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Chinese Music Virtuosi performs contemporary music on Nov. 28

Chinese Music Virtuosi presents the third concert of the 2003 Chinese Composers' Festival on November 28 at Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall, featuring contemporary works by renowned Chinese composers.

The six members of Chinese Music Virtuosi will be joined by Kwok Kin-ming (sanxian / ruan), Chau Chin-tung (percussion) and Hui Yu-sing Simon (double bass). Wai Sing-fat conducts.

The programme consists of:

1. Chan Hing-yan (Hong Kong)
Derelict Landscape

2. Qin Yi (China)
Zhenru II (Pipa solo: Qin Yi)

3. Lee Tzyy-sheng (Taiwan)
Mr. DE-ath

4. Zhou Long (USA)

5. Sydney Lam (Hong Kong)
Calligraphy Fantasia

6. Joyce Bee Tuan Koh (Singapore / France)
Underpants Revisited (World Premiere)

7. Chen Yi (USA)
Chinese Fables

8. Zhu Jian-er (China)

Chan Hing-yan's "Derelict Landscape" was inspired by the poem "Tian-Jing-Sha: Autumnal Meditation" byMa Zhiyuan, a literary scholar of the Yuan Dynasty. The work is based on the antagonistic use of the robust and woeful tones of the erhu, whose characteristic timbre brings out the conspicuous pictures of autumnal nature, as well as the hidden images of desolation, which are so miraculously interwoven in Ma's poem.

The "zhenru" in "Zhenru II" is a Buddhist concept which means everyone is born with the nature of emptiness. Qin Yi uses the pipa to express this free and silent feeling, and to seek the essence of traditional Chinese instrumental music.

Lee Tzyy-sheng's "Mr. DE-ath" is a quartet for four Chinese instruments: xiao, erhu, pipa and zheng. The structure is an unbalanced ternary form. The piece was written to commemorate the casualties in Beijing's Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989.

Zhou Long's "Heng" was commissioned by Music From China with a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts. The piece was composed for xiao, pipa, yangqin, zheng, erhu and percussion. "Like the eternal stars in heaven, in stillness lies a realm of movement." Embodying just such a philosophic outlook, this composition uses various treatments for single notes, each meaningful in expression, to symbolise the theme of eternity. Traditional Chinese instruments are used in an unconventional manner to convey greater variety and richness of sonority and tone colour.

Chinese calligraphy is the fruit thousands of years of refinements. It is a gem of Chinese culture, and an important medium through which the Chinese people communicate among themselves. Composer Sydney Lam wrote this newly arranged piece "Calligraphy Fantasia" based on the idea of the eight basic strokes in the Chinese character "yong".

"Underpants Revisited" is a collection of three pieces featuring erhu, xiao, sheng and hand-held percussion. This work by Joyce Bee Tuan Koh was specially written for the Chinese Music Virtuosi for this year's Chinese Composers' Festival. The three pieces are entitled "Winely Wild", "Underpants" and "Resistance".

"Chinese Fables" was written for erhu, pipa, cello and percussion by the world-renowned Chen Yi. In this adaptation for erhu, pipa, sanxian and percussion, Chen expresses her impression of three popular Chinese fables - "The Fox Profited by the Tiger's Might", "Master Dong-guo and the Wolf" and "The Snipe and the Clam" - in her own musical language.

"Harmonious" is a quintet by Zhu Jian-er based on the "different yet in harmony" notion of traditional Chinese music aesthetics. Five different instruments are set in the five Chinese modalities of gong, shang, jiao, zhi and yu, utilising the music of the five ethnic minorities - Yao, Lahu, Miao, Hani and Yi - as source materials, and arranging the vertical placement and modal exchanges of the various modes on the basis of the interrelation between yin-yang and the Five Elements. Five parts, each with its owns uniqueness, going back and forth and interpenetrating with abandon, amalgamate into a "Big Whole", hence the title He (harmonious).

Chinese Music Virtuosi was founded in 1997 to promote Chinese instrumental music - from cherished oldies to newly commissioned works. Its members are all experienced music teachers and performers. Since its establishment, Chinese Music Virtuosi has presented numerous educational concerts and workshop series apart from regular public performances.

It has won tremendous acclaim for its diverse repertoire and remarkable technique. Past undertakings have included Chamber Opera Double Bill -- The Lamp of Everlasting Light & The Divorce (2000), Musicarama 1999 & 2000 and Chamber Opera Wenji at the 2002 Hong Kong Arts Festival. The group has performed overseas at the 34th Festival Internacional Encuentros 2002, the 5th Festival Internacional de Musica de Buenos Aires in Argentina, and at the 2002 Melbourne Festival.

"Concert by Chinese Music Virtuosi" is part of the "Legends of China" Festival organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

The concert begins at 8pm on November 28 (Friday). Tickets priced at $120, $90 and $60 are available at all URBTIX outlets.

Half-price tickets are offered to senior citizens, full-time students, people with disabilities and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Recipients. For group bookings and packages, discounts of up to 20% apply.

Telephone reservations can be made on 2734 9009. For credit card telephone bookings, call 2111 5999. Internet bookings can be made a

Programme details can be found in the brochures obtainable at URBTIX outlets or at

For programme enquiries, call 2370 1044.

Ends/Wednesday, November 19, 2003
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