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YWCA Chinese Orchestra to perform "New Sounds in Chinese Music"

The Hong Kong YWCA Chinese Orchestra will next month perform "New Sounds in Chinese Music", integrating orchestral music with traditional melodies of the guanzi, erhu, souna and saxophone.

Musicians performing with the orchestra are Wang Fujian (conductor), Guo Yazhi (guanzi, souna and saxophone) and He Tao (erhu).

Wang Fujian is a key staff member of Chinese music orchestral studies at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. When training in ensembles and orchestras in Chinese music was still new academic subjects, Wang formulated the course programme of the conservatory's folk ensembles and devised a highly effective system of training. He also created a professional, systematic course in orchestral studies at the conservatory.

Wang has made a tremendous contribution to the promotion of Chinese music. In 1985, under his baton, the Youth Folk Orchestra of the Central Conservatory of Music gave the first performance of modern compositions in Chinese music performed by a Chinese orchestra in Beijing. He later took the orchestra on tour to Singapore, Japan and Hungary. He has been invited to conduct professional orchestras in Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Guo Yazhi performed for the former US President Bill Clinton on his visit to China in 1998, and was highly commended for his suona and saxophone playing. Guo has given performances in many parts of Asia and Europe. His discography totals a staggering 100. In recent years, Guo has branched out from his home base of Chinese traditional music to assimilate other musical elements such as jazz. His interest has led to an increasing number of performances of crossover music.

He Tao has been a member of the China Broadcasting Chinese Music Orchestra as an erhu and gaohu artist. She resettled in Singapore in 1999, and was a contract artist with Expect Music, performing and recording jazz and pop on the erhu. On her performing tour, she gave close to 30 concerts. She currently plays erhu with the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra.

The orchestra aims to introduce Chinese folk music of different styles to the public and to provide training and performing opportunities to young local musicians. Many of its members are winners of various music competitions, and several of them have become music professionals. In recent years, the orchestra has collaborated with an array of music virtuosi including Xia Feiyun, Jing Jianshu, Li Zhen, Ma Di, Qi Baoligao, Yang Wei, Jiang Kemei and Zhang Gaoxiang as well as local music elites like Wai Sing-fat, Pang Yui-sing, Ho Man-chuen and Lo Wai-leung. All the performances have received great acclaim from audiences and critics alike.

Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the concert "New Sounds in Chinese Music" will be staged at 8pm, August 28 (Sunday) at the Auditorium, Tsuen Wan Town Hall. Tickets priced at $130, $100, $70 are now available at all URBTIX outlets. Half-price concessions will be granted to senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients (limited tickets for students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients are available on a first-come, first-served basis). A 10% discount is offered for Friends of LCSD performing venues.

For programme enquiries, call 2268 7321; for ticketing enquiries and reservations, call 2734 9009; for credit card telephone bookings, call 2111 5999; for internet bookings, visit ; for more information, visit .

Ends/Thursday, July 28, 2005
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