• Drake Silver

The Players Who Brings The Pipa To Life

We all know that instruments just don't play themselves. Well except for digital or virtual ones. Even so, they don't bring in the passion and emotion as a real-life musician can. The same goes for the Tradition Chinese Pipa also known as the Lute. From what I read, the pipa is one of the hardest Chinese instruments to play. Even if you got the basics down, you still haven't mastered all the other techniques that come with it. So that is why I search for the ones who master it. The patients they took create a beautiful sound and paint pictures with this four-string pear-shaped instrument.

Wu Man

  • Recognized as the world’s premier pipa virtuoso and leading ambassador of Chinese music, Wu Man has carved out a career as a soloist, educator, and composer giving her a new role in both traditional and contemporary music.

  • Brought up in the Pudong School of pipa playing, one of the most prestigious classical styles of Imperial China.

  • All of Ms. Wu’s orchestral engagements this season feature music originally written for her, a reflection of her leading role in cultivating a robust concerto repertoire for the pipa.

  • Ms. Wu boasts a discography of over 40 albums including the Grammy Award-winning Sing Me Home (“Best World Music Album”) with the Silkroad Ensemble on Sony.

Gao Hung

  • Chinese pipa player and composer, began her career as a professional musician at age 12. She graduated from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing where she studied with pipa master Lin Shicheng.

  • She has performed throughout Europe, Australia, Argentina, Japan, Hong Kong, China, and the United States, and has participated in the Lincoln Center Festival, San Francisco Jazz Festival and international festivals in Paris, Caen, Milan, and Perth.

  • In 2016, Gao Hong completed the first pipa method book ever written in English and had it published by Hal Leonard, the world’s largest print music publishing company.

  • Gao’s most recent recording with 0udist Issam Rafea, “From Our World to Yours” was awarded Gold Medals in two categories (Instrumental and Album) by the Global Music Awards, and was released worldwide on the ARC Music label in the U.K. on April 24, 2020.

Liu Fang

  • She has performed hundreds of solo concerts featuring Chinese traditional and classical music on her two solo instruments, at such prestigious venues as the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris, the Philharmonic Hall of Liège, Belgium, and the Bath International Music Festival.

  • Apart from her numerous solo concerts, Liu Fang has also many intercultural collaborations in terms of "Silk and Steel Projects", where "Silk" represents the traditional culture of China whereas "steel" is a metaphor for modernity and western culture.

  • Liu Fang was the only musician to receive the prestigious "Future Generation Millennium Prize" awarded by the Canada Council for the Arts to three artists of different disciplines under 30 years of age.

  • Liu Fang has made a number of national and international TV & Radio appearances, produced several CDs.

Jie Ma

  • From a long line of traditional Chinese musicians, Jie Ma began studying music and playing the pipa at age 5.

  • in 2004, Jie began exploring the possibilities of blending traditional pipa technique with Western music and sounds from all over the world and culture.

  • In pursuit of her passion for music and the pipa, Jie has performed in China, Japan, England, and at a wide variety of venues throughout the United States (particularly in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York), as a soloist, in ensembles, and as a featured performer.

  • From classic Chinese music to modern and contemporary compositions, from acoustic settings to electronic expressions, Jie’s music reflects Chinese cultural heritage as well as multi-cultural influences.


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