Echoes of Silk and Bamboo
The Institute for Australian and Chinese Arts and Culture (IAC) is proud to contribute to the growing Australian interest in Chinese music. At the invitation of eminent artist Louise Johnson (Principal Harp, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, 1985-2019), Dr Nicholas Ng has curated a program of compositions from the much loved sizhu (silk and bamboo) repertory, which brings into the limelight some of Australia's most prominent Chinese musicians across several generations and from diverse backgrounds.
IAC has produced this project in association with Sydney Conservatorium of Music Chinese Music Ensemble, the Australian Pipa Association and Guyun Guzheng Arts Academy.
More information is available here.
Liz Yung Cheung
Liz Yung Cheung 張容 is an alumnus of Sydney Conservatorium of Music and a member of the Conservatorium’s Chinese Music Ensemble. A keen multi-disciplinary musician, they explore the skeletal sounds of instruments through composing and improvising, compiling the noises your teacher tells you not to make during lessons. In recent years, they have been an Australian Art Orchestra Mentorship Program participant, composer-in-residence at UNSW Verge Gallery, a member of the Dreambox Collective, and they have also performed alongside Rainbow Chan at the Art Gallery of NSW for the 2018 Chinese Film Festival, accompanying silent film Shen Nu (1934). Outside of composition, Liz performs with tango orchestras and new music bands, and is also interested in drawing, embroidery, activism, and writing things like poetry and shopping lists. https://soundcloud.com/greytonguelizzed
Hu Lei 胡磊 is a highly renowned yangqin performer. She studied under the late Professor Qian Fangping, yangqin performer and educator, and was admitted to the China Conservatory of Music with honours in 1983 under Chinese yangqin, educator and composer Professor Xiang Zuhua. After graduating in 1987, she became a folk music teacher at the China Dance Academy. In 1989, she arrived in Australia and was invited to participate in many art festival performances and film music recording sessions. Mrs Hu has taught and performed on the yangqin for more than 30 years, and established the "Chinese Style * Music Workshop", focusing on cultivating Chinese teenagers in Australia to learn and inherit the national music culture. Since 2015, she has been teaching the yangqin at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Many of her students have achieved high scores in the HSC music examinations. Lei has won gold medals in international music competitions and achieved excellent exam results in both China and Australia. Since 2016, she has been principal yangqin in the Hua Music Troupe and has adjudicated the "Talent Family" Australian Youth Talent Competition for Xinkuai Media since 2019. In October of the same year, she led students to represent Australia in the World Dulcimer Conference for the first time. Since 2020, she has served as a member of the Central Conservatory of Music Overseas Grade Examination - Australia Regional Professional Committee.
Hu Weigang 胡卫刚 began his musical studies as a child with his father, the late Mr Hu Haiquan, internationally acclaimed suona (double reed pipe). In 1973, he entered the China Railway Art Troupe with honours at the age of 12 and was recorded for many soundtracks for film TV while receiving many awards. In 1987, Mr Hu graduated from the China Conservatory of Music with honours and became a soloist on the suona in the China Central Chinese Orchestra. After migrating to Australia in 1991, he was invited to participate in the Melbourne International Arts Festival and was engaged in teaching and recording work at Monash University. In 2016, he founded the "Chinese Music Club" with a group of professional performers of traditional music. In 2018, Mr Hu was invited to participate in the finale solo performance of Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House. He continues to direct the Chinese Wind Music Workshop.
Dr Lulu Liu
Dr Liu Lu 刘璐 (Also known as Lulu Liu) is a performing scholar, researcher, educator, guest professor at Xinghai Conservatory of Music in Guangzhou, China. Her role in the intercultural collaboration is a driving focus in her research portfolio. Lulu worked as an academic at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (SCM) since 2010, where she completed her PhD “The Chinese pipa solo tradition, from conservatory to concert hall and beyond” in 2019. She has a vision of expanding the cultural diversity of the current offerings at the SCM, in 2016 she was one of the key members in establishing the Chinese Music Ensemble (CME) which she has been coordinating since 2019, in addition to teaching a range of performance units including pipa principal study undergraduate and postgraduate students. During this period, she has worked tirelessly to establish herself as an ethnomusicologist with her research published by Asian Musicology and Routledge, while continuing to engage as an international performer on the pipa. She has appeared throughout Australia, East Asia and the UK, along with performances of new works by contemporary composers. As a Chinese conservatory-trained pipa performer, she has forged a professional career within a diverse range of music communities around the world.
Julia Luo 罗欧思宇 is a teacher and founding director of Sydney Guyun Guzheng Arts Academy. She is also an examiner of the guzheng grading examination system of the Chinese Conservatory of Music. She currently serves as Chinese Music Ensemble, University of Sydney Conservatory of Music Zheng tutor while completing her Bachelor of Music majoring in Historical Performance (guzheng) at Sydney Conservatorium of Music. She has performed at the Sydney Opera House, Sydney city Town Hall, CCTV, SBS, ABC and other large-scale well-known stages and TV programs. www.guyunguzheng.com.au
Dr Nicholas Ng
Dr Nicholas Ng 黄建文 is a composer, performer and Research Fellow at the Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture (Western Sydney University). A former Lecturer (Australian National University) and Research Fellow (Queensland Conservatorium), he began teaching Chinese music and western harmony at Sydney Conservatorium in 2016. On the erhu, Nicholas has toured to festivals around Australia, New Zealand, North America, Canada and Europe such as the KunstenFESTIVALdesarts (Brussels) and Sydney Festival. He has composed for The Song Company, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and other ensembles. Nicholas works closely with William Yang and Annette Shun Wah and appeared in Double Delicious with Benjamin Law. He has produced a book and various articles on Australia-China exchange. Nicholas established the ANU Chinese Classical Music Ensemble (2003) and curated the festival ENCOUNTERS: China (2010). His work has been documented on SBS Mandarin Radio, ABC Music Show, and in the ABC Compass program, Divine Rhythms. www.nicholasng.com.au