Chinese New Year Chamber Music Concert

To celebrate the Year of the Rat, join us to experience an evocative fusion of traditional Chinese instruments and western music elements performed by talented local musicians.

The repertoire will include uplifting folk songs such as Liu Yang He 瀏陽河; familiar tunes in contemporary contexts such as Gada Meilin 嘎達梅林 featuring erhu and the cello, as well as a jazzed-up Kang Ding Qing Ge 康定情歌, a popular Sichuan song, and Moon and River 小河淌水.

Led by the accomplished Zhao Liang, you will find yourself mesmerised by the beauty of the Chinese harp, ‘Guzheng’, Chinese violin, ‘Erhu’, Chinese flute ‘Dizi’, and the Chinese guitar, ‘Ruan’. Be prepared to be entertained by some incredible percussionists performing with a stage full of Chinese drums.

The School of Chinese Music & Arts will be joined by guest artists including Oriental Flair and BronzeWing Quartet who will highlight beautiful Eastern and Western strings in harmony, as well as San Ureshi, a South Australian oriental jazz ensemble featuring Zhao Liang, David Wei-han Dai and Satomi Ohnishi. Zhao Liang answers a few questions for Hi Fi Way about the performance.

What can families expect to experience when they come along to the show?
The audience will certainly see an Australian-Chinese show – not only will it feature traditional music and arts, it will also present some new works with Chinese elements. Some of the most talented in the local music scene – such as Jeffrey Kong, Zhao Liang, David Dai, Satomi Ohnishi, Jakub Tehal and the Bronzewing Quartet – will be part of the show. There will be an array of amazing Chinese instruments on show, including a whole percussion set on board. Some familiar folk songs such as Kang Ding Qing Ge and River Liu Yang will be presented in the show.

How important is the song selection for the concert?
I would certainly like to thank our musicians involved this time round, especially those who have written songs for this performance – such as Satomi Ohnishi, Joel Ang, David Dai and Xuting Zhao. They have been mindful in their compositions and arrangements to present Chinese folk songs and original compositions with a unique blend of oriental and western influences. Our musicians have also spent time to understand the inspiration behind the work written, as well as the folk songs behind the inspiration (if any).

In terms of the Chinese zodiac, does the Year Of The Rat take on any significant cultural meaning?
Yes, the Rat is the first of all Chinese zodiac animals. This year is particularly significant for the School of Chinese Music & Arts because we are celebrating our 15th anniversary. We are grateful to the South Australian community in supporting us because without all the engagement and support from organisations, schools and councils, we would not have been able to sustain so far. This milestone also reminds me that the sky is the limit and we should persist if it is the right thing to do.

After the Concert, how will you be celebrating the Chinese New Year?For me, Chinese New Year is a time of reflection as we celebrate our roots by sharing tales of our culture with the next generation. It is also an important for reunion, re-connection and bonding with family and loved ones.

Interview By Rob Lyon

The Adelaide premiere of the Chinese New Year Chamber Music Concert is on Friday 31 at Space Theatre. Tickets from BASS.

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