Tales of the Silk Road: Pipa (Chinese Lute) and Percussion Concert

Tales of the Silk Road


Distinguished Pipa master Zhang Hong-Yan together with over 30 top-level musicians from the Plucked-String Orchestra of China Central Conservatory of Music will make their Australian debut in Tales of the Silk Road: Pipa (Chinese Lute) and Percussion Concert.

Combining folk music along the Silk Road and contemporary dance, the concert brings together the Pipa, Chinese traditional percussions and exquisite stage decoration, giving audiences an unforgettable multi-dimensional artistic experience. The concert explores wide-spread Chinese masterpieces with strong ethnic features including Spring of Tian Mountain, Cockfight, and Tales of the Silk Road.

Zhang is committed to exploring the fusion of Eastern and Western music, unearthing new possibilities of Chinese plucked strings. During her Uygur tour in 2002, Zhang discovered mural arts grottoes with the Pipa and drum playing together, something rarely seen in contemporary music performances. Surprisingly, Zhang learnt that both these instruments were had the same origin in the Western Regions (Uygur regions and part of central Asia). Zhang was inspired to bring these instruments together again in concert. This exceptional artistry culminates in Tales of the Silk Road: Pipa (Chinese Lute) and Percussion Concert, already highly acclaimed in Japan in 2016.

Pipa, also known as the Chinese lute, is a four-stringed Chinese musical instrument, considered the king of plucked instruments. With a pear-shaped wooden body, Pipa has a number of frets ranging from 12 to 26, and dates back to the Han dynasty (around 2nd century AD). With a 2000-year history, Pipa is one of the most popular Chinese instruments, shaping ancient Chinese singing and dancing and a symbol of Chinese traditional culture.

Zhang was born and raised in Sheng Zhou, a famously historic and cultural city located in eastern China, the origin of Chinese Yue Opera. Zhang was taught to play Pipa by her father at the age of seven. Too poor to afford a suitable sized Pipa, Zhang’s father hung the Pipa from the ceiling so that Zhang was able to hold and play the instrument. Through years of practice and dedication, Zhang not only graduated from the best music conservatory in China, but also became one of the most renowned Pipa virtuosos worldwide. Zhang is known as “the Queen of Pipa” in China, described as a “musical envoy from the orient” and “an incomparable music fairy” by the Washington Post.

Presented by Ausfeng