Page 1

Illinois Wesleyan University School ofMusic PRESENTS


David Vayo, Director

New Music from China Featured Guests from the Sichuan Conservatory ofMusic, Chengdu

Yang Xiaozhong, composer Song Mingzhu, composer Zhou Tianli, guzheng

February 3-4 Westbrook Auditorium Presser Hall

:is Wesle an ,,; UNIVERSITY

Symposium of Contemporary Music 2010-11 FEBRUARY 3, 2011 4:00PM Panel Discussion

New Music and Music Education in China Professor Yang Professor Song Ms.Zhou Mario Pelusi, Director of the School of Music Brian Russell, Assistant Professor of Music Education David Vayo, Professor of Composition and Theory,


This program is presented as part of the IWU New Music Series. To receive announcements of New Music Series events via e-mail, please contact David Vayo, Series director, at FEBRUARY 4, 2011 7:30PM

Music of Yang Xiaozhong and Song Mingzhu Yang Xiaozhong

Hua Ye (Wedding Night) William West, flute Vadim Mazo, violin Michael Hall, viola *

Painting of Shu Brocade Zhou Tianli, guzheng

Cyan Abigail Lyons, oboe

Chrsitina Hoblin, trombone

Rachel Rhody, clarinet

Erin Donegan, violin

Owen Carlos, bassoon

Kelsey Hanson, viola

Keanan Koppenhaver, horn

Caitlyn Trevor, cello

Drew Bogen, trumpet

Todd Anderson, contrabass

Mario J. Pelusi, conductor

-IntermissionPrelude and Toccata

Song Mingzhu

Michelle Brecunier, flute Ilene Gorski, oboe Rachel Rhody, clarinet Owen Carlos, bassoon Phil Lewis, horn from Songs of Yi II. A-Se Vadim Mazo, violin R. Kent Cook, piano Charm on Strings II Kaitlin Zawacki, Ella Pittsford, violin David Getz, viola Rosa Kleinman, cello Christopher Grills, piano Zhou Tianli, guzheng Mario J. Pelusi, conductor


World Premiere

Following the program, the audience is invited to a reception in the Presser Hall reception room, courtesy of Delta Omicron. This program is presented as part of the IWU New Music Series. To receive announcements of New Music Series events via e-mail, please contact David Vayo, Series director, at

A Note from the Symposium Director When China's economy became the world's second-largest last year, it was only the lat­ est milestone in the country's almost meteoric rise to global significance. As part of this transformation, contemporary Chinese artists in many fields are now also stepping onto the world stage. Shanghai has become a center of the visual-art world, Hong Kong's film industry is among the world's largest, and Chinese composers are writing music which reflects the country's traditional heritage as well as its cosmopolitan present. The first Chinese composer to achieve widespread international recognition is Chou Wen-Chung, who came to the United States to study western compositional approaches, was hired by Columbia University in 1964, and mentored a generation of Chinese and other East Asian composers seeking to make their way in the modern musical world without losing their own cultural identity. His students included alumni of the celebrated group of composers who enrolled in the Beijing Conservatory when it reopened following the Cultural Revolution. The most famous member of that class is Tan Dun, best-known for his Oscar-winning score to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; others included ChenYi of the University of Missouri at Kansas City, who is currently playing a mentoring role very similar to Chou's, and Bright Sheng of the University of Michigan. While many successful Chinese composers of concert music have made their careers outside of their homeland, an increasing number are building an international profile from bases in China. This includes our guests Yang Xiaozhong and Song Mingzhu, two of the stars in the firmament of the Sichuan Conservatory of Music's composition depart­ ment. While at the World MusicDays festival in Hong Kong in 2007, I attended two concerts presented by the Conservatory, and was thrilled by the beauty and craftsmanship of the compositionsI heard as well as the vigor and musicianship of the performers. In particular, I was struck by how organically many characteristics of traditional Chinese music interfaced with elements of contemporary western concert music. This is not concert music with Chinese influences or Chinese music influenced by western music, I thought-this is simply Chinese music in the twenty-first century. I am honored to help bring it to the Westbrook Auditorium stage, and it gives me special pleasure that our Symposium takes place during the time of the Lunar New Year celebrations. Part of the current integration of Chinese and western concert music within China is the fact that conservatories teach traditional Chinese instruments alongside such western instruments as violin, piano and trumpet. Increasingly, performers of traditional instru­ ments are working with composers to create a contemporary repertoire for their instru­ ments. It is not unusual to see an erhu (Chinese fiddle) soloist with a symphony orchestra, or to hear a sheng (mouth organ) combining with western instruments in a chamber ensemble. ChiI).a's traditional plucked zither, the guzheng or zheng, is the instrument of our guest performer Zhou Tianli, and has been a vital part of this melding of traditions. Increasingly, performers such as her are being recognized internationally as virtuosi of the highest level; it is only a matter of time before they achieve the worldwide fame of a Y0- Y0 Ma or an Anne-Sophie Mutter. Perhaps we'll be able to say we knew Zhou Tianli when. I am deeply grateful to our guests for traveling so far to be with us, and to the stu­ dents and faculty of the School of Music who have put in long hours to prepare tonight's program. Among the support staff who have been of assistanceI especially wish to thank Reenie Bradley of theInternational Office and Stephanie Kohl Ringle of the School of Music office. In addition, a number ofIWU's Chinese students have assisted with transla­ tion and with helping our guests feel at home. -DavidVayo

Program Notes HuaYe The phrase "Hua Ye" comes from the wedding customs of the Qiang people in Sichuan, China. On the last night before the bride gets married, her sisters will help her in dressing and making up, which we call "Cha Hua". After that, the bride has to stay in her boudoir, cry and sing till the next dawn, which we call "Wu Geng Shou Ye". The people of Qiang called this night "Hua Ye", which was a very important ceremony and represented the atmosphere of "celebration with happiness and sad­ ness" in the traditional wedding. This composition was selected for the "ASIA Pacific Festival

2007 Wellington

New Zealand," where the Wellington Youth Chamber Orchestra premiered it in February of that year. It has also been recorded on the "ASIA Pacific Festival

2007 AURORA AUSTRALIS CD", which is published by CANZ, and awarded the Chamber Prize of the 11th National Music Awards (2005) by the National Ministry of Culture.

Painting of Shu Brocade The Shu Brocade, the supreme brocade of the best four in China, has been produced in Chengdu, Sichuan for more than

2000 years. During the Western Han Dynasty,

the brocade produced in Chengdu enjoyed great popularity among the royal and elite class in China. An emperor created the office of Jin Guan to oversee brocade production in Chengdu. Since then, Chengdu has been called "Jin Guan Cheng" meaning Brocade Official's City, or in its short form, "Jin Cheng" meaning Brocade City. The river which embraced the city was called "Jin Jiang" meaning Brocade River, because a great many citizens used to wash their brocades in the river. In this city, the artists and authors preferred to write and paint on the brocades to record the life of the city through the ages, and many of them have been preserved till now. The composer was inspired to write and name his work by the culture that the brocade held, and the richly decorative brocade itself -------- "Painting of Shu Brocade"

Cyan The composer portrayed the color cyan by

7 scenarios according to his comprehen­

sion. i.

Flooding whispers;


Jumping lives;


Calling desires;


Gathering steps;


Exceeding paths;

vi. vii.

Lonely bugles; Devout prayers.

Cyan lies between green and blue. Someone has said: it was the color, which came from the heaven ...

Prelude and Toccata This piece is composed of two parts. The style of Andante-Piu Mosso-Larghetto­ Moderato-Andante of the prelude, and that of Allegro of the toccata, show a sharp

contrast. The composing methods applied in this piece are tone rows, number series and asymmetrical augmentation. A-Se In the depths of huge mountains on the banks of the Red River lies the homeland of the industrious and courageous Yi people. Their living environment is perilous and their conditions are impoverished, so they could only use their music to express their hunger for beautiful life. The composer combined and developed the musical characteristics of nation and folk, traditional cultures and traditional composition theories with the taste of modern music to accomplish a piece with rich and colorful melody that has the characteristic dialect of the Yi area. Once you appreciate it, you will hear the nationalized characteristics of the construction of pitches in Yi's folk music still present in this piece, and you will also get the natural, pure, and fresh feeling of music.

Charm on Strings II This work was composed with the "Movable Chinese pentatonic scale system" on D to render a new flavor. According to the characteristics of the instruments, the zheng is tuned with microtonal tuning, while the piano extends its register boundaries on either end.


("F/ Piano{~~~l> ~(:~'~~~ ~)[G(Ifi~1 ~



(. }



&"______ ___ __ _J

Guest Biographies Yang Xiaozhong is a professor of the Sichuan Conservatory of Music and the director of its composition teaching and research section. From 1973 to 1978, Yang studied music at the Sichuan "Wuqi" arts school. Afterwards, he worked at the Sichuan Opera School as a teacher till 1985. In that year, Yang was admitted to the Composition department of the Sichuan Conservatory of Music. He received his bachelor's degree in 1990, and started his graduate study in the same year. In 1992, Yang finished his studies with the awarding of the Master's degree. From then on, Yang has taught at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music. He is famous for his creation of "the composing technique of non -linear regression." Yang has been active in the musical circles of China since the 1990's. He has been the featured composer in many national cultural events, and has received awards from the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Education, and the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television. Yang's works have been played worldwide in Switzerland, South Korea, New Zealand, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, the United States, Luxembourg, Thailand, Croatia, China, etc. Yang was

also invited to take part in many great musical festivals both at home and abroad, and has been awarded in many national and international competitions.

Song Mingzhu, Director of the Composition Department of the Sichuan Conservatory of Music, is an expert with special allowance from the China State Council. He has been awarded numerous prizes in China's top competitions held by the government and associations. As a scholar as well as judge, he has been invited to Japan, Korea, Switzerland, the Philippines, Poland, USA, Hong Kong, etc. Song was awarded the first prize of the Sichuan Higher Education Achievement and Excellent Music Education Award by both the Sichuan provincial government and China's Education Ministry. He has also participated in the produCing of several ' records.

Zhou Tianli, a faculty member of the Sichuan Conservatory Of Music, is also a member of the China National Orchestral Society, China Guzheng Society and Tianlai Guzheng Band of the Sichuan Conservatory of Music. Zhou started learning Guzheng at age five and was tutored by the Guzheng virtuoso Associate Prof. Sha Lijing and He Chengyu. Since 1993, she has been studying guzheng under associate Prof. Jiang Danxi. Throughout the years she has been the top student on guzheng of the school, demonstrating her outstanding music talent. During her undergraduate studies, Zhou Tianli was under the guidance of well­ known composers and musicians such as Prof. He Zhanhao, Prof. Xu Xiaolin, and the renowned guzheng teacher and virtuoso, Prof. He Baoquan. Ten years of intensive training brought her the mastery of all traditional skills of guzheng performance and made her outstanding among the students, and the winner of numerous competitions. In 2002, she was the bronze prizewinner at the first national musical instru­ ments recital competition sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and the winner of the second prize of the first FangYing Cup of the all-China guzheng competition. In 2004, she won first prize at the third FangYing Cup all China gUzheng competition,

and in 2005 the golden prize at the women's musical instrument competition jointly sponsored by the Sichuan Culture Bureau, the provincial women's federation TV and Movie Bureau, and the provincial association of literature. Zhou won first prize in the SiChuan district at the Deyi shuangqing competition. Also, she was the golden prizewinner on guzheng performance at the China, Japan and South Korea youth art talent competitions. In 2006, on behalf of the Conservatory of Music, she joined a three-person con­ cert tour to Germany and she was also invited to give performances at diplomatic receptions and was well-received. Based on her success in guzheng studies, Zhou has studied harp under Zhang Liduo of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music since 2004. Again, her talent and hard work won her a good reputation in harp performance. In the 2005-2006 annual orchestral concert of the SiChuan Conservatory of Music, her solo on harp was high­ ly acclaimed. She has been studying harp as her second major under XuShanshan from the Sichuan Conservatory of Music since September 2006. As one of the top students from this school, Miss Zhou Tianli is growing into a mature virtuoso of the g�heng.

e)1jmposium 06 crJontempor:ar:y �u.sic Guest Composers



1952-2011 1952: Earl George, Grant Fletcher,

1984: Robert Bankert, Abram M. Plum,

Burrill Phillips

R. Bedford Watkins

1953: Anthony Donato, Homer Keller

1985: Michael Schelle

1954: Normand Lockwood,

1986: Jean Eichelberger Ivey

Robert Palmer 1955: Wallingford Riegger, Peter


1987: Jan Bach 1988: John Beall 1989: Hale Smith

1956: Hunter Johnson, Ulysses Kay

1990: Karel Husa

1957: Ernst Krenek, William Bergsma

1991: Alice Parker

1958: Aaron Copland


1959: Paul Pisk, George Rochberg


1960: Roy Harris

John Crawford (Society of Composers, Inc. Region 5

1962: Robert Erickson, George Rochberg,


Glenn Glasow 1963: Robert Wykes,

Alabama String Quartet 1964: Robert Wykes, E. J. Ulrich,

Salvatore Martirano, Herbert Briin, Ben Johnston 1966: Louis Coyner, Edwin Harkins,

Philip Winsor, Edwin London 1967: Frederick Tillis, George Crumb 1968: lain Hamilton 1969: The Loop Group, DePaul

University 1970: Halim EI-Dabh, OIly Wilson

1995: David Diamond 1996: Morton Gould Memorial Concert 1997: Joseph Schwantner 1998: Arvo Pfut 1999: John Corigliano 2000: Libby Larsen 2001: William Bolcom, Joan Morris 2002: Present Music 2003: Mario Lavista,

Carmen Helena Tellez 2004: Louis Andriessen, James Quandt,

Monica Germino,Cristina

1971: Edward J. Miller 1972: Stravinsky Memorial Concert

(Spring) Alexander Aslamazov (Fall) Leslie Bassett,

Zavalloni 2005: Vince Mendoza

1973: Courtney Cox, Phil Wilson

2006: New York New Music Ensemble

1974: Scott Huston

2007: Stephen Paulus

1975: David Ward-Steinman


1976: Donald Erb 1977: Lou Harrison, Ezra Sims 1978: M. William Karlins

(Spring) Roderik de Man, Annelie de Man (Amsterdam)


(Fall) John Sharpley, Orchid Ensemble

1979: Leonard B. Meyer

2009: ONIX (Mexico City)

1981: Walter S. Hartley

2011: Yang Xiaozhong, Song

1982: David Ward-Steinman

Mingzhu, Zhou Tianli (Sichuan

1983: George Crumb Concert

Conservatory of Music)

Profile for Ames Library

Symposium of Contemporary Music, 2011  

Presented by the Illinois Wesleyan University School of Music, February 3-4, 2011, with featured guests from the Sichuan Conservatory of Mus...

Symposium of Contemporary Music, 2011  

Presented by the Illinois Wesleyan University School of Music, February 3-4, 2011, with featured guests from the Sichuan Conservatory of Mus...