Lunar New Year
Carl St.Clair, conductor
Cheer Pan and Tan Ye, emcees
Yaya Dance Academy — Yaya Zhang, artistic director
Pacific Chorale — Robert Istad, artistic director
American Feel Young Chorus
Zhang Shunxiang, jinghu
Suli Xue, violin
Violin Students of Orange County Music & Dance (OCMD) — Wendy Castille, director
Doors open 7 p.m.
Join us for Pacific Symphony’s annual festivities honoring the Lunar New Year! Celebrating the Year of the Pig, this performance is sure to sell out once again as audiences from across our communities come together to feast on a colorful presentation of Eastern and Western music and dance.
Li Huanzhi: Spring Festival Overture (with dancers)
Classical Chinese with the Silk Girls Band
Korean Folk Song: Arirang
Puccini: "Nessun dorma" from Turandot
I Love You, China
Far Away (with solo dancer)
Celebration (Zhang Shunxiang, jinghu)
Wusuli: Barcarolle (with Suli Xue and the children of OCMD)
~ Intermission ~
Lawson Madlener: Soaring (with dancers)
Borodin: Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor with chorus
Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture with chorus
Liu: My Homeland with chorus (with dancers)
Arr. Mack Wilberg: America the Beautiful with chorus
The Silk Road Band
The Silk Road Band is a Chinese girls’ band merging traditional Eastern and Western instruments. Inspired by cultural exchange and integration, violinist Bing Li breaks through the tradition and collaborates with Chinese traditional instruments, including the erhu, pipa, bamboo flute and zither. A hybrid of pop music and modern performance produces a new and vigorous cross-border performance. In addition to giving this genre of music with a distinctive oriental flavor, The Silk Road Band highlights the rhythm of songs and field performance, enhances the communication between music and culture, and is entitled with both the abstract element in postmodernism and aesthetic sentiment in neoclassicism, even more, it redefines and revitalizes Chinese folk music in the United States, gradually becoming a trend and symbol among the Chinese new generation.
They are gorgeous but not gaudy, traditional while fashionable, open to the new while rooted in tradition. Though it has not been long since establishing the band, they have gained an excellent reputation through their many large-scale performances. Everywhere they go, they leave behind traces of beauty and the echo of thunderous applause. Through the exquisite blend of classical and modern elements of Chinese and world music to create something innovative, they are able to use the language of music to communicate with people all over the world. The Silk Road Band is the most beautiful representation of the modern image of Chinese new folk music.
One of the most outstanding Chinese-American violinists, Suli Xue enjoys an active career on today’s international music stage. He is a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Schoenfeld International String Competition, Artistic Director of the Hong Kong International Music Festival, Violin Professor of California State University, Los Angeles, Artistic Advisor of the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra, former Professor of Violin at the USC Thornton School of Music, and Concertmaster of the China National Symphony Orchestra, Winner of two Gold Medals of Global Music Awards. Xue has earned high acclaim around the world for his unique artistry.
Xue graduated from USC Thornton School of Music and Shanghai Conservatory of Music. He was a protégé of world-renowned violin professor Alice Schoenfeld. Xue has been frequently invited as a guest artist and faculty to teach and perform at International Music Festivals in United States, Europe and Asia. He has also served as a juror for numerous international music competitions. He performed as a soloist with YMF Debut Orchestra and Moscow State Symphony Orchestra for their China New Year's Concert Tour. Recently, he has participated in many important performances as a soloist with the China National Symphony Orchestra, Harbin Summer Music Festival and many others. In 2014 Xue introduced the Schoenfeld International String Competition to Harbin. In 2017 the Competition joined the United Nations ESCO "World Federation of International Music Competitions" which fortifying and promoting music cultural exchange Internationally. In August 2017, Xue collaborated with maestro Zubin Mehta as a soloist and concertmaster to perform in the Gala symphony concert at the Harbin China-Russia Cultural and Arts Festival.
Zhang Shunxiang is a well-known jinghu artist, Peking opera composer, a National Class-A Performer in the China National Peking Opera Company and a professor, among other things. Jinghu is the lead instrument in a Peking opera ensemble. Zhang not only carries forward traditional performance techniques of jinghu, but combines them with elements of other musical instruments into ancient Peking opera music.
Zhang has composed numerous pieces for large-scale galas for CCTV, BTV and other provincial and municipal events. His works include The Imperial Concubine’s Infatuation in Floral Pavilion, Impression of Jinghu, Pu Tian Le and Celebration. He was awarded First Prize in the Mass Media Music Competition by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television.
Zhang has cooperated and performed his work with the China National Symphony Orchestra, China Philharmonic Orchestra, Beijing Symphony Orchestra, and China Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra. Zhang was commissioned by the China National Peking Opera Company to compose for the opera Hua Mulan, which was staged in the U.S. in 1998. He has also performed in the U.S., Britain, Canada, Australia, France, Italy and South Africa.
Yaya Zhang is an award-winning artist with 20 years of stage performance, choreography and dance instruction experience. She graduated from the Dept. of Folk Dance at the Secondary School of Beijing Dance Academy in 1999 and has received a B.A. in choreography from Beijing Dance Academy in 2003. During her decade-long study at the Beijing Dance Academy, she mastered many different Chinese ethnic folk dance traditions as well as sword, fan, ribbon and sleeve techniques. At the same time, she has extensive experiences in the choreography of the above styles and techniques. In 2004 and 2005, she carried the role of “Rumpleteazer” in the musical production of “Cats” by Shiki theatre Company in Japan. Before moving to America in 2007, she has worked in many productions in China including musicals. Since her moving to Los Angeles area, she has been teaching at several well-known dance companies. Now she is the artistic director of YAYA Dance Academy.
Violinist Wendy Castille was born in Chengdu, China and currently resides in Irvine, CA. Castille has a bachelor’s degree in violin performance and has taught violin for more than 30 years in both China and the U.S. Based on the experience with many successful students over the years, Castille has developed a set of highly effective instructions tailored for children and youngsters. Her students have won numerous competitions and awards, including top winner twice at the state finals of the Music Teachers Association of California’s (MTAC) Voice, Orchestra, Chamber, and Ensemble (VOCE) competition.
Castille has recently joined OCMD (Orange County Music and Dance) school as a violin instructor. She really enjoys teaching; her mission is not only to teach the students to play the violin, but most importantly to develop their interests and encourage their confidence, to lead their way to enjoy and appreciate music.