Chinese Music Ensemble: new class offered Fall 2018
The Chinese Music Ensemble (MUS 211-2-11) is a course for students who would like to further their musical and cultural experiences. In addition to one weekly session (time TBD) coached by GuZheng master Jennifer Chang, all students participate in one performance at the end of semester which includes a variety of Chinese musical styles. Students who play any kind of musical instrument (including vocal) at any level are welcome to join the group!
The course will be graded Pass/Fail. For more information, contact Prof. Hsiao-mei Ku.
Jennifer Chang studied traditional Chinese music and gu zheng performance with grand masters in China. As a gu zheng soloist, she is in demand around the world as a teacher and performer. In addition to solo appearances in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, she has performed as the soloist for the Emperor of Japan and for former President Bill Clinton.
Since moving to the U.S. in 2001, she has appeared as soloist with the Raleigh Civic Symphony and Chamber Orchestra premiering works such as “Voices of Asia and the Pacific,” “Creatures – Scenes & Fairytales,” “Around the World,” and “China Dream – Tradition & Technology.” During the 2007 season, Ms. Chang was featured as a soloist performing Chinese composer He Zhanhao’s Butterfly Lovers Concerto with the North Carolina Symphony under the baton of Grant Llewellyn. In 2007, she also premiered the use of the gu zheng in western ballet in “Ballet Festival,” created by Robert Weiss, artistic director of the Carolina Ballet.
In 2011 with Orchestra New England, Jennifer and violinist Hsiao-mei Ku performed the word premiere of Mark Kuss’s “Sounds. Distant.” for violin and gu zheng concerto. This project has a great impact in the music world and as it is a first work ever written for violin and gu zheng assisted by a western orchestra –the combination of instruments apparently has no active history.
In 2011, Ms. Chang began tenure as music director of the RTP Chinese Music Instrument Ensemble, and she has led command performances at Chinese New Year galas in the Triangle and Charlotte, an annual concert series at UNC. She left the group in 2014 to found the Carolina Chinese Orchestra, serving as its Artistic Director and Conductor.