Wang Guowei is both performer on the Chinese two-string fiddle erhu and composer. He studied at the Shanghai Conservatory and was concertmaster and soloist with the Shanghai Traditional Orchestra. Joining Music From China as Artistic Director in 1996 and also maintaining a solo career, Wang Guowei has appeared with such artists as the Shanghai Quartet, Amelia Piano Trio, Continuum, Four Nations Ensemble, Virginia Symphony, Post Classical Symphony, Ornette Coleman, Butch Morris, Yo-Yo Ma, and has performed at colleges, universities and cultural institutions across the U.S. and internationally. Wang Guowei’s compositions include Percussion Quartet: Kong—Wu; Three Poems for Erhu (erhu/zhonghu, pipa, xiao, percussion); Tang Wind (pipa, zheng, ruan & Western chamber orchestra); Two Plus Two (erhu, yangqin, sanxian & tape); Lullaby (erhu, clarinet & piano); Songs for Huqin and Saxophone Quartet, and Leaving Home (erhu, piccolo, cello). Mr. Wang is recipient of a folk arts fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts and commissioning awards from the American Composers Forum, New York State Council on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and Queens Council on the Arts.
A mesmerizing master of the pipa (ancient four-string lute), Chen Yihan was a prize winner at the 1995 Freedom International Chinese Instrument Competition and the 1989 Art Cup. She has performed at many major international festivals in China, USA, France, Portugal, Canada, Japan and Italy, such as Spoleto Festival USA 2012, Lincoln Center Festival, Skaneateles Festival, De Création Musicale de Radio France, Le Festival Avignon, Le Festival Musique en Scène, Encontros Acarte 98 Portugal, La Cité de la Musique, Lotus Festival, and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s New Music Festival. She has appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Library of Congress and other major venues. Ms. Chen has collaborated with internationally renowned composers such as Chen Yi, Zhou Long, Chen Qigang and Bright Sheng. She was the soloist of the Hua Xia Chamber Ensemble (Beijing) and has been performing with Music From China since 1999. After graduating from the China Conservatory of Music with a bachelor’s degree in 1995, Yihan was a faculty member there teaching pipa at its affiliated middle school.
A native of Shanghai, Ann Yao inherited her musical family tradition by studying the pipa and later the zheng (a long plucked zither). After she graduated from the Shanghai Conservatory in 1983, she immediately joined the prestigious Central Traditional Music Ensemble in Beijing as the principal zheng player. In 1984 she toured the United States, as a member of the Central Traditional Music Ensemble of Beijing, participating in the Olympic Arts Festival in Los Angles. Ann moved here in 1985 and has since appeared as zheng soloist and worked with various prestigious music groups, artists and composers, including Music From China, Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, New Music Consort, Yo-Yo Ma, Tan Dun, Zhou Long, Chen Yi, Dong Kui, James Mobberley and Neil Rolnick. Ann has been awarded twice as the Florida Folklife Apprenticeship Master (1999-2000, 2008-2009) and was a recipient of the Florida Folk Heritage Award (2009). She is among the featured artists in the documentary Mastering the Art.
Sun Li graduated from the Shenyang Music Conservatory where she studied pipa and was a member of the Central Song and Dance Ensemble in Beijing. She has performed with Music From China since 2002. Her recent appearances include the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, New Brunswick Symphony Orchestra, and 2013 Lincoln Center Festival.
Susan Cheng has maintained a life-long devotion to the promotion and development of Chinese music in the U.S. She founded Music From China in 1984 and serves as Executive Director as well as performer on yangqin (hammered dulcimer) and daruan (bass guitar).
Helen Yee performs on yangqin and percussion. Multi-talented, she is also a violinist and composer residing in the worlds of music between East and West, traditional and new, “high” and “low.” She is violinist for the eclectic string trio, Trio Tritticali. Ms. Yee has performed in productions of experimental theatre, including work with Mabou Mines and the 2011 production of Manon/Sandra at the New York Fringe Festival. Helen has also performed and recorded with a number of rock/pop/hip-hop bands, including Akim Funk Buddha, Mairead, Twenty % Tippers, Too Cynical to Cry, and Neycha.