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Erhu sets tone for new series of elegant music

The
The all-female Dunhuang Ensemble

A concert featuring the two-stringed Chinese traditional instrument, erhu, kicked off a new series of "Elegant Chinese Music of Shanghai" last Saturday.

The erhu was the leading "voice" in the concert called "The Moon Reflected In Erquan (Second Pond)" at Shanghai Oriental Art Center.

"We set it as the opening show of our series to honor A Bing, a famous blind musician in China's Jiangsu Province," says Wang Long, the leading organizer of the series.

A Bing was also a renowned player of the guqin (an ancient Chinese stringed musical instrument similar to the zither) and the yangqin (a dulcimer-like stringed musical instrument).

Min Huifen, a master erhu player and art adviser, enriched the evening with a lecture and performance during the concert.

"It aims to make traditional Chinese music appealing and acceptable as a highly elegant musical art form," Wang says.

"We do this through modern media packaging, excellent acoustic facilities, costume design and visual stage effects."

Wang graduated from the Beijing Central Conservatory in 1997 and played in the Shanghai National Music Ensemble from 1997 to 2005.

She has traveled widely with the ensemble over the past dozen years to more than 10 overseas countries and regions.

She has either performed as a chief player in the Vienna Golden Music Hall, or been invited as an individual player to perform in New York's Carnegie Music Hall.

The new concert series, which will last for seven months, promises many treats for local music fans.

In April, Dunhuang Ensemble will present "Blossoms on a Spring Moonlight Night," one of the most popular pieces featuring the pipa (four-stringed Chinese instrument) and which was composed in 1925 for the Shanghai Datong Music Society.

A selection of "Top 10 Chinese Classical Music" items will be performed in two parts in May and June.

In July, Dunhuang Ensemble will present the concert "Laying An Ambush on All Sides."

This is derived from a story from 202 BC when Han and Chu (two great rulers) waged a final battle. The Chu army was besieged and at night the Han army played Chu native music.

It sapped the morale of all the Chu soldiers who thought their home land had been conquered. The Chu commander Xiang Yu committed suicide after the battle.

To celebrate Chinese Valentine's Day, "Awakened from a Dream in the Garden" will be performed in August.

"The series 'Elegant Chinese Music of Shanghai' will continue to be known as an exclusive brand with a good reputation and foster elegant traditional Chinese music," says Wang.

"The connotation of 'Shanghai' not only refers to a specific city, but also a musical product which embraces all the good elements of other art forms," she adds.

Venue: Shanghai Oriental Art Center, 425 Dingxiang Rd, Pudong
Tel: 6854-1234
Tickets: 80-300 yuan

Source: China org.cn

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