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Music & Artists

Wu Tong singing, holding his instrument, the sheng

© RICHARD CONDE

Debuting New Works
Silk Road Ensemble musician and composer Wu Tong (above) sings during the premiere of his composition 9 Rivers during a Silk Road Ensemble residency at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City. The piece has become part of the Silk Road Ensemble's repertoire.


Hu Jianbing

COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

"He has an impressive command of the sheng and of a broad range of its classical, folk, and modern musical literatures."

- THE BOSTON GLOBE

 


Hu Jianbing

Sheng, bawu Hu Jianbing has earned wide recognition for his artistry as a sheng soloist and composer. He graduated from the Chinese Central Conservatory of Music, and joined the National Traditional Orchestra of China. He performs with the Silk Road Ensemble.

Hu's father, Hu Zhiguo, was his first music teacher. He taught young Jianbhin to play the Chinese traditional instruments sheng, suona and guanzi. At the age of 10, Hu debuted before an audience as a soloist. At 13, he was admitted into the Art College of Gansu Province. After five years of study, he graduated from the college and taught on the faculty. He went on to Jinan in Shandong province to study under renowned sheng master Mu Shanping.

Hu's music talent was quickly recognized. In 1983, he won the Best Chinese Music Instrument Soloist Competition prize in Gansu Province. In 1985, he was accepted into the Chinese Central Conservatory of Music, where he studied sheng with Professor Feng Haiyun, guanzi from Master Hu Zhihou, and composition from Professors Li Bingyang and Guo Wenjing. Four years later he earned his dual bachelor's degrees in music composition and music performance.

In 1989, Zhou Wang premiered Hu's guzheng solo piece Autumn Melody in Hong Kong. A year later, the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra premiered his commissioned piece Plum Festival, which was recorded and broadcasted by the Chinese Central Broadcast Corporation. In the same year, Hu collaborated with acclaimed Chinese music instrumentalists Hu Zhihou and Li Zhengui and made an album of traditional Chinese wind and percussion music, which was released by PHILIPS record company. His composition Fragrant as Ever received the Taiwan Original Music Awards in 1993. Fragrant as Ever, along with two other pieces, Lisao and Qiu Sai Yin, played by Hu Zhihou and Wang Zhongshan were released by BMG Hong Kong. In 1994, Hu collaborated with Hu Zhihou to research, perform and record traditional Shanxi Hengshan Taoist melodies such as Things That will Never be Able to be Named, The Sound of Joy and A Lamp. The soundtrack was released by JVC in 1994.
 
In 1996, Hu toured in the United States with the National Traditional Orchestra of China. The following year he joined the Asian Orchestra and toured in Japan and South Korea. In 1997, the Central National Orchestra of China organized a production of Hu's works entitled Autumn Melody at Beijing Music Hall, which was reviewed in the People's Music Magazine.

In 1998, Hu moved to the New York and founded the Chinese Performing Arts of North America. He currently serves as the president of the association.

In 2000, The Compositions of Guanzi, published by People's Music Publishing House, collected many of his pieces, including Lisao, Qiu Sai Yin, and Fragrant as Ever, as well as the restored Taoist melodies Things That will Never be Able to be Named, The Sound of Joy and A Lamp. Autumn Melody has been collected into The Compositions of Guzheng by the same publisher. 

In 2001, Hu toured with the Silk Road Ensemble. Since then he has performed in the United States and around the world, in venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Merkin Concert Hall in New York City, and Sanders Theatre in Boston.

In 2004, Hu traveled toParis with Bao Jian to perform in a concert organized by Pro Musicis. Their premiere featured Hu's piece Dancing with Ghosts. In the same year Hu performed with Bao Jian in the Guanzi and Sheng Contemporary Music Concert at Carnegie Hall; Hu later spearheaded and performed at the concert Masters of Chinese Music at Lincoln Center.

Hu was a guest speaker at the Harvard Yanjing Academic Association's Chinese Traditional Music Seminar in 2005. In 2001, he was a guest performer at the Central Conservatory of Music's Beijing Contemporary Music Festival, where his The Refined Orchid premiered. In 2008, Hu performed with ACJW Ensemble at Carnegie Hall.


Sheng    Bawu

© TARA TODRAS-WHITEHILL

Instruments
Sheng
Bawu


Other sheng and bawu players
Wu Tong


Other Ensemble members from China
He Cui
Jia Daqun
Li Hui
Liu Lin
Wu Man
Wu Tong
Betti Xiang
Yang Wei
DaXun Zhang
Zhao Jiping
Zhao Lin