Renowned for its impressive technique and multicultural innovations, the Shanghai Quartet has become one of the world’s leading chamber ensembles, its elegant style melding the delicacy of Eastern music with the emotional breadth of Western repertoire. The world’s premier pipa virtuosa, and leading ambassador of Chinese music Wu Man has carved out a career giving the ancient instrument a contemporary role in the modern musical world. Joining forces, melding sounds of China with a Western string quartet and pipa to present a program showing their exceptional stylistic range, Wu Man and Shanghai Quartet appeared at Armstrong Auditorium on Thursday, January 12th as guests of the Armstrong International Cultural Foundation’s Performing Arts Series. With the program, the musicians look back to their roots with Chinese folk music, and look to the future with music inspired by Chinese film, opera, nature, and chant utilizing traditional and contemporary techniques. Featured pieces include Xi Yang Xia Gu, a traditional Chinese folk song, a traditional Kazakh folk tune, both arranged and performed for pipa by Wu Man, and arrangements of music for pipa and string quartet from The Butterfly Lovers Concerto, Yao Dance from a village in the mountains of Guizhou and Red Lantern from the film score to Raise the Red Lantern by Zhao Jiping, Silent Temple, String Quartet No. 4 by Bright Sheng and Concerto for Pipa and String Quartet inspired by one of the most popular works of Tan Dun, his Ghost Opera.
This program airs Saturday, February 4th, 8pm on Classical 88.7 HD-1.