February 5, 2020

Chinese Chamber Group At Princeton Art Museum

MUSIC FROM CHINA: Wang Guowei plays the Chinese erhu at the February 12 concert by the Music From China ensemble, at the Princeton University Art Museum. Performances are at 5:30 and 8 p.m.

On Wednesday, February 12 at 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., the Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) presents performances by the Music From China ensemble in celebration of the Princeton University Art Museum’s exhibit “The Eternal Feast: Banqueting in Chinese Art from the 10th to the 14th Century.” To be held amid the Museum’s second floor galleries, the concert spotlights the artistry of musicians Wang Guowei, Sun Li, and Wang Junling as they perform traditional Chinese music on erhu, pipa, and zheng.

Zoe Kwok, associate curator of Asian Art and Curator of The Eternal Feast exhibit says, “The Music From China ensemble sensitively and skillfully carries on the proud tradition of Chinese classical music by performing on instruments that are nearly identical to those that would have animated the type of banquets brought to life in ‘The Eternal Feast’ exhibition.”

Founded in 1984, Music From China is a New York-based chamber group playing traditional Chinese instruments. Their styles range from mellow, tuneful classical and folk repertoire to cutting-edge compositions by today’s composers. Masterworks from the classical and regional folk repertoire are performed using traditional instruments. In music from antiquity and classical traditions, one hears the lyricism of a song-poem, the furious energy of raging battle or the meditative calm of flower petals falling softly to the ground. Folk derived arrangements display distinct regional styles tied to the culture and everyday life of the people.

Wang Guowei is both performer on the Chinese erhu and composer. He studied at the Shanghai Conservatory and was concertmaster and soloist with the Shanghai Traditional Orchestra. He joined Music From China in 1996 as artistic director. He has appeared with such artists as the Shanghai Quartet, Ying Quartet, Amelia Piano Trio, Continuum, Third Angle New Music Ensemble, Virginia Symphony, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Princeton Symphony Orchestra, Ornette Coleman, Butch Morris, and Yo-Yo Ma, and has performed at colleges, universities, and cultural institutions across the U.S. and internationally. He founded and conducts the Music from China Youth Orchestra. He is artist-in-residence in Chinese music performance at Williams College and director of the Williams College Chinese Ensemble. He also conducts the Westminster Choir College Chinese Music Ensemble.

Sun Li graduated from the Shenyang Music Conservatory where she studied pipa and was a member of the Central Song and Dance Ensemble in Beijing. Performing with Music from China since 2002, she has also appeared with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, New Brunswick Symphony Orchestra, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, and 2013 Lincoln Center Festival, and has performed as solo recitalist at the Norton Museum of Art.

Wang Junling studied zheng privately with her father and at Henan University, and later performed as soloist with the Henan Song and Dance Ensemble. She is founder of the Junling Zheng Music School in Flushing, NY, and engages in frequent performances in and outside the Chinese community.

There will be a complimentary wine and cheese reception between performances. Tickets are $25 and available at princetonsymphony.org.