The Chinese Traditional Orchestra is affiliated to the China National Opera & Dance Drama Theater (CNODDT), the largest and oldest state-level theater in China. With a history of over 50 years, the Chinese Traditional Orchestra has created a large number of renowned and popular Chinese traditional operas and dance dramas. The revolutionary opera “The White-Haired Girl” is probably the best known in the west.
During its performance practice over the past decades, the orchestra became a renowned national-level orchestra at home and abroad. The orchestra has formed a unique artistic style and fostered a large number of performers with high artistic attainments, especially with stars like Guo Lanying und Chen Ailian. In the course of its existence its members took part in national and international instrumental music competitions and won many prizes, including the prize of the 1st Chinese Music Performance Competition of the Ministry of Culture and the silver prize of the 1st Osaka International Chamber Music Competition.
Like all traditional Chinese Orchestras the Chinese Traditional Orchestra of China National Opera & Dance Drama Theater is compact and flexible. This feature has allowed the orchestra to establish its own character, by combining traditional, modern and innovative ideas. The orchestra has accumulated many transitional and popular instrumental music works in the history of Chinese music, which have become long-playing and highly-appreciated repertoires. It has also made classical Chinese melodies a major tool to get closer to the people’s life. In 2005 for example, the large-scale Chinese music concert “Past Time”, as the first themed Chinese music concert, combined folk music with electronic music and enriched the expression form of traditional music. The concert was honored by media as the “best-received concert in recent years”. The large-scale multimedia Chinese symphonic concert “The Heroes” on the other hand perfectly combined traditional music with Kong Fu movies and TV plays.
Through the examination of traditional Chinese music, the Chinese Traditional Orchestra of China National Opera & Dance Drama Theater has helped the sorting, inheritance, innovation and promotion of intangible cultural heritages.
Hong Xia is a National First Class Conductor in China and permanent conductor of the China National Opera and Dance Drama Theater.
Hong is a member of the Chinese Musicians Association, a trustee of the China Nationalities Orchestra Society, and the vice-president of the Conducting Major Committee at the China Nationalities Orchestra Society.
After graduating from the Shenyang Conservatory of Music in 1982, she studied conducting under Wu Lingfen and Li Huade at the Department of Conducting at Central Conservatory of Music. She served as permanent conductor of the Heilongjiang Province Song and Dance Theater Symphony Orchestra and Chinese Orchestra, and as conducting professor and master’s student advisor at the Shenyang Conservatory of Music. Currently, she is the permanent guest conductor of the Changchun Film Studio Orchestra, the guest conductor of the Communication University of China Symphony Orchestra, and the guest chief conductor of the Chinese Chime Bells Orchestra from Hubei.
Hong has collaborated with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Central Policy Song and Dance Ensemble Symphony Orchestra, China National Opera House Symphony Orchestra, Changchun Film Studio Orchestra, Heilongjiang Province Song and Dance Theater Symphony Orchestra and Chinese Orchestra, Guangdong Chinese Orchestra, Liaoning Chinese Orchestra, China Traditional Orchestra Zhejiang, Shanghai Chinese Orchestra, Chinese Chime Bells Orchestra from Hubei, China Youth Chinese Orchestra, China Broadcasting Chinese Orchestra, Kaohsiung Chinese Orchestra, and Macao Chinese Orchestra. She has travelled abroad multiple times to serve as an international judge for the Chinese Music Competition.
Hong Xia has conducted multiple large-scale concerts in many Chinese mainland cities as well as in Taiwan and Macao. She collaborated with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and the Central Policy Song and Dance Ensemble Symphony Orchestra on the “Chinese Music Classics of the 20th Century Concert”. She served as the conductor for the opening of the Fifth Changchun International Film Festival. She conducted and performed in the Shenyang Conservatory of Music’s original large-scale oratorio “Zhe Bu Zhu De Qing Shan” (Green Peak can’t be covered). She conducted several works by the Chinese Traditional Orchestra of China National Opera and Dance Drama Theater, including “Sui Yue Ru Ge” (Years as songs), “Si Da Ming Zhu” (Four Masterpieces) and “Chun Jiang Hua Yue Ye” (Moon Night over the River of Spring). Moreover, she conducted the large-scale opera „Yuan Ye” (Savage Land) by the China National Opera and Dance Drama Theater, which was performed more than fifty times in Beijing and across China.
In 2008, Hong Xia conducted the final concert of the Festival for “Works by International Female Composers”. As part of the first “China Orchestra Festival” organized by the National Center for the Performing Arts, she conducted the concert “The Flowers Are Still So Red – national and international Film Music of Changchun Film Studio”. At the „Chunhua Qiushi – Spring Flower Autumn Fruits” Festival for Art Schools organized by the National Center for the Performing Arts, she conducted the concert “Hua Cai Jin Qiu” (Colorful Autumn) with the Shenyang Conservatory of Music Youth Chinese Orchestra and Chinese Folk Choir. She conducted the Chinese Traditional Orchestra of China National Opera and Dance Drama Theater during the “National Traditional Music Concert”.
In 2007, she conducted the first “Liaoning Northern Chinese Orchestra New Year’s Concert” as well as its next three annual editions. She travelled abroad to Finland and other countries with the Chinese Traditional Orchestra of China National Opera and Dance Drama Theater. She conducted the traditional music concert “The World is Beautiful Because of You” by the Guangdong Chinese Orchestra, the “Hubei Chinese Chime Bells Orchestra Concert”, and the New Year’s Concert at the Sydney Town Hall in Australia.
In 2010, she conducted the large-scale traditional symphonic chorus “Zhuang Zu Shi Qing” (Poetic Sentiments of the Zhuang People) by the Chinese Traditional Orchestra of China National Opera and Dance Drama Theater which premiered in Beijing. In 2013, she served as conductor of the Macao Chinese Orchestra concert “Song Chang Jing Dian“(Singing the Classics) and for the “Works by Liu Wenjin Concert” organized by the Central Conservatory of Music during the “Fourth Wind Instruments Art Week”. Hong has conducted many concerts of individual vocalists, performers and composers. She conducted the “Works by Liu Xijin Concert” organized by the Shenyang Conservatory of Music in June 2006, the Hong Kong Newtune Chinese Orchestra in March 2014 and the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra.
Hong Xia is known for her mature, rigorous and expressive style that has a lot of character. Passionate but not over-the-top, detailed but not restrained, she is able to move with ease between Chinese and foreign, classical and modern, traditional and symphonic works.
Lin Gan is a young erhu performer and a National First Class Performer in China. She is a soloist and lead erhu performer at the Chinese Traditional Orchestra of China National Opera and Dance Drama Theater. She received a Master of Fine Arts in erhu performance from the Central Conservatory of Music. She is a member of the Chinese Musicians Association and a trustee of the Erhu Society at the Chinese Musicians Association. She is also a member of the China Nationalities Orchestra Society and a trustee of the Huqin Professional Committee at the China Nationalities Orchestra Society.
She won first prize in the Tianhua Cup National Youth Professional Erhu Competition. In recent years, Lin Gan has performed in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan as well as many countries across Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. She has held many solo concerts and lectures across China and published an album titled The Spirit of Autumn: Huqin Performances by Lin Gan. Sincere, moving and masterful, her performance style combines both strength and gentleness.
Lei Dianyun is a solo guzheng performer at the Chinese Traditional Orchestra of China National Opera and Dance Drama Theater and a committee member of the Ministry of Culture Youth Federation. She is a member of the Chinese Musicians Association and a trustee of its Guzheng Society. She is also a trustee of the Guzheng Society at the China Nationalities Orchestra Society.
Bringing her musical talents to audiences in China and overseas, she has represented China in performances in dozens of countries and regions across Europe, the Americas, Australia, and Asia, including Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan.
She won first prize in the Central Conservatory of Music Chinese Instrument Soloist Competition and the Outstanding Award in the young professional group in the “Oriental Cup” National Guzheng Competition. She won second prize and the highest award for instrumentalists in the 9th “Melodies of the Orient” International Music Festival held in Uzbekistan.
She participated in the recording of Guzheng Masters and Masterpieces. She also wrote and published professional guzheng textbooks, including Beginner Guzheng Course, New and Trending Guzheng Performance, and Classic and Trending Guzheng Performance, and recorded accompanying CDs.
She was invited to serve as a judge on many guzheng contests in China and overseas, including the guzheng group in the Wenhua Contest organized by the Ministry of Culture, the “Golden Lusheng” China Traditional Musical Instrument Competition organized by the Chinese Musicians Association, and the 65th Hong Kong Music Festival.
In the 10th Asia Arts Festival in 2008, she premiered “Dian Ran Dan Qing,” a work composed by Liu Wenjin for brush painters and calligraphers. She also performed the guzheng composition “Shan Shui Jian” by Zhao Dongsheng, which was commissioned by the large-scale traditional Chinese concert “Golden Melody.”
Her clear, subtle, and delicate guzheng performance style makes a lingering impression on audiences. With years of artistic training and experience in stage performance, she has acquired a deep understanding of Chinese traditional music and is constantly striving for perfection in her work. She is known for her beautiful, natural, and unaffected performances on stages in China and overseas.
Yang Wenna is a young erhu performer and a member of the Chinese Musicians Association, the Chinese Musicians Association Erhu Society, and the China Nationalities Orchestra Society. She is currently a soloist and the chief zhonghu performer in the Chinese Traditional Orchestra of China National Opera and Dance Drama Theater. She is a solo erhu performer in the Asian Orchestra (Japanese, Korean, Chinese).
She started learning erhu with her father Yang Quanxi at the age of seven. She entered the Artistic Vocational College of Anhui in 1991 and studied under Tong Wenzhong. In 1994, she tested into the China Conservatory of Music Chinese Instruments Department and studied under Professor Zhang Zunlian. During this time, she also studied banhu and gaohu with Professor Shen Cheng. In 2011, she became a master’s student at the Central Conservatory of Music and studied under her advisor Professor Xue Ke. She also received guidance from acclaimed erhu performers Xu Jiangde and Deng Jiandong. In 2014, she received her master’s degree.
Since joining the China National Opera and Dance Drama Theater after graduating in 1998, she has performed in many operas and dance shows, including The White Haired Girl, Liu Hulan, Xiao Erhei Gets Married, Jiang Jie, and The Injustice to Dou E. She was a soloist in some major national performances, including large-scale Chinese traditional concert “The Years Like Song,” “Ten Famous Works of Chinese Music,” and large-scale Chinese concert “Beijing Olympics Major Cultural Event.”
During the inaugural concert for former Korean president Lee Myung-bak in 2008, she represented China in a performance of the famous erhu composition, Erquan Yingyue, which was highly praised by Lee Myung-bak.
In 2008 and 2009, she was invited to participate in the 9th and 10th Asia Arts Festival held in Japan and Korea with the Asian Orchestra. She performed multiple erhu solo pieces.
In 2009, she participated in the 3rd International Huqin Art Festival Concert held in the Golden Hall of the Wiener Musikverein. In the same year, she was invited by acclaimed Korean composer Park Bum-Hoon to perform his erhu concerto Fragrance in the “Works by Park Bum-Hoon Concert” held in Japan.
In 2011, she was invited by the North Korea Ministry of Culture and appointed by the China Ministry of Culture to advise the Sea of Blood Theatrical Troupe on their performance of the large-scale opera Butterfly Lovers in Pyongyang. Her work was highly approved by North Korea and local Chinese ambassadors.
In February 2012, she premiered an erhu concerto by Liu Wenjin, Jiu Ge (Wine Song) in the “Works by Acclaimed Contemporary Chinese Music Composers Liu Wenjin and Liu Xijin Concert” at the Beijing Poly Theater. She is frequently invited to perform at Liu Wenjin concerts in China and overseas and she has performed The Great Wall Capriccio, Fire, and Theatrical Colors.
In 2014, she was again invited by North Korea to perform in the large-scale Korean concert “Silk Road” with other outstanding international musicians as the only Chinese instrumental soloist. Her performance of the erhu concerto Fragrance was very well received.
In August 2013, she was appointed by the Ministry of Culture to participate in the 9th “Melodies of the Orient” International Music Festival held in Uzbekistan and won second prize (highest award for instrumentalists). In 2013 and 2014, she successfully held solo erhu concerts in Beijing.
She has participated in the recording of many teaching and performance albums, such as Famous Erhu Works Accompaniment and Appreciation released by the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles Publishing Corporation and Wine Song: Yang Wenna Erhu Solo Concert released by Beijing Global Audio-Visual Publishing House.
She has performed in many countries and regions, including Canada, Russia, Thailand, Japan, Korea, Sweden, Finland, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan, and has collaborated with international artists in concerts on multiple occasions.
One critic describes her work in the following sentence, “Her performance is sometimes forceful and wild, like a majestic horse galloping on the grassland and sometimes lucid and moving, like a clear lake under a snow mountain.” Music Life featured her in an extensive interview titled “Chords Play A Song of Victory in Life: An Interview with Young Erhu Performer Yang Wenna.” She is praised as an influential young erhu performer by the media.
As a student, Jianan served as the captain of the Affiliated High School of China Conservatory of Music Youth Orchestra and the chief percussionist in the Huaxia Chinese Orchestra.
He studied Western traditional and popular percussion music with teachers from America, Spain, Germany, and France. He also learned to create original compositions, including vocal, instrumental, and dance, on a computer. He established the “Shaking Feathers” Chamber Orchestra, Tian Xia Percussion Ensemble, and Eastern Jazz Band. He performed in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Seoul, Hong Kong, Macao, and other cities with the Beijing municipal government and his school.
After graduating in 2004, he was recruited by the Chinese Traditional Orchestra of China National Opera and Dance Drama Theater to serve as the head of the percussion division and a solo percussionist. He is a National Second Class Music Performer in China and has performed around the world with the theater. His collaborations with “Guzheng Fairy” Chang Jing and “Ruan Fanatic” Feng Mantian were well received by audiences.
His original compositions include “Love Drama,” “I Am Waiting For You,” and “Maomao’s Beautiful Life,” the ending song of the TV seriesAngels are to Blame. His percussion work “Thunderstorm” written for the 960 Percussion Group is included in their album. He also composed Chinese traditional music pieces such as “Warring States,” “Apricot Pavilion,” “Snow Mountain,” and “Joyful Festival.” He composed music for the dance Mountain Ghost and his percussion concerto “Drum and Dance in the East” was favorably reviewed.
He has composed music for the China National Opera and Dance Drama Theater and various large-scale concerts, dance performances, and musicals. He arranged music for dance shows, including Night Jasmine, Red Blossoms on the Mountain, and Beautiful Girl. He was the music director of Gold Silver Dance Song, Dream Homeland, Beautiful Sounds of Mongolia, and the 60th anniversary celebration gala of the Tongling Nonferrous Metals Company. He was the percussion advisor for the Dunshan Symphonic Wind Orchestra. He played the role of Ah Bao in the musical Jasmine Flower and received good reviews for his performance.
In 2008, he performed in the closing ceremony “Beijing, Beijing” of the Beijing Olympics. He also performed in the Zu Hai solo concert at the Wiener Musikverein. He participated in the creation of the musical Beijing Legend by the Beijing Children’s Theater, which was well received by children and adult audiences.
In 2009, he served as the percussion director in the directing team of the People’s Republic of China National Day parade and celebrations. He contributed to composing and rehearsing the percussion performances. He was the music designer and composer for the Shakespeare play Richard III, directed by Wang Xiaoying of the National Theater of China. He attended the premiere at the Globe Theatre in London and toured with the play in America, Romania, Macedonia, Denmark, and other countries. The play was especially enjoyed by Chinese and British audiences and international students.
He composed pieces for the Beijing Huaxia Liangle Women’s Wind Band and served as its artistic advisor. He also created music for the film Dream of Yunnan. In 2015, he successfully held his solo performance “Music World.” He is also a trustee of the Percussion Association and the deputy secretary general of the organizing committee of the Singapore Chinese Percussion Music Contest.
1. Traditional Chinese Orchestral Music “Spring Festival Overture”
This orchestral piece is inspired by the tones and rhythms of traditional Chinese folk dance Yangge and song forms from Northern Shaanxi Province. As a musical exploration of the traditional Chinese Spring Festival, the piece depicts a jubilant and touching celebration scene in which people exchange good wishes with their friends and family.
2. Gaohu and Orchestra “Butterfly Lovers Fantasia”
On May 27, 1959, the “Butterfly Lovers’ Violin Concerto” composed by He Zhanhao and Chen Gang premiered at the Shanghai Lyceum Theater. As the most famous violin concerto in the history of China, the piece is a combination of symphonic music and elements of traditional Chinese folk opera. The intricate plot tells a tragic story of two protagonists that audiences love and empathize with deeply. The piece also expresses the people’s pursuit of a good life. In the adaptation “Butterfly Lovers Fantasia” by Liu Wenjin, the instrument gaohu, a two-stringed fiddle, takes center stage, infusing the piece with the unique flavors of traditional Chinese music.
3. Traditional Chamber Music “Daling Melody”
“Daling” means traditional folk song in Korean. Inspired by Korean folk songs, “Daling Melody” features a combination of folk songs interpreted by traditional folk instruments. The expansive vibrato and dance rhythm of the piece are typical of the music of the Korean minority in China, and the use of Korean instruments, such as janggu, piri, or gayageum, gives the piece its own unique touch. Members of the Chinese Traditional Orchestra of China National Opera and Dance Drama Theater specially travelled to Yanbian Korean Autonomous region to familiarize themselves with the local music. Focusing primarily on learning traditional Korean instruments such as janggu, piri, gayageum, and haegeum, they have been preparing intensively for today’s performance in order to best present the beauty of this culture and offer the audience an authentic folk music experience.
4. Suona Ensemble “Watch the Yangge”
“Watch the Yangge” is a folk song from Qitai County in Shanxi Province and is one of the most representative works of the yangge, or “rice sprout song.” Applying the versatility of the suona, Jing Jianshu vividly describes how two sisters from a village brave the pouring rain to see a yangge performance. The piece conveys the passion that villagers in Northern China have and their positive outlook on life.
5. Jinghu and Orchestra “Deep in the Night”
Based on the passage “The Wind Blows Over the Lotus Leaves” in the Kunqu Opera “Sifan Goes Down The Mountain,” this work grew into its current form after being changed and adapted countless times by generations of opera musicians. The title of the piece is derived from the first three characters of the first line of the opera. “The Wind Blows Over the Lotus Leaves” tells the story of a young nun lamenting her lonely and miserable life in a Buddhist monastery. Using various methods from folk music, such as embellishing, cutting, streamlining, and paraphrasing, the composer of “Deep in the Night” transforms the originally mournful melody into a powerful, passionate piece of music. In the Peking Opera pieces “Beat the Drums to Offend Cao Cao” and “Farewell My Concubine,” it accompanies multiple scenes, including “Mi Heng beats the drum” and “Yu Ji swings the sword.” Combining the strengths of different performances, this adaptation features an extended structure, which includes a prologue followed by Adagio, Moderato and Allegro sections.
6. Traditional Chinese Orchestral Piece “How Much Do You Know About Chinese Wind and Stringed Instruments?”
Written by the famous Taiwanese musician Guan Naizhong who specializes in ethnic music, this piece was composed as an introduction to instruments in a large-scale Chinese orchestra. The piece includes a variation of the world famous Jiangsu folk song “Mo Li Hua (jasmine flower).” It takes the form of “ensemble—solo (wind instruments—plucked instruments—percussion instruments—bowed instruments)—ensemble” with individual instruments explained in detail.
7. Traditional Chinese Orchestral Piece “Great Wall Capriccio”
“Great Wall Capriccio” is Liu Wenjin’s adaptation of his own concert piece for erhu of the same name. It is a distillation of the essence of the original piece. This powerful piece not only includes essential elements of folk music and traditional opera, but also applies Western compositional techniques. Nevertheless, it retains a strong folk music style and skillfully expresses the artistic spirit of the Chinese people.
8. Traditional Chinese Orchestral Piece “Hero of the Mountain”
Guangxi, surrounded by vast and imposing mountain ranges, is the land of heroes. The silent peaks resemble rank-and-file soldiers protecting the southern border of the homeland. The mighty mountain formations exude power and vitality. A new generation of Zhuang children is interpreting the immortal epics that shine upon Guangxi like the fiery rising sun.
You are born in the year 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993 or 2005. Then you will have a very special birthday in the coming year. According to the Chinese Zodiac you are born in the Year of the Rooster which will be celebrated in 2017. Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Rooster are loyal, trustworthy and extremely sociable.
Rooster (Yin, 2nd Trine, Fixed Element Metal): Acute, neat, meticulous, organized, self-assured, decisive, conservative, critical, perfectionist, alert, zealous, practical, scientific, responsible. Can be over zealous and critical,puritanical, egotistical, abrasive, proud, opinionated, given to empty bravado.