Zeng Chengwei, one of the most distinguished qin artists of the Shu Stylistic School today, will collaborate with his son, Zeng He, for two recitals in February.
The pair will perform classic pieces including "Evening Song of a Drunken Fisherman", "Flowing Water", "Confucius Reading the Book of Changes", "Three Variations of the Plum Blossom", "Lou-Lan-San" and "Guangling San".
Zeng Chengwei was trained in the style of his grandfather, the maestro Yu Shaoze, and has been playing the qin for over 30 years. His style is typical of the Shu school - solid but freehanded, natural without over-embellishment - thus producing tone colours that are pure and earthy. His fingering is well thought out and exemplifies the school's traits of solemn elegance with no frivolous detail. All in all, his musicianship has the exemplary precision and keen insight expected of a virtuoso. He is also a fine maker of the instrument, and his qins are acclaimed for their robustness of sound with a resonating clarity in the overtones.
Zeng Chengwei is currently an associate professor of Chinese music at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music, deputy head of the Guqin Research Centre and vice president of the Guqin Professional Committee of the China Nationalities Orchestra Society. He was named a guqin representative bearer of the Shu Stylistic School - an intangible cultural heritage of Sichuan - in 2009.
Zeng He is a seventh generation player of the Shu Stylistic School of qin. He learned the art from his father at the age of 9, and has thus been immersed in qin playing since a young age. He was later admitted to the Sichuan Conservatory of Music with outstanding entrance scores. With his family influence supplemented by formal training, he is considered a star ascendant in the qin circle today. He is currently on the Conservatory's master's degree programme, and has given recitals in Chengdu, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Tianjin.
Sichuan was part of the Shu region in ancient China. According to unearthed artefacts and archives, the provenance of guqin music has a history of at least 2000 years, making this stream an important part of the long history of qin studies.
Qin music was highly popular throughout the Qin and the Han dynasties. Styles began to emerge, as well as treatises on the instrument, in the middle part of the Shu region. By the time of the Tang dynasty, it was the subject of many poems. There are many records of the popularity of the qin in the Shu region.
During the 19th century, Zhang Kongshan, a Taoist priest of Qingchengshan in Sichuan, and his disciples compiled the "Tianwenge Scores", a canon of 18 volumes published in 1876. It formed the core of written literature on the Shu qin style. The style is typified by quick and free flowing thrusts and great flair.
"Guqin Recital by Zeng Chengwei and Zeng He" 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 15 (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 Meet-the-Artists session (conducted in Putonghua) will be held after the matinee performance.
To give further sharing on the Shu stylistic school, Zeng Chengwei will give a talk titled "Flowing Water – The Ye Provenance of the Shu Stylistic School in Guqin" (to be conducted in Putonghua) on February 16 (Sunday) at 2.30pm in 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 www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/Programme/en/music/program_411.html . Ticketing enquiries can be made on 2734 9009 and credit card telephone bookings on 2111 5999. Tickets can also be booked online at www.urbtix.hk .
Ends/Friday, January 17, 2014
Issued at HKT 12:35