SINGAPORE CHINESE MUSIC FESTIVAL 2023
20/08 - 10/09
HOME / PROGRAMME
Stirring of the Heartstrings
29.8.2023 (Tue), 7.30pm
SCO Concert Hall 新加坡华乐团音乐厅
Under the guidance of Sunny Wong, Head of Chinese Instrumental Studies; the NAFA Chinese Chamber Ensemble is proud to present “拨动心弦” (Stirring of the Heartstrings), a concert of plucked strings instrumental music. The concert will open with the lively melodies of one of the eight major traditional Jiangnan work “三六”, performed by a plucked strings ensemble, followed by the Singapore premiere of Guzheng solo work “晚晴” (Clear Night Skies) and Pipa Concerto "寻·耶婆瑟鸡"（Seeking Yurpaska). Liuqin students will also perform the third and fourth movements (titled “渔歌” (Fisherman’s Song) and “冬猎” (Winter Hunt) from “北方生活素描” (Sketches of Life in the North). The concert will also feature NAFA’s Zhong Ruan ensemble work “山歌” (Mountain Song). This work showcases the versatile training that NAFA provides and embodies. The students performing in this work are not all Ruan majors but instead, Pipa and Liuqin majors showing their adaptability in instrumental skills and technique. The concert will come to a close with the works “火凤” (Fiery Phoenix) and “动感弹拨” (Dynamic Plucked Strings). The student ensemble’s youthful energy will propel the concert to a rousing finish, highlighting the emotionally moving qualities imbued in these modern Chinese works.
We hope to welcome everyone to our performance on August 29th, 2023 at the Singapore Conference Hall and let your aural senses be delighted.
琵琶：俞嘉 （南艺琵琶教授 NAFA Pipa Visting Professor）、王思元、万俊妮、史迪文｜扬琴：瞿建青（南艺扬琴教授 NAFA Yangqin Visting Professor）、颜圣卓｜中阮：顾天骄、张雯琳｜大阮：于昊沺、唐若雅｜三弦：张嘉芮
柳琴：于昊沺、唐若雅 ｜琵琶：俞嘉（南艺琵琶教授 NAFA Pipa Visting Professor）、王思元、万俊妮、马歆越｜扬琴：瞿建青（南艺扬琴教授 NAFA Yangqin Visting Professor）、颜圣卓｜中阮：顾天骄、张雯琳｜大阮：张嘉芮｜古筝：许徽（南艺古筝教授 NAFA Guzheng Visting Professor）、陈奕帆
扬琴：瞿建青（南艺扬琴教授 NAFA Yangqin Visting Professor）、颜圣卓 ｜琵琶：俞嘉 （南艺琵琶教授 NAFA Pipa Visting Professor）、王思元、万俊妮、柴佳岐｜中阮：于昊沺、唐若雅｜大阮：顾天骄、张雯琳｜三弦：张嘉芮｜古筝/打击乐：许徽（南艺古筝教授 NAFA Guzheng Visting Professor）、陈奕帆
Programme is correct at time of publication and may be subject to change without prior notice.
俞嘉 Yu Jia
许徽 Xu Hui
瞿建青 Qu Jianqing
Chinese Instrumental Studies, School of Music, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts
Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) is the only Institute of Higher Learning in Singapore that offers an accredited Chinese Instrumental Studies Program and receives government funding. In 2012, Wong Sun Tat was appointed as the Head of Department for the Chinese Instrumental Studies Program. Since then, the program’s student intake has grown in strength and number, with the student cohort now averaging more than 40 full-time students from Singapore, China, Malaysia and Indonesia annually. The Chinese Instrumental Studies Program’s own Orchestra is also one of the most active performing groups in NAFA. The program seeks to advocate a course of study that is in line with industry needs; at the same time, developing the unique characteristics of Chinese music that is borne out of Singapore’s multicultural social ecosystem.
The program believes in nurturing high quality versatile musicians. In addition to training students for solo performances, it also pays equal attention to students' development in collaborative skills needed in ensemble and orchestra. In their learning journey, students learn fundamental skills in music as well as communication skills so that they, the successors of Chinese Music and Musicians, may impart the knowledge acquired and ensure the longevity of Singaporean Chinese Music.
Besides performances within NAFA, the Chinese Instrumental Studies students also actively participate in many local community performances and various charity functions, large-scale events, ceremonies and festivals. The NAFA Chinese Orchestra has performed in China, Malaysia, UK, Germany, US and many other places, and to critical acclaim.
Under the leadership of Head Wong Sun Tat, students of NAFA’s Chinese Instrumental Studies have collaborated with major music schools in China such as the Central Conservatory of Music, China Conservatory of Music, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Xi'an Conservatory of Music, Tianjin Conservatory of Music, Xinghai Conservatory of Music, Zhejiang Conservatory of Music, China Opera Academy, Tainan University of the Arts and many other tertiary art colleges and universities. Students participate in exchange visits, culminating in joint performances, which have been highly recognized by teachers and students of each college. Students have also won many competitions both on the national and international level, such as Singapore’s National Chinese Music Competition as well as in prestigious competitions in China, Russia and the United States.
Wong Sun Tat is currently Head of Chinese Instrumental Studies at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA). Prior to joining NAFA, he held the position of Assistant Gao Hu Principal in the Singapore Chinese Orchestra for more than 10 years. Sun Tat graduated from the Central Conservatory of Music, majoring in Erhu. He was the first international student to receive the full government scholarship for a diploma at Chinese Instrumental Department, The Attached Middle School of the Central Conservatory of Music, since the Chinese Economic Reform.
Sun Tat has performed in concerts in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan since a tender age. Some of his performances were broadcast on TV and radio. At the age of 8, he was invited to perform with the Hong Kong Symphony Orchestra in a fundraising concert - “The Platinum Super-Star Music Event” at the Hong Kong Stadium. The concert received rave reviews from local media and Sun Tat was dubbed “an Erhu prodigy”. Renowned composer, the late James Wong described him as “graceful and confident” and “a dazzling star” in a concert review titled “The Future Master”, published in his Mingpao column.
At the age of 9, Sun Tat won the First Prize in the Erhu Open Category, Hong Kong School Music Festival with “Ballad of North Henan Province”, being the youngest champion in history. He also won many prizes in other international Erhu competitions in China and Taiwan.
Sun Tat was frequently invited to perform in various prestigious international music festivals and events, collaborating with world renowned Chinese orchestras and symphony orchestras. He also represented Singapore for three years in “Spotlight Singapore”, held in Russia, South Africa and Mexico.
Sun Tat has released two personal Erhu recordings, both produced by The Decca Records Company in Taiwan.
Sun Tat is passionate and dedicated to the development of the Chinese music scene here in Singapore; as well as nurturing the next generation of Chinese Music educators and practitioners. His commitment towards excellence motivated him to pursue a Masters degree in Banhu at the China Conservatory of Music.
Under his guidance, NAFA’s Chinese Instrumental Studies has grown in strength, attracting students from China, Malaysia and Indonesia. NAFA Chinese Orchestra and its various other instrumental ensembles have also thrived; winning multiple awards in both national and international competitions, performing in major collaborative projects.
Yu Jia began learning pipa at the age of four from her father Yu Song Lin, and entered the Central Conservatory of Music’s Junior Department at age of nine. She has studied under pipa master Li Guang Hua and won numerous awards. In 1997, she graduated from the Central Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor of Arts degree. In the same year, she joined SCO, and is currently SCO’s pipa principal. In 2018, Yu Jia entered the China Conservatory of Music to study a Master's degree in pipa. She graduated in 2021 and is currently pursuing a Master's degree in zhongruan.
Yu Jia was invited by the National Experimental Chinese Orchestra in Taipei and its conductor, Chen Teng-Hsiung, to take part in a collaborative project and performance, the Ink-splashed Immortal. In Mexico, Yu Jia has also shared the stage with conductor, Chen Zuohuang, to perform a pipa concerto, Spring & Autumn. Working with Taiwanese label Poem Culture, she has recorded four pipa albums dedicated to solo and concerto music. Over the past few years, she has also been invited to participate in arts festivals in Denmark, Mexico, Hong Kong and Singapore, receiving good reviews for her appearances.
In SCO, Yu Jia has performed as a soloist with many well-known conductors in concerti such as The River Red, Se, Anger, Capriccio of the Ancient Path, Hua Mu Lan, Spring & Autumn and Joy of a Toast & Whirling Dance. SCO has specially invited well-known composer Liu Xijin and Kuan Nai-chung to compose pipa and erhu concerto, Tian Yuan and pipa concerto, Flying Asparas. The award-winning piece performed by Yu Jia – pipa concerto Arise, You Lion of Glory! – won the Composition Award first prize at the Singapore International Competition for Chinese Orchestral Composition 2015 and also garnered the most votes from the audiences.
In September 2019, SCO embarked on a four-city concert tour to Europe. Yu Jia performed Arise,You Lion of Glory! by Gordon Fung Dic-Lun, in Berlin and Prague, and her performances had received well acclaims.
Xu Hui started learning the guzheng at a tender age. She was admitted to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Under the tutelage of Associate Professor Guo Xue Jun, Xu Hui studied the guzheng, and concurrently studied percussion under Professor Yang Ru Wen. During her course of study, she was awarded scholarships for four consecutive years. She is currently a Guzheng Associate Principal and Percussionist with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra. Xu Hui is a guzheng instructor at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and she is also in the Executive Committee of the Singapore Qinzheng Association.
Xu Hui was the champion at the 1992 International Jiangnan Sizhu Competition. In the same year, she won the first prize at the Shanghai Young Talents Guzheng Competition. Xu Hui was also the first-prize winner at the Eastern China Youth Chinese Music Competition for two consecutive years. In addition, she was awarded a silver medal at the National Cultural Stars Award in 1995.
Xu Hui has staged many performances throughout Asia, Europe and America. She has performed numerous guzheng concertos which include: Midnight at the Maple Bridge, Wind of Falling Plum Blossom, A Peacock Southeast Flew, Desert Dust, Mountains and Water, Dunhuang Tang Ren Wu, Three Characters Classics Capriccio and more. Xu Hui has also performed and staged 3 solo guzheng recital concerts at the Esplanade — Theatres By the Bay. Xu Hui has also collaborated with many renowned musicians and composers and her performances have received well acclaims.
In terms of teaching, Xu Hui has inspired her students to achieve excellence, with many of her students winning various accolades from local and overseas competitions, such as the Singapore Chinese Music Competition (previously known as National Chinese Music Competition), Nanyang International Music Competition and Eastern China Youth Chinese Music Competition.
Qu Jianqing is currently Singapore Chinese Orchestra’s principal Yangqin musician, Committee Member of the Singapore Chinese Instrumental Music Association, Committee Member of the Cimbalom (Yangqin) World Association, Honorary Committee Member of the Yangqin Professional Committee of the China Ethnic Music Society, on top of being the member of the China Musicians’ Association (Shanghai Branch).
Qu Jianqing was born in Shanghai, China, where she began learning yangqin at the age of 9 under the tutelage of Wang You De, and was accepted by the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra at the age of 13 based on her extraordinary musical talent. Over the years, Qu Jianqing has also received tutelage under various Yangqin masters like Xiang Zu Hua, renowned Yangqin performer Pang Bo-er and Zhang Xiao Feng. She also received many awards, such as, Shanghai City “Literary Arts New Talent” Title in 1980, Shanghai City “Striker of the New Long March” Title (and Outstanding Youth) in 1981, China National Ethnic Music Emulation Performance Prize in 1982, 14th “Spring of Shanghai” Outstanding Performance Prize in 1991.
Qu Jianqing has performed in Europe, Asia and America, and has visited many countries like America, France, England, Greece, Switzerland, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Belarus, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Malaysia and Taiwan. She is an active participant to many World Yangqin Festival. In 1997(Belarus), 1999(Moldova), 2003(Switzerland), 2005(Beijing), she represented Singapore to the 4th, 5th, 7th,8th International Yangqin Convention, and presented recital. In 2006, she was invited to Poland in Chamber Music Festival ‘Arsenal Nights’ to present the Yangqin and chamber music Phoenix with distinguished Wroclaw Chamber Orchestra.
Qu Jianqing is also the premier performer of many influential yangqin music, including The Phoenix (Xu Chang Jun), Yellow River (Arrangement by Qu Chun Quan), Rhapsody on Dinühua (Phoon Yew Tien) etc. She has also recorded four personal albums.
She migrated to Singapore in 1994, and has devoted much attention to music education. She currently teaches in the National University of Singapore, National Institute of Education. Her students have won first prize in the Singapore National Chinese Orchestra Soloist Competition for the Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced levels respectively.
Wang Siyuan was accepted into the Central Conservatory of Music Affiliated Middle School in 2008, where she studied under the tutelage of Professor Fan Wei. After her graduation, she moved to Singapore in 2015 to continue her musical journey at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), where she studied under SCO Pipa Principal Yu Jia. In November 2015, Siyuan successfully auditioned and joined the Singapore National Youth Chinese Orchestra.
Siyuan matured as a Pipa player in NAFA, and she actively participated in school performances and exchange programs. She has also performed on many occasions when NAFA hosted visitors from China. Siyuan represented NAFA in the 2016 National Chinese Music Competition, and waas awarded the second prize in the Open Category. She was also one of NAFA’s representatives in the Quartet Category, in which the group won the First prize.
In 2017, Siyuan won multiple awards; the NAFA-RAVE Chinese Concerto Competition, the Nanyang International Music Competition (Pipa, Open Category), as well as being a member of the winning quartet that was awarded the top prize in the professional ensemble category. In 2018, she won the Pipa Open Category in the Singapore National Chinese Music Competition, and was selected for the Winner's Concert, performing <丝路飞天> with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra and in 2019, she won the Rave Concerto Competition. In March 2019, she was selected as the soloist for "Dauntless Spirit", an annual concert presented by the Singapore National Youth Chinese Orchestra and the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, and performed the Pipa concerto <文武双全>. Her performances were well received by the audiences and critically acclaimed. During her studies in Pipa performance, Si Yuan began learning the Zhongruan to explore and develop her versatility. In 2019, Si Yuan participated in the 2nd Nanyang International Music Competition Zhongruan Youth Professional Category, which she was awarded second place. In 2020, Si Yuan started her Bachelor's Degree in Zhongruan under the tutelage of Ms Yu Jia. In the same year, Si Yuan participated in the Singapore Chinese Music Competition Zhongruan Open Category, where she won 1st prize. In 2021, Si Yuan took part in the 3rd Nanyang International Music Competition Zhongruan Open Professional Category, winning the top prize of the category. In 2023, Siyuan will continue her educational pursuit at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, embarking on her Masters in Performance degree.
Wang Yuchu is a first-year diploma student at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Chinese Instrumental Studies. A multiple awards winner, her major achievements include; Gold Award in the 7th National Campus Art New Talent Competition of the Shanghai Youth Selection Competition in 2016 (Guzheng Elementary School Group B); Gold Award in the 3rd Singapore Raffles Culture and Art Festival Chinese Music Competition in 2018 (Guzheng Youth Group); silver award in the Yintian International Guzheng Music Festival (Professional Youth Group and Gold Award for Professional Ensemble Group); silver award in the 2021 Third Singapore Nanyang International Music Competition Guzheng Intermediate Professional Group; 2022 China Music Little Admiralty National Guzheng Exhibition Shanghai Regional Selection Event Major Group Excellence Award.
During middle school, she won the third prize of the People's Scholarship in the second semester of the 2020-2021 academic year of the Secondary School of Music Affiliated to Shanghai Conservatory of Music; the third prize of the People's Scholarship in the first semester of the 2021-2022 academic year; the individual award of the People's Scholarship in the second semester of the 2021-2022 academic year. She has also participated in the "Golden Sound of the Dragon-Qi Yao Gold Prize Student Guzheng Concert", "Golden Sound of Jade Vibration-Hundreds of Famous Zhengs Special Concert", "Prosperous Huazheng-Thousands of People's Guzheng Exhibition Shanghai Station Master Class Lecture Series - Zheng Road Sharing Session" "Salute to Tradition - He Qianqian Guzheng Solo Series Concert" "Music on the Silk Road. Tang Yun Echo Concert"
Yu Haotian is currently a student at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts majoring in Liuqin under the tutelage of Zhang Li. She began liuqin lessons at the age of five and made her performance debut at the age of nine. Haotian previously studied with Liu Qingli, Wang Bingjie, and Song Nan. She has won numerous awards and after entering NAFA; won awards in professional categories. The most recent awards being the following; silver medal in the professional youth group B of the 2021 China Liuqin Art Exhibition, member of the NAFA Chinese Music Ensemble that was awarded the runner-up in the 2022 Singapore National Chinese Music Competition Ensemble Category, and first prize in the Ruan Advanced Category. In the same year, she was admitted to the Singapore National Youth Chinese Orchestra.
"Three Six" is one of the eight famous songs of Jiangnan Sizhu. As early as the 1930s, Ren Huichu adapted it into a solo piece, and Xiang Zuhua made further arrangements on this basis. This song has a strong Jiangnan style, the melody is beautiful and elegant, smooth and lively, and the charm is timeless. It is often played on folk festive occasions, filled with joyful festive atmosphere. In terms of performance, it absorbs and brings into play the gorgeous and lively characteristics of Jiangnan plucked stringed instruments.
"Folk Song" is a classic Zhongruan piece composed by Mr. Liu Xing. The introductory part of the music uses contrasting theme materials, such as the duet version of Ange, which is lyrical and soft. , the sound effect is very three-dimensional, the Huacai part uses a strong flat-finger strumming, which increases the dynamics, and the ending ends with a strong strumming, which reflects the author's alternative interpretation of folk songs.
Composer: Deng Yiqun The work was composed for zither solo in August 2021. Based on the lyrical and romantic music style, the author unfolds the music with progressive speed and rich melody levels. Zuo Jing described the island in midsummer under the influence of the climate of rapid rain and sometimes sunny, and the infinite beauty of white sand, coconut groves, blue waves and sunset is formed with infinite beauty. The music changes between gentleness and agility, just like a fascinating picture scroll of tropical style.
"Sketch of the Life of the Northern Nationalities" is a yueqin music work composed by the composer Liu Xijin in the late 1970s. The author has gone deep into the life of various ethnic minority areas in the north, and has extracted the most characteristic scenes in the life and labor of Inner Mongolia, Ewenki, Hezhe, and Oroqen, etc., and outlines four pictures full of The folk paintings of northern minorities with a breath of life and different images. Among them, the third movement "Fisherman's Song" describes the joyful singing and joyful mood of the Hezhen people who mainly fish when their fishing boats return late. Yueqin's singing voice with push-pull slide and even roll is very stretched and moving with the slightly undulating band accompaniment. At the end, the colorful harmony and the low voice of the cello render the beautiful artistic conception of the beautiful sunset and melodious boat songs. The fourth movement "Winter Hunting" describes the hunting scenes of the Oroqen people living in the Greater and Lesser Khingan Mountains. "Oroqen" means "people on the mountains". The introduction melody vividly renders the mystery of the primeval forest and the unique tension before hunting. After entering the board, the allegro theme melody vividly depicts the cheerful and enthusiastic scenes of hunters chasing their prey and returning with a full load.
"Seeking Yurpaska" is not only a Buddhist holy place "grotto" outside the city of Kucha, but also the most famous Kucha music in the heyday of Tang Dynasty.
As time passed, Buddha statues and murals were gradually lost in the desert wind and sand, and the music was completely annihilated in the long river of history. The composer can only find the sound of the prosperous Tang Dynasty from the fragments of bamboo slips, and choose the form of pipa concerto and refer to traditional Chinese instrumental music divertimento supplemented by text subtitles to make musical statements. Its three subtitles are: 1. Thousand Buddha Caves, 2. Spring of Thousand Tears, and 3. Thinking of Thousand Years. The music is full of Western style and narrative features. The first part expresses the composer's heart shock when he saw the grotto; the second part is about the imagination of the love legend, and the dramatic ups and downs of the music; Sing and sigh three times with the legend.
"Fire Phoenix" is a difficult plucked palace music composed by flute player and composer Cao Wengong. Along with the gorgeous notes under the ancient rhythm of ancient China, the performers showed their delicate and superb performance skills in the grand scene of the imperial palace where singing and dancing were peaceful under the vivid Tang dynasty.
The piece "Dynamic Plucking" was composed by Wang Danhong in 2008. The music is relaxed, lively and full of dynamics. Using non-traditional harmony and the rhythm of popular music, the plucked string music, a traditional and ancient national musical instrument, has been injected with new vitality. In the dazzling technique and sound, it shows a free, romantic and dynamic music space. The stippling techniques and complex rhythmic forms in the music contrast with the beauty of the music in bits and pieces.