For over 5,000 years, music has been essential to Chinese culture. Its language is tonal, its poems were once sung, and traditionally an educated person was understood to be a musical expert. On the world stage, Chinese music enchants audiences from various cultures and opens a door to a civilization that contributes to the richness and diversity of all the humanities.
With performances on Pipa (琵琶), Ruan (阮) by musicians from the US-China Music Institute of the Bard College Conservatory of Music, Chat on Chinese Music /茶话中国音乐 presents a musical conversation to delve deeper into the journey of Chinese music in the world.
Chat on Chinese Music /茶话中国音乐, a public educational series presented by Music at China Institute 华美音乐, invites audiences of all ages to hear performances and chat with top musicians in order to have a deeper understanding of Chinese music.
About the Speaker/Musician
Conductor Jindong Cai(蔡金东) is the director of the US-China Music Institute, co-director of the Chinese Music Development Initiative, professor of music and arts at Bard College, and associate conductor of Bard’s The Orchestra Now. Prior to joining Bard he was a professor of performance at Stanford University. Over the 30 years of his career in the United States, Cai has established himself as an active and dynamic conductor, scholar of Western classical music in China, and leading advocate of music from across Asia.
Ma Lihong is a graduate student in ruan performance at the Central Conservatory of Music (CCOM) in China. She was born in Qingdao in Shandong Province. She was admitted to CCOM in 2015, where she studies with Professor Xu Yang. She began her graduate studies in 2019. Lihong is currently a 2019-2020 US-China Music Fellow at the Bard Conservatory, where she provides studio instruction in ruan under the supervision of master teacher Xu Yang. Lihong is a member of the Yijing National Chamber Orchestra and the Ruan National Chamber Orchestra. She has won numerous top awards including the CCTV China Instrumental TV Competition highest award in 2019. At the invitation of the Ministry of Culture, she held more than ten concerts in various countries including Thailand, France, Russia, and South Korea. In China in recent years she has performed in Henan, Jinan, Daqing, Luliang, and Chengdu, participated in CCTV recordings, and performed with the Beijing National Orchestra and the China Radio National Orchestra. She has participated in the National Music Festival, Plucked Strings Music Festival, Huqin Art Festival, and the Beijing Youth Art Festival. This Fall she performed at the China Now Music Festival Gala at Carnegie Hall, a benefit for the US-China Music Institute.
Shi Yu is a pipa performer and a member of the Pin Xiang Troupe. She began to study pipa at age 4, and has studied with Professor Zhang Qiang at the Central Conservatory of Music (CCCOM) since 2009. She is currently working on her master’s degree.Shi Yu has won gold medals in more than ten major competitions, such as the Dunhuang Cup; the CCTV competition; the Chinese Music Alliance; Hong Kong Youth Music Cup; China, Japan and South Korea Traditional Music Competition; and the Liaoyuan Cup.Recently, Yu was invited to the Hong Kong Chinese Culture and Art Festival, the Plucked Instruments Art Festival at CCOM, the Chinese National Grand Theater’s Summer Music Festival, and the Plucked Instruments Art Festival in Zhejiang Conservatory of Music. She is an advocate of the combination of pipa and modern electronic music and has been invited regularly to the Beijing International Electronic Music Festival. Yu is a 2019-2020 US-China Music Fellow, providing studio instruction in pipa under the supervision of master teacher Zhang Qiang. Since arriving at Bard this fall, she has performed in China Institute’s “Chat in Chinese Music – Pipa,” the University of Albany Confucius Institute’s Mid-Autumn Poetry Concert: “Elegant China,” and the China Now Music Festival Gala at Carnegie Hall, a benefit for the US-China Music Institute.
Yuling Nan was born in the city of Daqing in Heilongjiang, the northernmost province in China. She began to learn pipa at the age of 8. At 15, she became a student of Professor Xu Yang of the Central Conservatory of Music (CCOM) in Beijing. Yuling is in her first year and is the first ruan student in the double-degree program of the Bard Conservatory.
Jinou Dong is an undergraduate first-year student at Bard College. She started pipa studies at the age of 6. Her professor is Zhang Qiang, the director of plucked string instruments at the Central Conservatory of Music (CCOM). In 2017, JinOu won the gold award in the Beijing 20th Student Groups Art Festival. In 2018, she won the gold award in the Beijing Student Art Festival for pipa solo performance. In the same year, she won the title of “Beijing Art Star.”
JinOu has travelled to Hong Kong and Korea for cultural exchange performances, and she has played pipa and sanxian in the Central Broadcasting Traditional Instruments Youth Orchestra for 6 years, performing in many concerts and tours. She was selected as a representative of the orchestra to participate in the “China Music Festival” in Australia, and she also travelled to Taiwan as a member of the Beijing Student Art Troupe for a concert tour. She is the Bard Conservatory’s first undergraduate pipa major.