Text size: A A A Facebook Twitter Email to friends

Birds and Flowers, the Moon and the Grove - A Concert of Music from Shanghai

Venue Date & Time Price
Theatre, Sheung Wan Civic Centre
$160, $120
Auditorium, Tai Po Civic Centre
$140, $100

Shanghai is situated in the region where the ethnic ‘Wu Culture’ flourished. The string-and-wind ensemble music of Jiangnan Sizhu (‘silk and bamboo of South of Yangtze’) is a type of traditional folk music popularly found in Shanghai and its nearby regions. Also, since many Cantonese people live in Shanghai, the area becomes an important base for the development of Cantonese music as well.  Ethno-cultural differences have buffeted the two musical genres, and mutual influence is inevitable, so much so that the reciprocal factors are evident on either side and form what is known as ‘Shanghai style’.  The works performed in this concert are written by virtuosi who are either native Shanghainese, or Cantonese living in Shanghai.  The Windpipe Chinese Music Ensemble has invited Li Zhaofang, an exponent of the ‘Shanghai style’ of Cantonese music, former Concertmaster of the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra, and National Class One Gaohu Musician, to give an overview of the musical heritage of the two genres in the Shanghai region, as well as the development of the gaohu, which was born in Shanghai, in recent years.

Trailer: Birds and Flowers, the Moon and the Grove - A Concert of Music from Shanghai

About the Performer

Windpipe Chinese Music Ensemble

The Windpipe Chinese Music Ensemble was founded in 2003 with promoting Chinese and Hong Kong local music culture as its mission.  Apart from researching and studying traditional Chinese folk music, it also dedicates itself towards exploring modern Chinese ensemble music, and exhibiting the unique charms and styles of Chinese ensemble music, described as “small but elegant, and simple but refined”.  The members have received professional music training and possess extensive experience in concert performance in Hong Kong and overseas.  At present, the majority of the members are working in the fields of music performance, education and research.

The Ensemble holds regular music activities such as concerts, workshops, music camps, masterclasses, talks, cultural gatherings and exhibitions featuring different types of instruments performed by Chinese virtuosi and young musicians from Hong Kong, in a bid to introduce to the public works of both the traditional and modern repertoire in Chinese music, dizi music, Guangdong music culture in Hong Kong and original compositions by local composers.  Since its inception, the Ensemble has presented concerts for 13 dizi maestros in China, and commissioned and premiered more than 10 works by local composers.  In addition to its local engagements, the Ensemble has represented Hong Kong in exchange performances in the United States, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Shanghai, Hunnan, Zhejiang and Guangxi, bringing the local culture of Chinese music to audiences in neighboring and overseas cities.

The Ensemble has been selected as the “Community Cultural Ambassador” of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department in six consecutive years since 2007, and the “Trial Scheme on Community Performing Arts Programme” of the Home Affairs Department in 2010.  Over 200 outreach performances had been organized under both schemes.  The Ensemble was incorporated as the “Windpipe Chinese Music Ensemble Ltd.” in 2011 to facilitate its daily operation, and is at present a One-Year Grantee of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. 

The Ensemble Website:www.chineseflute.org


Conductor: Ho Man-chuen

Ho Man-chuen is a renowned music educationist and conductor.  Emigrated to Hong Kong in 1980, Ho joined the Music Office and had held the positions as Assistant Music Officer and Music Officer until his retirement in 2009.  During his tenure, he has nurtured numerous young musicians.  Ho is currently appointed as an instructor of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and Resident Conductor of the Academy Chinese Orchestra, Artistic Advisor of the Windpipe Chinese Music Ensemble, and Artistic Advisor cum Principal Conductor of the Hong Kong Music Lover Chinese Orchestra.

Ho studied conducting with Xia Feiyun, and participated conducting masterclasses held by Tang Muhai, Chen Zhaohuang and Peng Xiuwen.  He had been the conductor of Hong Kong Youth Chinese Orchestra for 29 years and taken the orchestra to tour the United States, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, as well as Beijing, Shanghai, Xian and Nanjing in Mainland China.  In Hong Kong, He has conducted numerous local orchestras including the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, Joint Orchestra of Hong Kong (for 1997 reunification concert), Academy Chinese Orchestra, Hong Kong Music Lover Chinese Orchestra, Wang Kwong Chinese Orchestra, The Hong Kong YWCA Chinese Orchestra, Yao Yueh Chinese Orchestra, Windpipe Chinese Music Ensemble, etc., and has collaborated with renowned musicians including Min Huifan, Xiao Baiyong, Yu Qiwei, Zhu Changyao, Hao Yuqi, Gong Yi et al.


Gaohu: Li Zhaofang

Li Zhaofang is a famous gaohu virtuoso, a National Class One Musician, a member of the Gaohu Professional Committee and Executive Editor of A Collection of Music for the Gaohu Accreditation Examination in China.  He is on the Executive Committees of the China Nationalities Orchestra Society, the Erhu Society under the auspices of the Chinese Musicians’ Association and its Professional Committee for Huqin Artists, as well as the Professional Committee for Erhu Artists under the auspices of the Shanghai Musicians’ Association. He has been a guest instructor in gaohu and Cantonese music at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music for many years.

Li is a Guangdong native by birth, but his family resettled in Shanghai.  He has been living in the Hongkou District where there is a large settlement of people from Guangdong since he was young. He first learned to play the gaohu and the yangqin in the Cantonese Music Section of the Chin Woo Athletic Association when he was six, under the famous virtuosi of the genre, Chen Riying and Chen Junying. He entered the middle school affiliated to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in 1960, where he received formal music education.  He joined the Shanghai National Music Ensemble (now the ‘Shanghai Chinese Orchestra’) in 1966, and has been its Concertmaster and a member of its Artistic Committee since 1980. He has gone on over a dozen overseas touring performances as a member of the Orchestra and its Virtuosi Ensemble, and on delegations representing the Municipal Government of Shanghai City and the Shanghai Media Group to Europe, America, Japan, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. He was the gaohu solo at the 2001 Grand Chinese New Year Concert in Vienna, which made him the first gaohu virtuoso from China to perform at the Goldener Saal.  He held a successful gaohu solo recital at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center in 2007.

Li has appeared on many interviews and music programmes on radio and television. His performance has been hailed by the media at home and abroad for his virtuosity, comprehensive command of techniques, mellifluous tonality and vivid interpretations, thereby launching Cantonese music onto even higher levels.  He is also dubbed ‘an outstanding gaohu and Cantonese music virtuoso among the contemporaries’ and ‘a true exponent of Cantonese music of the Shanghai school’.


Erhu: Chan Pik-sum

Chan Pik-sum graduated from The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and the Chinese University of Hong Kong with a Bachelor of Music Degree (Hons) and a Master of Arts (Music) degree. She majored in erhu, gaohu and studied Cantonese Music under Yu Qiwei. She was awarded the scholarship to receive erhu coaching from Chen Yaoxing in Beijing. 

Chan began her first training in erhu under Wong Shu-wing of the Music Office, and later under He Tao and Wong On-yuen. She was a many times winner in erhu, gaohu and banhu at the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival for many years. She was the Concertmaster of the Hong Kong Youth Chinese Orchestra and the Academy Chinese Orchestra, and is currently the Concertmaster of the Windpipe Chinese Music Ensemble. She has represented Hong Kong on performing tours to many countries in Asia and Europe.


Zheng: Chow Lai-kuen

Chow Lai-kuen graduated from The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts with a Bachelor of Music Degree (Hons), majoring in zheng under the tutelage of Xu Lingzi with a minor in zhongruan under Lui Kwan-on.  While at the Academy, she was also coached by Hon See-wah, Wang Changyuan, Wang Zhongshan and Li Meng, and went to Beijing to further her training under Zhou Wang on a scholarship. She is currently on a Master’s degree programme in Musicology at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing.  Chow is the Chairman of the Hong Kong Professional Zheng Ensemble and a resident musician with the Windpipe Chinese Music Ensemble. She was presented with an Outstanding Instructor Award at The International Music and Arts Competition 2011.

Chow began learning the zheng at a young age, and benefited from the zheng master, Zhou Yanjia.  She was a champion in Guzheng Advanced Class at the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival when she was in secondary school.  She has participated in soundtrack recording for films, and performed with various groups on their tours to the Mainland China, Taiwan, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Austria, Holland, Belgium and Germany, as well as zheng soloist.


Dizi: Chan Chi-chun

Chan Chi-chun began learning the dizi under Lam Si-kwan at the Music Office at the age of nine.  He came first in the Dizi Advanced Class and the Dongxiao Junior, Senior and Advanced Classes at the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival.

Chan graduated from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in 2007 with a Bachelor of Music Degree (Hons), where he majored in dizi under Sun Yongzhi and minored in dongxiao under Tam Po-shek.  He was also coached by many virtuosi, such as Da Ya, Yu Xunfa, Chan Hung-yin, Li Datong and Zhan Yongming.  While at the Academy, he premiered the dizi concerto, Joy of the Mountains, with the accompaniment of the Academy Chinese Orchestra under the baton of Qu Chunquan, National Class One Conductor.  He later pursued postgraduate studies in Ethnomusicology under Yu Siu-wah at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.  His field of study was funeral music in Hong Kong and wind-and-percussion music of Guangdong. He completed the programme with a Master of Philosophy degree, and his academic papers on this subject were published in journals in China and the United States.  He and his younger brother Chan Chi-yuk gave a dizi recital at the Hong Kong Arts Festival in 2011.  The following year, he joined with the Hong Kong Cantonese Orchestra to participate in the “2012 CCTV Ethnic Instrumental Music Television Competition” and won the Silver Award in the Ensemble Section.


Docent in Cantonese: Chan Chiu-yin

Chan Chiu-yin is the Executive Director of the Windpipe Chinese Music Ensemble and a seasoned music administrator. He has been engaged in instrumental music performance, music education, training of orchestras and arts administration.  He is currently an honorary committee member of the China Dizi Society, an honorary executive committee member of the Guangdong Dizi Society, a director of the Guangdong Music Art Centre, President of the Hong Kong Chinese Instrumental Association, an executive member of the Hong Kong Bamboo Flute Society, Resident Conductor of The Hong Kong YWCA Chinese Orchestra, and Conductor of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Student’s Union Chinese Orchestra.

Chan began learning wind instruments such as dizi, flute, houguan and suona, and Chinese music conducting while he was still in secondary school.  Chan began learning dizi under Wong Ka-wai when he was young, and furthered his training in mainland China, therefore succeeding in improving his technical knowhow of the arts of dizi.  Chan graduated from the Hong Kong Baptist University and the Hong Kong Institute of Education, with a Bachelor of Education degree with honours and a Certificate of Music Teaching.  He has also taken Arts Administration and Musicology courses at the University of Hong Kong School of Professional and Continuing Education, and the Modern Distance Music Education College of the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing.

About the Programme


Guangdong Music Medley

Arr. Qu Chunquan


1. In Celebration of Good Times


2. Autumn Moon over a Placid Lake


3. Thunder in a Drought


Colourful Clouds Chasing the Moon

Ren Guang


Arr. Law Wai-lun


Moonlight on the Spring River

Ancient Tune


Arr. Tong Leung-tak

Strings & Wind Ensemble

Wonderful Jiangnan

Arr. Qu Chunquan


Travelling in Chaozhou

Qu Chunquan



Jiangnan Sizhu Music

‘Soft-bow’ & ‘Hard-bow’ Ensemble

Medley of Guangdong Folk Tunes

Traditional Music


1. The Nun Leaving the Nunnery


2. The Monk Yearning for a Wife


3. Stairway to the Clouds


Gaohu & Ensemble


Chen Riying


Arr. Gu Guanren


A Victorious Return

Chen Junying

    Arr. Gu Guanren

The Lion Dance

Lui Man-shing


Arr. Gu Guanren

Dizi, Erhu, Zheng & Ensemble

Moods of Jiangnan

Arr. Gu Guanren

Gaohu Solo

Birds Returning to the Woods       

Yi Jianquan


A Hungry Horse Shaking Its Bells

Ho Lau-tong


Love in a Border Town

Zhang Xiaofeng



Tickets available from 11 November onwards at all URBTIX outlets, on Internet and by Telephone Credit Card Booking.

Half-price tickets available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and the minder, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (Limited tickets for CSSA recipients available on a first-come-first-served basis)

Group Booking Discount

10% off for each purchase of 4-9 standard tickets; 15% off for 10-19 standard tickets; 20% off for 20 or more standard tickets.

Patrons can enjoy only one of the above discount schemes for each purchase. Please inform the box office staff at the time of purchase.

Programme Length

Running time of each performance is about 2 hours with an intermission of 15 minutes.  Audiences are strongly advised to arrive punctually.  No latecomers will be admitted until the interval or a suitable break in the programme.  The presenter reserves the right to substitute artists and change the programme should unavoidable circumstances make it necessary.


Programme Enquiries: 2268 7321

Ticketing Enquiries: 2734 9009

Telephone Credit Card Booking: 2111 5999

Internet Booking: www.urbtix.hk


Programme Notes

Pre-concert Talk

A Historical Overview of Cantonese Music in Shanghai (Conducted in Cantonese)

Speaker and live demonstration: Li Zhaofang

Free admission on a first-come-first-served basis


Venue Date & Time Price
South Committee Room, 7/F, High Block, Hong Kong City Hall
Free Admission


now on sale soon on sale

Subscribe our E-newsletter

Latest E-newsletter

Please click here to see latest e-Newsletter (Web Version)

Subscribe LCSD E-magazine

To enjoy the latest information of LCSD firsthand.

Join LCSD E-magazine subscription

facebook like