Acclaimed band Red Chamber is the first Global Music concert Series presentation by Vancouver Island MusicFest in partnership with the I-Hos Gallery and the Comox Valley MultiCultural and Immigrant Support Society
Red Chamber, which performs April 9 at the K’ómoks Band Hall, straddles traditional and contemporary, whether it be ancient Chinese string band music seldom heard in the West, bluegrass, or jazz fusion. These virtuosic performers set the stage on fire with hot licks, power and passion.
Red Chamber takes its inspiration from the traditional Chinese plucked string repertoire that is seldom if ever heard in the West. Red Chamber creates a unique sound while performing a repertoire that spans centuries, including transcriptions from the Tang Dynasty (618-907), to modern compositions. Red Chamber is exploring other genres of plucked string music like Bluegrass, jazz, and a host of other folk traditions.
This is an exciting ensemble of masterful musicians bringing a new sound on ancient instruments to the concert stage.
Mei Han is recognized internationally as one of the leading virtuosi and authorities on the Chinese zheng (zither). The Montreal Gazette called her the Zheng Master and the Calgary Herald referred to her as a “virtuoso of the first order.” Han has performed and lectured on Chinese music worldwide; recorded two Juno nominated CDs; and created a large repertoire of new music, contemporary chamber music, free improv, and world music for the zheng.
She has performed with Orchestras in China and Canada, and been the subject of national TV and radio specials in Australia, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Germany, Japan, Singapore and others.
Guilian Liu is one of the world’s premiere pipa (lute) masters. Liu graduated from the Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing and was the first prize-winner of the Chinese National Instrumental Music Competition in 1989.
Liu has performed in Europe, Asia and North America. Her superb expressiveness and impeccable techniques were praised by renowned conductors Herbert von Karajan and Seiji Ozawa. She was featured performing in the Oscar-winning documentary From Mao to Mozart – Isaac Stern in China (1979). Liu was the Director of the Shanghai Pipa Society before moving to Canada.
Zhimin Yu is a versatile ruan (lute) virtuoso. Yu was a principle player at the prestigious Chinese National Broadcast Orchestra, Beijing, with which toured to numerous countries. Since immigrating to Canada in 1989, she has become one of the most sought Chinese musicians in Vancouver and has performed with the Vancouver Chinese Ensemble, the Silk Road Ensemble, and many other cross cultural projects.
Yu is also a gifted composer, actively writing for a wide variety of Chinese and Western ensembles. Yu has single handedly redefined the ruan repertoire, bringing it into the 21st century.
Geling Jiang is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, who started her professional training at age of 10. After graduated from Wu Han musical Conservatory, she became a member of the Chime Bell Ensemble of Hubei province for 20 years, with which she recorded numerous radio broadcasts, TV programs, and films; and performed tours to the United States, Japan and Singapore. Trained initially as a sanxian (three-string fretless lute) player, she also regularly plays the zheng, pipa and ruan.
“These virtuosic performers set the stage on fire with hot licks, power and passion!” — CBC Radio.
“Red Chamber’s musicians red-hot sexy, red-hot accomplished.” — Georgia Straight.
For more, visit www.islandmusicfest.com/concerts.
— Vancouver Island MusicFest