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Cantonese music to meet Shanghai music in two concerts

     The Windpipe Chinese Music Ensemble will perform two concerts titled "Birds and Flowers, the Moon and the Grove - A Concert of Music from Shanghai", in which Cantonese music meets Shanghainese music. The concerts will take place under the baton of conductor Ho Man-chuen and will be performed by Li Zhaofang (gaohu), Chan Pik-sum (erhu), Chow Lai-kuen (zheng) and Chan Chi-chun (dizi). Chan Chiu-yiu will provide a guided exposition (in Cantonese) throughout the concert.

     Jiangnan sizhu is a type of traditional folk music popular in Shanghai and its surrounding regions, and has long been connected with the ethnic Wu culture which  flourished in this region. This area also become an important base for the development of Cantonese music, since many Cantonese live in Shanghai. 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 have formed what is known as "Shanghai style". The pieces 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 and former concertmaster of the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra, to give an overview of the musical heritage of these two genres in the Shanghai region, as well as on the development of the gaohu, which originated in Shanghai.

     The enriching programme includes the pieces "Moonlight on the Spring River" and "Colourful Clouds Chasing the Moon"; the string and wind ensemble "Wonderful Jiangnan"; the hard-bow ensemble "Stairway to the Clouds"; the gaohu ensembles "A Victorious Return" and "The Lion dance"; the gaohu solo "Birds Returning to the Woods" and others.

     The Windpipe Chinese Music Ensemble was founded in 2003 with the mission of promoting music from China and Hong Kong. In addition to researching and studying traditional Chinese folk music, it is also dedicated to exploring and exhibiting modern Chinese ensemble music, which has been described as "small but elegant, and simple but refined". 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 the public to works of both the traditional and modern repertoire in Chinese music, dizi music, the Guangdong music culture in Hong Kong and original compositions by local composers. Since its inception, the ensemble has staged 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, Hunan, Zhejiang and Guangxi, bringing the culture of regional Chinese music to audiences in neighbouring and overseas cities.

     Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, "Birds and Flowers, the Moon and the Grove - A Concert of Music from Shanghai" by the Windpipe Chinese Music Ensemble will be staged at 8pm on December 11 (Wednesday) at the Theatre, Sheung Wan Civic Centre; and at 4pm on December 15 (Sunday) at the Auditorium, Tai Po Civic Centre. Tickets priced from $100 to $160 are now available at all URBTIX outlets, on the Internet and by telephone credit card booking. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and their minders, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (limited tickets for CSSA recipients available on a first-come, first-served basis). For group booking discount, please refer to the programme leaflet for details.

     For programme enquiries, please call 2268 7321; for ticketing enquiries, call 2734 9009. For telephone credit card bookings, call 2111 5999. Internet bookings are available at For more information, visit

     There will be a pre-concert talk titled "A Historical Overview of Cantonese Music in Shanghai" (conducted in Cantonese) by Li Zhaofang at 4pm on December 8 (Sunday) in the South Committee Room, Hong Kong City Hall. Admission is free on a first-come, first-served basis.

Ends/Monday, November 11, 2013
Issued at HKT 16:16


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