|Liu Fang, “Empress of Pipa”|
Performing Arts Center
Before today’s multiculturalism and penchant for fusion, the musical dialogue between East and West began with Debussy, Ravel, and the American avant-garde. China’s “Empress of Pipa,” soloist Liu Fang, performs traditional selections on the Chinese counterparts to the lute and zither, and is joined by Yehuda Hanani for a premiere by Pulitzer Prize winner Zhou Long. Bulgarian pianist Emma Tahmizian plays Mother Goose and Leo Ornstein’s remarkable A la Chinoise, and Israeli violinist Hagai Shaham offers Debussy’s pentatonic-inflected Sonata and Fritz Kreisler’s Tambourin Chinois. Shaham also performs a work from another ancient tradition –Joseph Achron’s haunting Hebrew Melody.
The pipa has existed in China for over 2,000 years. Liu Fang compares classical Chinese music to Chinese poetry, lyric drama and calligraphy: “Chinese calligraphy gives me immense inspiration. The dynamics and movement of strokes of the brush, the line and the points, and the whole structure, are all comparable.” This is a rare appearance by one of today’s masters of the instrument combining her knowledge and practice with Western classical music, contemporary music and improvisation with distinguished colleagues. Read “A Conversation With Pipa Soloist Liu Fang” to learn more about this highly accomplished artist.
To support the Close Encounters Commissioning Project
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