Curated by Grawemeyer Award-winning composer Lei Liang, this program features a founding member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble and a renowned violist for a folk-inspired sonic journey. The wide-ranging program features traditional Chinese melodies to Ligeti with a new work by Liang for this unique pairing of instruments.
Traditional: Three Six, Jasmine Flower, Dance of Yi
Ligeti: Hora Lunga
Garth Knox: Nine fingers
Kenji Bunch: The 3 Gs
Lei Liang: Co-commission
Traditional: Chinese folk melodies (pipa/viola)
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Hsin-Yun Huang has forged a career as one of the leading violists of her generation, performing on international concert stages, commissioning and recording new works, and nurturing young musicians. Ms. Huang has been soloist with the Berlin Radio Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic, the Bogotá Philharmonic, the NCPA Orchestra in Beijing, Zagreb Soloists, International Contemporary Ensemble, the London Sinfonia, and the Brazil Youth Orchestra, and has performed the complete Hindemith viola concertos with the Taipei City Symphony. She is a regular presence at festivals including Marlboro, Santa Fe, Rome, Spoleto USA, Moritzburg, Menlo, and the Seoul Spring Festival, among many others. She tours extensively with the Brentano String Quartet, most notably including performances of the complete Mozart string quintets at Carnegie Hall.
Highlights of the 2017-18 season include concerto performances under the batons of David Robertson, Osmo Vänskä, Xian Zhang, and Max Valdés in Beijing, Taipei, and Bogota, and appearances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. She is also the first solo violist to be presented in the National Performance Center of the Arts in Beijing, performing there under the baton of Xian Zhang. Highlights of 2016-2017 included appearances with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the 92nd Street Y, Chamber Music Columbus, and the Seoul Spring Festival. The 2014-2015 season featured a series of three chamber concerts curated by Ms. Huang and presented by the 92nd Street Y.
Ms. Huang has in recent years embarked on a series of major commissioning projects for solo viola and chamber ensemble. To date, these works include compositions from Shih-Hui Chen (Shu Shon Key, which Ms. Chen also arranged for orchestra) and Steven Mackey (Groundswell), which premiered at the Aspen Festival. Ms. Huang’s 2012 recording, titled “Viola Viola,” for Bridge Records, included those works along with compositions by Elliott Carter, Poul Ruders, and George Benjamin; the CD has won accolades from Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine. Her next recording will be the complete Unaccompanied Sonatas and Partitas of J.S. Bach, in partnership her husband, violist Misha Amory, to be released by Bridge Records in 2017.
A native of Taiwan and an alumna of Young Concert Artists, Ms. Huang received degrees from The Juilliard School and The Curtis Institute of Music. She now serves on the faculties of both schools and has given master classes at the Guildhall School in London, the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, the San Francisco Conservatory, Yong Sie Tow Conservatory in Singapore, and the McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University. She served on the jury of the 2011 Banff International String Quartet Competition.
Ms. Huang first came to international attention as the gold medalist and the youngest competitor in the 1988 Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition. In 1993 she was the top prize winner in the ARD International Competition in Munich, and was awarded the highly prestigious Bunkamura Orchard Hall Award. Ms. Huang was a member of the Borromeo String Quartet from 1994 to 2000.
Recognized as the world’s premier pipa virtuoso and leading ambassador of Chinese music, Grammy Award-nominated musician Wu Man has carved out a career as a soloist, educator and composer giving her lute-like instrument―which has a history of over 2,000 years in China―a new role in both traditional and contemporary music. Through numerous concert tours, Wu Man has premiered hundreds of new works for the pipa, while spearheading multimedia projects to both preserve and create awareness of China’s ancient musical traditions. Her adventurous spirit and virtuosity have led to collaborations across artistic disciplines allowing Wu Man to reach wider audiences as she works to break through cultural and musical borders. Wu Man’s efforts were recognized when she was named Musical America’s 2013 Instrumentalist of the Year, marking the first time this prestigious award has been bestowed on a player of a non-Western instrument.
Having been brought up in the Pudong School of pipa playing, one of the most prestigious classical styles of Imperial China, Wu Man is now recognized as an outstanding exponent of the traditional repertoire as well as a leading interpreter of contemporary pipa music by today’s most prominent composers. She was the first Chinese traditional musician to receive The United States Artist Fellowship in 2008 and was awarded the Bunting Fellowship at Harvard University in 1998. She is the first artist from China to perform at the White House. Her discography of more than 40 albums includes the Grammy-nominated recordings Our World in Song, Traditions and Transformations: Sounds of the Silk Road Chicago, her recording of Tan Dun’s Pipa Concerto with Yuri Bashmet and the Moscow Soloists, and You’ve Stolen My Heart featuring Wu Man and the Kronos Quartet. Wu Man frequently collaborates with the Kronos and Shanghai Quartets, the Knights, and the Silk Road Ensemble (SRE). She is a featured artist in the documentary The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble in theaters now, as well as on the companion recording, Sing Me Home, released by Sony in April 2016.
Highlights of Wu Man’s 2016-17 season include the world premiere of a new pipa concerto by Canadian composer Vincent Ho with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra conducted by Long Yu and performances of Tan Dun’s Pipa Concerto with the NCPA Orchestra, Reno Chamber Orchestra, and Sinfonieorchester Aachen. She is joined by the Shanghai Quartet for the New York premiere of Zhao Jiping’s multimedia work Red Lantern on a program that includes music by Bright Sheng, Ye Xiaogang, and Zhou Long, presented by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; returns to Wigmore Hall to perform with frequent collaborator singer Sanubar Tursen in Basel Rajoub’s Soriano Project that celebrates the musical heritage of diverse artists as part of the Aga Khan Music Initiative, and tours Europe as soloist with The Knights.
Born in Hangzhou, China, Wu Man studied with Lin Shicheng, Kuang Yuzhong, Chen Zemin, and Liu Dehai at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, where she became the first recipient of a master's degree in pipa. Accepted into the conservatory at age 13, Wu Man’s audition was covered by national newspapers and she was hailed as a child prodigy, becoming a nationally recognized role model for young pipa players. She subsequently received first prize in the First National Music Performance Competition among many other awards, and she participated in many premieres of works by a new generation of Chinese composers. Wu Man’s first exposure to western classical music came in 1979 when she saw Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony Orchestra performing in Beijing. In 1980 she participated in an open master class with violinist Isaac Stern and in 1985 she made her first visit to the United States as a member of the China Youth Arts Troupe. Wu Man moved to the U.S. in 1990 and currently resides with her husband and son in California.