China and Japan share a rich cultural history that can be traced back more than a thousand years. Both societies share many musical traditions and influences and have similar styles and performance practices. For the world premiere performance of “Asian Crossroads,” Chinese pipa virtuoso Wu Man and Japanese percussionist Haruka Fujii, fellow members of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, perform solo works from their respective native lands, and unite in improvisational works that fuse their two styles.
Friday, July 11, 2014
9:30PM – 11:00PM
235 Queens Quay West
Wu Man and Haruka Fujii, along with Dave Liang (Shanghai Restoration Project), discuss their work crossing cultural and genre boundaries and efforts at opening a truly global dialogue through their art on Friday, July 11 at 7pm.
Chinese-born, California-based, Grammy-nominated pipa virtuoso Wu Man is the world’s premier pipa player and leading ambassador of Chinese music. Accepted into the Central Conservatory of Music of Beijing at age 13, she was hailed in the national media as a child prodigy, and received the Conservatory’s first pipa master’s degree. Moving to the US in 1990, she has since been committed to bridging the musics of her native and adopted-home countries, and was the first Chinese musician to perform in the White House. As a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble – and of its leadership team – and in collaboration with musicians and groups including Philip Glass, the Kronos Quartet and Tan Dun, she not only bridges East and West, but classical and contemporary music, taking both in new directions.
Japanese-born and current Toronto resident multi-percussionist Haruka Fujii has become one of the most prominent solo percussionists and marimbists of her generation. She has won international acclaim for her interpretations of contemporary music, having performed premieres of works from composers including Franghis Ali-Zadeh, Akira Miyoshi, and Maki Ishii, while frequently collaborating with Chinese composer Tan Dun. She is also a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s renowned Silk Road Ensemble.