YANG Bao-zhong was born in 1899 in Beijing and passed away in 1967 in Tianjin because of hungry and cold. His grandfather YANG Duo-xian, father YANG Xiao-duo were both famous actors. His ancestral home was in Anhui. When he was nine, he learned acting from QIU Gui-xian and CHEN Xiu-hua. At the age of twelve, he acted the role of old man. And at sixteen years old, he started to learn the jinghu under SUN Zuo-chen and CHEN Yan-heng and the violin from a Russian musician. He became an actor again and learned under YU Shu-yan when he was twenty-four. He started as a jinghu accompanist when he was thirty-two and successively accompanied for MENG Xiao-dong, MA Lian-liang, YAN Ju-peng, XI Xiao-bo, YANG Bao-sen, etc. His performance in jinghu absorbed many techniques from the violin and forms his own performing style. In 1959, he was appointed vice-chairman of the Chinese Musicians Association, Tianjin and assistant director of Tianjin Drama School.
LI Mu-liang was born on February 23, 1918 in Changsha, Hunan province and passed away of illness on February 28, 2010 in Beijing. He was also named LI Meng-e and learning Peking Opera since he was young. When he was nine years old, he started to learn the jinghu. At fifteen, he learned under MA Lian-liang and started to accompany for YAN Ju-peng. At the age of nineteen, he started to learn the jinghu under XU Lan-yuan and accompanied for MA Lian-liang after twenty-two. He has designed operatic song melodies for many Peking Opera shows and has composed many new qupais. In 1982, he has recorded eleven jinghu pieces played by himself on phonograph records and cassette tapes.
JIANG Ke-mei was born in Shenyang. She graduated from the Central Conservatory in 1988, majoring in the banhu under the guidance of LI Heng. She also systematically studied other instruments of the huqin family under the guidance of famous huqin players in various parts of China. She is now a huqin soloist of the China Broadcasting Chinese Orchestra. In 1992, she was invited to join the 6th Macau International Music Festival and gave a huqin recital. She gave a successful performance with the Macau Chinese Orchestra, which was highly acclaimed. JIANG Ke-mei is an active young soloist of Chinese music in China. She is frequently engaged in all kinds of large scale performances and recording activities. She has made many recordings, including solo performances and concertos, for TV stations, radio stations and record companies. The critics made the following comments on her performance: “Her techniques are skillful, refined and rich in variations. She is good at feeling and interpreting the musical languages in her own way, and her feminine gentleness fills her music with poetic spirit and passion”.
LU Wen-cheng was bron on March 12, 1898 in Zhongshan, Guangdong province and passed away of illness on August 22, 1981 in Hong Kong. In 1901, he moved to Shanghai with his father. In 1913, he graduated from school and started to learn music from the members of the ensemble of his working area. At that time, he studied hard with diligence and got him a fame of “Master of Erhu”. In 1926, he was guided by the violinist SITU Meng-yan to transform the Jiangnan erhu into a new format which let him to invent the Guangdong erhu. Later, he continued his reformation of musical instruments on the yangqin. In 1932, he left Shanghai and moved to Hong Kong, working in the New Moon Record Company, many new pieces of Guangdong music played by him with his new invented instrument were widely spread. Among his hundred of compositions, there are some famous ones Playing the Lute by the Plantain and the Rockery, Candle Shadows Flickering Red, Autumn Moon Upon Placid Lake, Awakes Lion, Stepping High, etc.
LIU Tian-yi also named LIU Hou-ji was born on October 20, 1910 in Taishan, Guangdong province and passed away on June 3, 1990 in Guangzhou. In 1914, he moved to Guangzhou with his father. He loved music since his childhood. In 1931, he was a member of a famous music society in Guangzhou, the Su Society, and was a gaohu player there. In 1934, he held a gaohu recital in the Guangzhou Y.M.C.A. Concert Hall, accompanied by a renown Russian pianist. In 1938, he moved to Macau, and subsequently to Hong Kong in 1949. From 1950 on, he played the zheng for film music and made recordings. In 1954, he moved back to Guangzhou and worked in the Research Unit of Cantonese Music as a gaohu and zheng soloist. In 1955, he performed before Soviet armies in a tour to Luda with the South China Song and Dance Troupe. In 1956, as a member of the representatives of the music circle of Guangdong, he performed in Beijing in the First National Music Week. In 1959, he toured to USSR and Hungary with the Guangdong Folk Ensemble and was praised to be a talented musician. In 1961, he was the vice-director of the Guangdong Narrative Singing Troupe. In the 1960’s, he had performed in Macau, Japan and Hong Kong. He was good at absorbing the strong points of other players and assimilated them to become his unique style. His gaohu playing had a beautiful timbre, a resonant and full sound, and was fluently flowing, bright and rich in varieties. He could play triumphantly or inwardly according to the requirements of the pieces and had attained a high level of performance.
ZHU Hai was born in 1915 in Xinhui, Guangdong province and passed away of illness at the age of sixty-nine on July 19, 1983 in Guangzhou. In 1935, he started to perform Cantonese music. In 1951, he joined the ensembles in Guangzhou as gaohu leader. In 1954, he was selected to participate the 4th session of World Youth Festival in Romania and won an award together with his ensemble colleagues. In 1958, he was transferred to the Guangdong Folk Music Acrobatics Group and working there until his retirement in 1976. His composition the Happy Spring-Plough has been published in a Cantonese Music Collection in 1984.
LOO Kah-chi was born on October 8, 1917 in Guangzhou, Guangdong province and passed away of illness at the age of seventy-nine on May 29, 1996 in Hong Kong. His ancestral home was in Xinhui, Guangdong province. He loved music since he was young and always broadcasted Cantonese music in radio stations in Guangzhou. When he was sixteen, he played CHEN Jun-ying’s Triumphant well and added a cadenza to it. Later, he recorded it to Pathe’s phonograph record. He was a member of a reputable amateur music association in Guangzhou. In 1937, he moved to Macau and later on to Hong Kong. After the war, he settled down in Hong Kong and was active in the film music business. He began his long association with the Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) in 1947. In 1965, he formed the Chinese Cantonese Band of RTHK and recorded down nearly a thousand pieces of Cantonese music. The band also became the basis for the establishment of the Lung Cheung Cantonese Opera Troupe in 1968, where he led the accompaniment section. In 1978, he left RTHK and shifted his attention to introduce Cantonese music to several Canadian cities in the early 1980s. In 1983, he returned to Hong Kong and hosted more programmes for RTHK. In 1992, he was honored as the chief adjudicator of the Guangzhou-Hong Kong Cantonese Operatic Singing.
YU Qi-wei was born on October 2, 1953 in Kaiping, Guangdong province. In 1975, he graduated from Guangdong People’s Art Academy of Music, majoring in gaohu. He learned the gaohu from HUANG Ri-jin, LIU Tian-yi, ZHU Hai and the erhu from ZHANG Shao and latter followed with WANG Yi-qin, MIN Hui-fen, LUO Jin and SHEN Wei for instructs. In 1982, he attained the national folk music solo competition and awarded the first prize. Later on, he was appointed the national first class performer. Between 1975 and 2000, he was the concertmaster, soloist and art director of the traditional orchestra of the Song and Dance Troupe of Guangdong Province and also the director of the traditional orchestra attached to Guangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2002, he taught in the Xinghai Conservatory and in charge the Cantonese music research unit. In 2004, he jointed the Chinese music department of the Academy of Performing Arts, Hong Kong as the officer-in-charge.
TANG Yu-bin was born on August 9, 1934 in Rongcheng, Shandong province and passed away of illness on October 11, 2013 in Shenyang. His ancestral home was in Weihai, Shandong. In 1956, he graduated from the music school of North-east (which is now the Shenyang Conservatory) and became a teacher since then. In 1985, he was appointed the officer in charge of the Chinese nusic department and promoted to professor grade. In 1957, he was selected to participate in the 6th session of the World Youth and Student Peace and Friendship Festival and awarded a golden prize. Latter on perform at Czechoslovakia, Belgium, France, Japan along with the Chinese Young Musician Delegation. He also participated in many important Arts Festivals in China. He has over twenty pieces recording and most of his writing has been published.
GUO Ying was born in 1914 in Chaoyang, Guangdong province and passed away in 2002 in Nanjing. He was also named GUO Ming-kun and was called “the master of Qinzheng Guan”. He learned the yehu at the age of thirteen and later learning the zheng from ZHUANG Yi-li and XIAO Yun-ge. In1931, he moved to Shanghai and lived there. He joined the Chaozhou societies in Shanghai. In 1941, he took a concert to introduce Chaozhou zheng music to the Shanghai community. In 1947, he often broadcast Chaozhou music in the radio stations. In 1950, he founded the Chaozhou Music Ensemble of Shanghai. In 1953, he made the recording of Ospreys Sporting with Water and later joined the new established Shanghai Traditional Orchestra as zheng soloist. In 1960, he was transferred to the Shanghai Conservatory and also taught in the Nanjing Institute of Arts. Many famous musicians were his students, such as SUN Wen-yan, HON See-wah, FAN Shang-e, WANG Chang-yuan, ZHANG Yan, GUO Xue-jun and TU Yong-mei. In 1987, the people’s music publishing house published the Chaozhou Zheng Tune Played by Guo Ying. In 1992, the Shanghai Musicians’ Association zheng specialized committee was founded, GUO Ying was elected for the president.
GAN Shang-shi was born in October 21, 1929 in Xinyi, Guangdong province and passed away of illness on December 18, 2018 in Guangzhou. He was the professor and academic committee member of Xinghai Conservatory, Guangzhou and he was appointed as a scholar to lead and research on the performing arts of Lingnan music. He was the executive committee member of the Chinese Traditional Instrumental Society and the board director of the gaohu expert committee, the advisor of Canada Chinese Orchestra, lifelong director of American Biography Academic Society. In 1953, he was appointed the principal of gaohu of the Song and Dance Troupe of South China. In 1957, he was selected to participate the 6th session of World Youth Festival and attained the title of E Mi Si Ke Artist. Since 1961, he was transferred to the Xinghai Conservatory until his retirement. He has written many books, such as The Techniques on Gaohu of Cantonese Music ( together with ZHAO Yan-chen) and Gaohu Pieces Performed by Gan Shang-shi, etc. all of them are well received by people and be published.
LIU Ming-yuan was born on July 13, 1931 in Tianjin, Hebei province and passed away of illness on February 21, 1996 in Beijing. Influenced by his father, LIU Ming-yuan started to learn the banhu and Beijing opera at the age of five. He gave his first stage performance at the age of seven. When he was eleven, he joined the performing activities of some Chinese music groups in Tianjin, thus having the opportunity of listening to and learning from various musicians for different kinds of Chinese music. In between 1947 to 1951, he joined the ensembles of Song and Dance Troupes in Tianjin. In 1952, he worked as instrumentalist and orchestrator in a Tianjin drama group. Since 1953 when the first professional Chinese orchestra in China was established with twenty eight members by a film company, he had been serving that orchestra as soloist and leader. Over the thirty years, he had been involved in the production of music for nearly a thousand films. In 1957, LIU Ming-yuan joined the traditional instrumental competition in the 6th World Youth Festival and won a gold medal. In 1982, he started to teach in China Conservatory and concentrated his major efforts in teaching. Under his guidance, some young soloists won awards in international Chinese music competitions. He became a representative figure among the Chinese bow string masters after LIU Tian-hua and Ah Bing.
LIU Chang-fu was born in August 1944 in Tianjin, Hebei province and his ancestral home was in Jinghai, Hebei province. In 1956, he was admitted to the affiliated secondary school of Central Conservatory. After his graduation in 1963 till 1969, he taught the erhu performing in Inner Mongolia Arts Institute. In 1979, he became a postgraduate in Central Conservatory, studying erhu performing, education and theory under LAN Yu-song. In 1981, he got his master degree and stayed in the conservatory as a teacher. Now he is an associate professor in the department of Chinese music of Central Conservatory, the postgraduate instructor, the vice chairman of the Erhu Academy of the China Musicians’ Association, the administrative director of China Folk Orchestral Music Academy and the vice chairman of Erhu Professional Committee.
MA Xiao-hui was born in 1965 in Tangshan, Hebei province. Since her childhood she has been very interested in music. At the age of six, she started to learn the erhu under her father. When she was thirteen she was admitted to the affiliated secondary school of the Shanghai Conservatory, studying under the erhu teacher Professor WANG Yi. In 1983 she was admitted to the Shanghai Conservatory, having been ranked first for playing instruments of the erhu family. In 1987 she represented the Shanghai Conservatory to take part in the National Guangdong Music Competition and won the first class award. In the same year she was also awarded in the 1st Worldwide Jiangnan Music Competition. In 1987 she graduated with excellent merits and immediately joined the Shanghai Traditional Orchestra. She is now the leader of erhu and the soloist of the orchestra. Her performing style is comprehensive and flexible. She has held over 20 recitals and academic seminars inside and outside China, and frequently performs together with famous orchestras and conductor worldwide.
MA Guang-lu was born in 1932 in Gong county, Henan province. In 1953 he was appointed as a zhuihu soloist of the Beijing Song and Dance Troupe. In 1955, he was awarded in a competition in the 5th World Youth Festival held in Warsaw. His representative pieces performed include Music for the New Year, Busy Transportation and Good News from Home.
ZHANG Chang-cheng was born on October 3, 1933 in Xi’an, Shaanxi province and passed away of illness on July 15, 1998 in Xi’an. He was suffered vision injury, highly short-sighted since his childhood. Hardly study normally, he proposed to his mother to learn the banhu performance. He was then learning the alto banhu under a renowned Shaanxi opera musician JING Sheng-yan and became an accompanist in a Shaanxi opera ensemble after three years. In 1958, he went along with the Song and Dance Troupe of Beijing Public Security Army and transferred to the Progress Chinese Orchestra, Jinan. In 1959, he won the outstanding award in the 2nd Joined Performance of China Armed Forces. In 1962, he had a surgery on his eye sick which led him one eye blinded. During convalesces period, he composed Brother Comes Back and other two duet pieces together with YUAN Ye. His reformation and performing skills gives banhu a successful development. He is the first person to introduce the form of banhu duet in 1962.
YUAN Ye was born in March 1936 in Baodi, Tianjin province and passed away at the age of sixty-nine on April 5, 2004 in Beijing. His name was YUAN Tian-qi also known as Bai Yu. In 1951, he joined the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Beijing Public Security Troop cultural work group as accordion player. In 1955, he was transferred to the Song and Dance Troupe of Beijing Public Security Army as banhu and gaohu player. In 1958, he went along with the troupe and transferred to the Progress Chinese Orchestra, Jinan as vice group leader, group leader, principal and officer in charge. In 1985, he was transferred to the Beijing Armed Police Politics Cultural Group as vice group leader and leader in later time until his retirement in 1991. He has participated in the musical instrument reformation in the Progress Chinese Orchestra, Jinan together with ZHANG Chang-cheng. In 1970, he invent the double-nut banhu and introduced the new performance form of banhu duet. He also composed together with ZHANG Chang-cheng Brother Comes Back, A Shangdong Tune (with HE Hua-jun) and many other banhu pieces.
YAN Shao-yi was born in 1936 in Luan county, Hebei province and passed away of illness in 1986 in Shi Jia Zhuang, Heibi province. In 1949, he joined the Chinese People’s Liberation Army cultural work group. In 1958, he was transferred to the Song and Dance Troupe of the General Political Department as banhu performer. At that time, he composed the famous banhu piece Hebei Huabangzi. In 1962, the Beijing Music Publishing House published his Introduction Book of Banhu which included his early composition Revelry. Based on this book, he wrote the Performance Techniques of Banhu and has it be published on 1984. In which, he enclosed many of his composition, such as Welcome to the New Soldier, Spring of South Pu, Dui Hua, At the Drill Ground and Revelry.
ZHOU Qi-chang was the team leader and soloist of the Chinese orchestra attached to Chang Chun Film Studio in north-east of China. He learned the banhu under LIU Ming-yuan, the renowned artist of Chinese string instruments. He has composed the banhu solo piece Festival in Changchun together with DING Yong-sheng. His performance album includes Horse-carriage Running in the Field, Pao Han Chuan and his composition Drive the Horse-carriage Happily, etc. He died of lung deceases in Chang Chun.
CHAO Dong-xu joined the traditional orchestra of the Central Experimental Opera House (now called China Song and Dance Theatre) as a soloist. He has composed for ZHAO Hua’s opera Friend and Enemy. His banhu solo piece Spring Willow in the Wind is composed together with LIU Zhu.
SHEN Cheng was born in 1959 in Xi’an, Shaanxi province. He started to learn the erhu in his adolescence. When he was twelve, he started to learn the banhu under famous performers in Shaanxi province. In 1986, he graduated from the Xi’an Conservatory, and in 1988, he was admitted to the China Conservatory, studying under the famous bow-string master LIU Ming-yuan. In 1990, he graduated being the first person in China who achieves a master degree in banhu. In 1987, he won a 2nd class award in the National Guangdong Music Competition as a leading gaohu player. In the International Chinese Music Competition 1995, he was the champion for the banhu section. He has composed a banhu concerto Sang Zi (Hometown).
LIU Xiang was born on November 24, 1963 in Changsha, Hunan province. It was because Hunan’s short name was Xiang, so his father gave him a name of Xiang. In September 1976, he joined the Song and Dance Troupe of the Sea-force Political Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in Beijing as the banhu performer. In a show in August 1977, he won an outstanding performance award for solo banhu. In 1987, he became a gaohu and banhu soloist in the National Traditional Orchestra of China. In the same year, in a performance appraisal of the ensemble, he won the Young Performer Award and was given the position of vice-leader of the ensemble. In the International Year of Exhibition & Performance of Chinese Instrumental Music 1995, he with his refine performance won the grand prize for the banhu solo. In 1997 and 1998, he participated as soloist and member of the orchestra in the highly acclaimed performances in the Chinese New Year Concert in Vienna.
WANG Dian-yu was born on October 12, 1899 in Yun Cheng county, Shandong province and passed away of illness on November 28, 1964 in Tianjin. He was also named Zhou-xi and Jie-chen. When he was eight years old, he got smallpox and both eyes lost sight. At the age of ten, he learned the sanxian and singing from MA Yu-xiu. Later on, he followed his fellow apprentice to make live in Chenpo village. At that time, he transformed the sanxian to zhuiqin and then modified it to leiqin. In 1923, he formally and publicly presented the leiqin to play the operatic tunes and imitation on various instruments’ sound in Jining, Shandong. In 1941, he returned to Yun Cheng and founded the Ensemble of Dong Lu. He then admitted ZHAO Yu-zhai, HAN Feng-tian, ZHENG Xi-pei, GAO Zi-cheng and EN Feng-yin as his fellow student. In 1949, he returned to his hometown and joined the Ping Yuan Quyi Group. In 1952, he was transferred to the Tianjin Quyi Group. At the same year, he was selected to participate in the 1st National Join Performance of Music and Dance Show and won the outstanding performance prize.
HAN Feng-tian was a renowned leiqin player, born in 1921 and passed away in 1999. He was the fellow student of WANG Dian-yu, the inventor of leiqin. He was an expert in Dalei laxi ( operatic songs by dalei), Danxian laxi ( operatic songs by xianzi). He was the first one to turn the tuning peg to change the tension of the string instead of putting right finger on the finger-board to get the correct notes. This new techniques on performing of the leiqin bring him many fames.
On September 26, 1899, BAI Feng-yan was born in Beijing. When he was eight years old, he learned sanxian from his father BAI Xiao-shan and learned sanxian and pipa from HAN Yong-lu. After becomes famous, he still sought for famous expert for learning yangqin and sihu. Bai not only created new style of Beijing dagu, he also reformed the old structure. He has composed many famous sanxian pieces and arranged many traditional pieces. On August 17, 1975, Bai died of illness in Beijing.
LIU Jun joined the Song and Dance troupe of Hebei Province in 1950s. He was good at playing the small sihu of Hebei. His composition the Shadow Tune together with ZHAO Yi-min gained him most fame. His performance on it was accompanied by ZHAO Jing-zhi (pipa), XU Li (yangqin) and WANG Zhen-xian (zhongruan).
Burentegusi is a young matouqin player. He was born in Inner Mongolia in 1969. He entered the Inner Mongolia School of Arts in 1984. He graduated from the Central Chinese Music Institute in 1991, and is now a teacher there. He has visited countries and regions including Singapore.
LI Bo was born in the lnner Mongolia in 1995. He graduated from the Music department of Mongolia College. Now he is a member of the China Musicians’ Association and standing member of the lnner Mongolian Musicians’ Association, standing member of China’s Northem Folk Art Research Society, member of Japan’s Copyright Association. LI Bo’s main selection includes The Tale of Matouqin. The Distant Ao Ter, etc. He worked and played his instrument in Momgolian Broadcasting and TV Troupe in 1987, the next year he won the first prize in the Inner Mongolian Qing City Art Festival. In 1989 his matouqin tape album was in the market, and he performed in Beijing Concert Hall with the accompaniment of China Central Philharmonic Orchestra at the same year. In 1995 his album The Distant Ao Ter was distributed. The same year the “LI Bo Matouqin Foundation” was established in Japan. LI Bo’s performing activity is mainly in Japan and he is regarded as “the top Matouqin player”. His playing style is a combination of emotion and grace and his playing skills are almost perfect.
CHEN Yong-lu Born in Shanghai in 1912 and died in 1994. He was a specialist in Jiangnan music. Since very young, he liked music very much and learned different instruments from many famous teachers. In 1927, he joined the Yunhe Music Association in Shanghai. In 1935, he joined another music group lead by the famous pipa master Wang Yu-ting. In 1937,- he took over the leadership of the Yunhe Music Association and changed its name to Yunhe Folk Music Association. In 1954, he made a special Jiangnan music recording with the Xiao expert-Sun Yude- and gained great success because of his super techniques. In the same year, he worked in the traditional orchestra of the Beijing Central News and Movie Production Group. His erhu solos had appeared in many famous films. During his years in Beijing and Shanghai, he had brought up many outstanding students who became the most important masters in the folk music field.
LEI Yu-sheng Born in Sichuan in 1932. He loved music s ince childhood and composed his first work in 1948. He moved to Hong Kong with all his family in 1949. In 1950, he entered the Northeast Arts Institute and learned composing from different composers, and other instruments including flute, violin and zheng. In 1956, he graduated and became a teacher there. In those years, he had made some successful compositions including the “Spring “is Coming”. This piece of work had won many awards in Liaonin Music competition and the music festival in Moscow. Besides, instrumental, Lei also composed many vocal works. In 1960, he started to work in the Liaonin Opera House and became the vice-chairman of the House in 1984. In 1990, he was transferred to Guangzhou until he retired.