Exploring Chinese Music with Yihan Chen

Las Cruces – Yihan Chen graduated from Beijing's China Conservatory and has toured to many countries to share her talents on the Chinese pipa, an instrument that has been played for some 2,000 years and continues to be heard in contemporary compositions. In this special program with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin, Yihan Chen demonstrates the expressive beauty of the pipa, and discusses its role in both traditional and new Chinese music. We also hear her performing with the Huaxia Chamber Ensemble and the Music from China ensemble on cds. The program is part of an occasional series on Intermezzo exploring classical music from other cultures. Musical selections in this interview include:

1.) "Ode to the Autumn Wind," performed by the Huaxia Chamber Ensemble, with Yihan Chen on pipa ((from "China: Time to Listen" a boxed set of 3 cds exploring Chinese music, produced by the Ellipsis Arts label);
2.) "Snowflake Falling on Evergreen," performed in the studio on pipa by Yihan Chen;
3.) Yihan briefly demonstrates two styles of music from two different regions of China;
4.) "The Pleasure of Drinking," performed by the Huaxia Chamber Ensemble, with Yihan on pipa (from "Brahmin," a cd on the Hugo label);
5.) "Wood" from "Five Elements," by Zhou Long, performed by the "Music from China" ensemble, with Yihan on the pipa (Delos cd #3335);
6.) Unnamed pipa solo performed by Yihan in the studio.

Interview recorded and broadcast from the studios of KRWG-FM 90.7 on Wednesday, February 6, 2008.