Ji Rong Huang – erhu (Chinese violin)
Ji Rong graduated from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in China with a B.A. in performance. He won an award for traditional music instrumental performance in a national competition in China and continued to performed throughout China. Since arriving in Vancouver in 1988, Ji Rong has given hundreds of performances across Canada and the U.S., including appearances on Rogers TV and CBC radio programs, and has performed for the Canadian Governor General Concert as an Erhu soloist. He is highly skilled in playing different Chinese bowstrings instruments. He has merged Western classical and contemporary music culture into Chinese music and received praise and acclaim from many Northern American audiences. His Music for RCMP has been performed extensively throughout Canada. Ji Rong is the artistic director of Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble and is a guest lecturer at the UBC School of Music.
Born in Shanghai, Gui Lian graduated from and also stayed as a teacher in the Central Conservatory of Music, which is regarded the best music school in China. Gui Lian Liu was the youngest professor of music in China. She has performed in numerous countries including Britain, U.S.A., France, Italy, Germany, Finland, Austria, Russia, Japan, Poland, Switzerland, Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong and Macau. Her biography is listed in “Who’s Who of the World”, “Chinese Famous Contemporary Writers and Artists”, and “Chinese Famous Musicians”. She has also been highly recommended by a number of local and international maestros. She used to be the principal of the plucked instruments section of the Chinese Orchestra of the Central Conservatory of Music, Director of Shanghai Pipa Society, and a member of the Chinese Musicians’ Association and Chinese National Orchestral Society.
Nominated for the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist Performer
Wei Li is one of the most respected guzheng maestros in China today. Born in Shan Tou, GuangDong, Wei Li began his training at the age of 12 from Maestro Guang Quan Yang. Because of Li’s outstanding talent, he was admitted to Xinghai Conservatory at the age of 14, to embark on ten years of training specializing in guzheng artistry, composition, and education. During this period, he was blessed to receive training from Professor An Hua Chen, maestro of the Ling Nan Zheng Style, and Maestro Yu Zhai Zhao, originator of the Northern Style. Li was also enlightened by other famous teachers such as Ning Xin Rao, Mao Gen Lin, Zheng Cao, and Ying Guo. Li is specially acclaimed for his artistry in traditional Ling Nan style, and is considered to represent the pinnacle of this style’s zheng artistry. Li has enjoyed a very successful career. After winning the first prize in guzheng solo composition, Meadow in Spring, both his Sigh of Home-Coming and Dream of An Opera were included in the Famous Chinese Guzheng Composition Encyclopedia. Among his over thirty compositions and arrangements, the most well-known are Dun Huang Guzheng Concerto, Soul of Ya Shan, Sigh of Home-Coming for solo Guzheng, Dream of An Opera, and Toll of Monastery Bell. Each of these pieces has won first, second, or third prize in national or provincial competitions.
Zhi Min Yu started her studies on the ruan and pipa at an early age. In 1976, she joined the China Broadcast Performing Arts Troupe and became very active in Beijing.Zhi Min appeared in the Asian Arts Festival in Hong Kong in 1981, and in 1985 toured Japan as a founding member of the Chinese Folklore Troupe, earning her recognition as an ambassador of Chinese folk arts to Japan. Since immigrating to Canada in 1989, she has performed at various events throughout North America and has toured in Britain, France, Hawaii and Hong Kong. She has performed in many festivals and participated in recordings for CBC, BBC, and TV. The CDs Endless and Village Tales won West Coast Music Awards, and Endless and Nine Fold Heart each won a nomination for a Juno Award.
Jian Ming Pan is a Chinese bamboo flute teacher. Pan enrolled as a student in the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in 1958 and graduated in 1967. Then he performed for the Model Opera it was top level of music group in China during that time. Pan advocates the subordination of technique to musical conception and emphasizes the importance of timbre and aesthetic qaulity of music.
Chinese lutist performer and teacher, Qing Chang began playing the Pipa at the age of seven and then studied in the Secondary Annex of Tianjin Conservatory. In 1992, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. During this ten years of learning, she mastered various plucked Chinese instruments, such as Sanxian, Ruan and Guzheng etc. From 1993 to 1995, she performed in the China Broadcast Folk Orchestra and the Central Assembly of Song and Dance Troupe. She won awards for outstanding showmanship in international competition. Qing immigrated to Canada in 1997, and quickly became a well-known Chinese instrumentalist. She has since been involved in concerts, at music festivals, on CBC Radio programs. She also spends her time teaching Pipa and Guzheng at the University of British Columbia and the Vancouver School Board. In 2003, she established the Evelyn Music Teaching Studio in Vancouver and is now an active member of the Canadian Chinese Music Society. She published her personal CD ‘Old Street’ in year 2003 and gave her individual concerts in Regina, Calgary.
Qing Hua Zheng is a member of the Chinese Music Association, committee member of the Guang Zhou Yangqin Association, Composer and Senior Planner of the Overseas Cultural Broadcast Center of Guang Zhou City. He was associate professor of the UBC School of Music from 1993-1994. His awards include three awards of the first class in the national competition, Guang Dong youth competition, five awards of the hon¬ourable mention of the national competition. The first well-tempered yangqin solo work is included in the syllabus for advanced yangqin players and is used by the Central, Shanghai, Shenyang, Tianjin and Xing Hai Music Academy. His works also include dance music (”Worship on the Range” was performed in the world music festival; “Fishing Girls” received honourable mention). His solo and ensemble performances are recorded by the Central and Guang Dong TV. He was also composer, conductor and organizer for the Suites for 12 animals and Winner’s medal recordings.
Born in northeastern China, Wu started learning reed and wind instruments at the age of eight from his father and elder brother who are both renowned musicians. He graduated from the Heilongjiang College of Performing Arts and was subsequently appointed as the lead suona player and composer for the Heilongjiang Repertory Theatre. He has won many first prizes in music competitions and his name was cited in the “Who’s Who of the World” as the most renowned professionals in China. Wu has performed as a soloist in China, Japan, Hong Kong, U.S.A. and Canada. He has been actively involved in traditional Chinese Opera as well as contemporary theatre and has composed music for experimental theatre productions in New York.
Bruce Henczel began his musical studies at age three. A multi-instrumentalist, he graduated from Capilano College at the top of his class musically, and academically. He received his Master of Music in percussion performance from the University of British Columbia, where he won many awards, notably, the Concerto Competition. He is an active chamber musician and composer. He currently has two solo cds, and is working on a world music Mass. His print music is published internationally by Honeyrock Publishing, Inc., in Pennsylvania. His diverse musical interests allow him to facilitate drum circles and workshops utilizing rhythms from around the world.
Yun Song started learning violin and erhu at a young age. Ms Song graduated fromerhu from the China Conservatory of Music studying under erhu Master Ming-Yuan Liu. She won several awards from major competitions at different provinces in China during 1983 to 1989. She was also a member of the Erhu Committee of the Chinese Musicians Association. Ms Song began performing and teaching later in Japan. During her stay, she recorded several CDs of her solo pieces. Song then migrated to Canada and continued her musical and teaching career in Vancouver. She tutors the Bowed Section in the B.C Youth Chinese Orchestra.
Nicole Ge Li – erhu (Chinese Violin)
Nicole Ge Li began learning Erhu at the early age of six, and started training professionally at the age of 11. She graduated from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree in Erhu. Since 2000, Li has established herself as a renowned, virtuosic performer and recording artist. Mastering both Southern and Northern musical styles of Erhu, Li has premiered and recorded new compositions by a number of accomplished composers as both an acclaimed solo artist and a member of the ensemble. Internationally, Li has performed in numerous countries in Europe, and participated in conferences such as the International Summit, etc. In 2002, Li won Second Place in the “Daily Art” National Chinese Music competition.
She held her own concert in 2011, which was also the first Erhu recital ever performed in Canada. The 2012/13 season will see the first of many World Premieres of new works for erhu and piano written for her and virtuoso pianist Corey Hamm as they embark on an exciting cross-cultural commissioning project of many Chinese and Canadian composers before touring and recording the new works over the next two years in both Canada and China. Currently, Nicole Li is the concert master of B.C. Chinese Orchestra and also a performer in the BC Chinese Music Ensemble. She teaches and records in her own musical studio, JW Music Studio. For more on Nicole Ge Li, please visit her website.
Jun Rong — gaohu
Rong Jun is a well known erhu player who received her music education at China Music Academy in Beijing China. After moving to Vancouver, Jun has developed her career as performer and teacher. Her out standing technique is well recognized by the her professional peers and her followers. She has played with Victoria Symphony, Vancouver Youth Symphony, Calgary Symphony and Vancouver Symphony and been involved in many concerts, festivals, and recorded works for film, CDs and CBC radio. She was chosen by Chinese Culture Centre to play her internationally recognized string quartet Vega Strings as erhu soloist. Her performance was marked as “brilliant erhu playing” by the concert review in the Vancouver Sun. Beside playing Chinese traditional music, Jun is playing in jazz band Koan and Vancouver Inter Culture Orchestra which mixes western and eastern instruments and creates new style of music.
Zhong Cai Yang – zhonghu (Chinese Viola)
Professor Yang Zhong Cai is the music director of erhu disciplines at the Vanada Y.C. Music Academy. In 2012 he was a master class instructor at the Tzar’s village music festival, and a judge at the Calgary Kiwanis Music Festival . He took third place at the professional erhu performers competition in China and was selected in the “World Who’s Who of Chinese literature and art.”
Eddie Yu – Bao Sheng (zither)
Born in Hong Kong. Yu has participated in a lot of Chinese Music activities in Hong Kong from late 70’s until he immigrated to Vancouver. Yu was the vice-president & president of the Wang Kwong Chinese Orchestra, which is the top amateur Chinese Music Orchestra in Hong Kong at that time. In 1977, the Music Office in Hong Kong was founded, Yu was selected as the sheng player for the Hong Kong Youth Chinese Orchestra. Yu had toured with the Orchestra throughout Great Britain and Paris for 6 weeks. After settled down in Vancouver, Yu joined the BC Chinese Orchestra and continues to promote Chinese Music.
Sarah Yusha Tan —zheng (Chinese zither)
Sarah was born in China. She began studying the guzheng at the age of 10 and enrolled later in Xinghai Conservatory of Music learning from different zheng teachers such as Professor Wang Wei. She completed her Bachelor Degree in 2008 specializing in guzheng. As a student, Sarah obtained numerous prizes in different major competitions, and played as a guest performer in many renowned Chinese symphonies. In 2004, she was employed by the Shanghai Conservatory of Music Art Center, and awarded the best guzheng instructor for five consecutive years. After immigrating to Vancouver in 2008, Sarah was invited by BC Chinese Orchestra as a GuZheng guest soloist.