either until I learned about it from an episode of Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat I had watched with my nephew and nieces several years back on KUID-TV (PBS). It’s a kind of four-stringed lute from China and it is a delight to hear played. Here’s an example audio link, go ahead and give it a listen. I’ll wait here till you come back:
Pretty cool, huh?
The 2016 World Music Celebration will feature four guest musicians from China, one of whom is Ms. Zhongqi Sun who is an expert pipa player. She began learning the pipa at the age of 7 and has gone on to study with many renowned musicians from across China including the master musician Liu Dehai. Ms. Sun has achieved notoriety for her talent, earning many awards from the Chinese Academy of Music and the China Nationalities Orchestra Society. She has performed before audiences in the Beijing Concert Hall, Chinese National Conservatory of Music Concert Hall, Guangzhou Library, Qidao Grand Theatre, Qingdao Concert Hall, and the Qindao People’s Hall to name but a few.
And now she will be sharing her art with the people of the Palouse in the UI Haddock Auditorium in Moscow, Idaho on February 5th and 6th!
The University of Idaho’s sister university, the South China University of Technology, will be sending Ms. Sun along with Professor Huoming Zhong, Mr. Peihou An, and Ms. Zixuan Su to delight audiences in Moscow, Idaho as well as a special Chinese New Year Music Performance for Lake City High School in Couer d’Alene on February 8th.
Huoming Zhong graduated from the prestigious Xinghai Conservatory of Music in 1997 and specializes in the dizi (Chinese bamboo flute). He is a professor of music in the South China University of Technology School of Arts where he teaches woodwinds and serves as the principal orchestra conductor. Professor Zhong is also adept at playing several other instruments including the xiao, and xun.
Joining him will be his student, Ms. Zixuan Su, who specializes in bamboo flute and other woodwinds. She was selected in 2014 to perform in the South China University of Technology’s National Music Orchestra and served as the chief of bamboo flute. She has won numerous awards for her musical skills and technical abilities.
She is shown pictured here with a hulusi, or a gourd flute. This may look familiar to those of you who joined us at the 2015 Washington State Chinese Lantern Festival last fall when it was played by one of the stage performers.
Mr. Peihou An is a proficient with the erhu, often referred to in English as a Chinese two-stringed fiddle or Chinese violin. He was admitted to the South China University of Technology School of Arts in 2012, having previously participated in the Lanzhou City Middle School Students National Orchestra where he served as the orchestra’s concertmaster. Mr. An and the orchestra performed across China and won many awards for their outstanding performances. In 2014, Mr. An won third prize in a prestigious musical skills competition and toured internationally to help introduce Chinese traditional music to new audiences.
As a bonus, all of these accomplished instrumentalists will join with other performers on Saturday, February 6 from 1-3 p.m. for a Master Class which will be free and open to the public before the evening performance.
Do you have plans to attend the Lionel Hampton School of Music’s 2016 World Music Celebration? If so, I will look forward to sharing this great event with you. If not, I encourage you to make the time and see these wonderful virtuosos while they are here in Idaho! Invite a friend, take your family, or make a date and find your way there for the evening and savor the sounds! I promise you won’t be disappointed.