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Guqin masters Cheng Gongliang and Dai Xiaolian to stage recitals in February

     World-renowned Guangling stylistic school guqin masters Cheng Gongliang and Dai Xiaolian will collaborate for two recitals in February. The pair will perform classic pieces including "Long Shuo Cao", "Long Xiang Cao", "Memories of an Old Friend", "Homeward Prose", "Three Variations of Plum Blossoms", "Ancient Dance" and "Listening to the Pines".

     The name Guangling refers geographically to the Yangzhou region of Jiangsu. The Guangling school has a long history and is highly regarded by qin players of all generations for its distinguished style. Guangling artists over time have been able to create a lineage that is distinctively different from others and presents a form that is refreshing, elegant and serene, and features a confident flair. These traits have become the benchmark for the aesthetics of Guangling qin music. Equal attention is paid to the delivery of content and the expression of emotions. The rhythm is undulating and varied, the fingering delicate and intricate, and the touch on the strings sensitive and assured. By passing on their art from generation to generation, the Guangling qin artists have been able to promote their aesthetics and repertoire to all parts of China, thus making this stylistic school the most influential.

     Cheng Gonglian graduated in 1965 from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, where he studied music theory. He taught music theory, composition and guqin in the Department of Music in the Nanjing Arts Institute from 1984 until his retirement in 1997. Cheng studied under the tutelage of Liu Jingshao and Zhang Ziqian, so his style reflects the tradition of the Guangling school, but at the same time he has developed his own characteristics. His playing shows a profound humanistic touch, whereby he expresses his feelings about nature and his reflections on life. At times warm and gentle, and at other points fiery or poignant, his music demonstrates a soulful depth and the musings of a cultivated mind.

     Born in Shanghai, Dai Xiaolian started to learn guqin when she was a teenager, under the tutelage of renowned guqin master Zhang Ziqian. The years of training made her a true exponent of Zhang's art. Later, she received coaching from several guqin masters including Wu Jinglue, Yao Bingyan, Wu Wenguang, Gong Yi and Lin Youren. Dai has inherited the rich legacy of traditional qin study, which is evident in her virtuosity and techniques, and is able to assimilate the merits of the various stylistic schools. All this has shaped her into one of the foremost exponents of the traditional Chinese art of guqin. She is also at the cutting edge of new music by keeping an active profile in the contemporary music scene, performing and collaborating with many renowned musicians, composers and orchestras, both in the Mainland and abroad.

     "Guqin Recital by Cheng Gongliang and Dai Xiaolian" is one of the programmes in the Nan Lian Garden Music Series presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. It will be staged at 2.30pm and 7.30pm on February 8 (Saturday) at the Xiang Hai Xuan Multi-purpose Hall, Nan Lian Garden. Tickets priced at $220 (free seating) are now available at URBTIX outlets, on the Internet and by credit card telephone 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 students and CSSA recipients available on a first-come, first-served basis). A maximum discount of 20 per cent is offered for the Nan Lian Garden Music Series and group booking packages. Please refer to the programme leaflet for discount details. A Meet-the-Artists session (conducted in Putonghua) will be held after the matinee performance.

     The Nan Lian Garden Music Series also includes "Guqin Recital by Lau Chor-wah" (January 11), "Guqin Recital by Sou Si-tai" (January 18), "Guqin Recital by Tse Chun-yan" (January 19) and "Guqin Recital by Zeng Chengwei and Zeng He" (February 15).

     To offer further sharing on the Guangling stylistic school, Cheng Gongliang and Dai Xiaolian will give a talk entitled "The Maestros Talking the Qin: The Qin Musical Heritage" (to be conducted in Putonghua) at 2.30pm on February 9 (Sunday) at the Gallery of the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware. Admission is free on a first-come, first-served basis.

     For enquiries on the programme and lectures, please call 2268 7321 or visit Ticketing enquiries can be made on 2734 9009 and credit card telephone bookings on 2111 5999. Tickets can also be booked online at

Ends/Thursday, January 2, 2014
Issued at HKT 11:40


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