Empress of Pipa Reigns Supreme as Close Encounters With Music Brings Trade WInds to Mahaiwe

Liu Fang is a master of Chinese Instruments.

On Saturday, April 21, 2012 6 PM: “Trade Winds—From China with Love” will be presented by Close Encounters With Music. The featured artist is China’s “Empress of Pipa,” soloist Liu Fang, performs traditional selections on the Chinese counterparts to the lute and zither, and is joined by cellist Yehuda Hanani for a premiere by Pulitzer Prize winner Zhou Long. Bulgarian pianist Emma Tahmizian plays Ravel’s Mother Goose and Leo Ornstein’s remarkable A la Chinoise, and Israeli violinist Hagai Shaham offers Debussy’s pentatonic-inflected Sonata and Fritz Kreisler’s Tambourin Chinois. Afterglow Reception follows.

He also performs a work from another ancient tradition—Joseph Achron’s haunting Hebrew Melody.

The pipa has existed in China for over 2,000 years. Liu Fang compares classical Chinese music to Chinese poetry, lyric drama and calligraphy: “Chinese calligraphy has been regarded as the highest art form in our tradition. Indeed, great calligraphy gives me immense inspiration. The dynamics and movement of strokes of the brush, the line and the points, and the whole structure, are all comparable.”

This is a rare appearance by one of today’s masters of the instrument combining her knowledge and practice with Western classical music, contemporary music and improvisation with distinguished

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, MA. Tickets $40/$30. Box Office: 413.528.0100.

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