San Francisco's Home for Great Concerts since 1970

Young Composers Series: Melody of China

Tonights concert represents an important part of Melody of Chinas mission in bringing the beauty and versatility of traditional Chinese instruments into the public spotlight. In addition to staging brilliant renditions of various Chinese folk melodies, the virtuosic ensemble will showcase world premieres of new works by several young up-and-coming Bay Area composers. Albert Chang’s Passacaglia features matoqin/erhu, sheng, yangqin, and guzheng. In a form based on continuous variations of the opening statement played by the matoqin, the piece covers the panorama of human passions and ambitions during the turbulent years near the end of the Qin dynasty which marked the end of Imperial China. Eric Myers work for quintet, Meandering Streams, alludes to traditional styles while experimenting with rhythmic space. Alan Chans piece paints a picture of Acala, one of the Five Wisdom Kings of the Womb Realm in Vajrayana Buddhism. Finally, Bik Lee’s work utilizes electronics to modify the sound of the erhu fusing together modern technology and ancient tradition. Each composer is familiar with Chinese culture and seeks to bring their own compositional voice to these ancient instruments. As a first-rate performing ensemble, Melody of China couldnt be a better choice to act as such a vehicle of artistic expression, helping to give these composers a place at the table of new music.