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Sounds of Asia - Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble featuring guests
The Annex
Vancouver, BC
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Sounds of Asia - Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble featuring guests





GRACE JONG EUN LEE (kayagum & piano)


SARAH TAN (guzheng)



Sunday, October 23, 2016, 7:30 pm

The Annex (823 Seymour St.)

Tickets $15 general, $10 seniors & students


Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble (VCME) is joined by Vancouver Oriental Philharmonic Choir, Felice Womens Choir, Grace Jong Eun Lee (kayagum & piano), Kozue Matsumoto (koto) and Sarah Tan (guzheng) for Sounds of Asia, the first concert of the 2016-17 season. The program will be presented by Dr. Jan Walls (MC) on Sunday, October 23 at the Annex.

Sounds of Asia brings together three masters of the zither: the Vancouver-based composer, educator and the master of kayagum (Korean zither) Grace Jong Eun Lee; the Los Angeles-based composer, improviser and the master of koto (Japanese zither) Kozue Matsumoto; and the long time VCME member, educator and the master of guzheng (Chinese zither) Sarah Tan. The instruments will be accompanied by the voices of the Vancouver Oriental Philharmonic Choir and Felice Womens Choir. VCME members, Jirong Huang (erhu), Zhimin Yu (ruan), Zhongxi Wu (sheng) and the guest musician Timothy Stacey (bass) will perform on this special evening program.

Sounds of Asia will feature lovely folk melodies from China, Korea and Japan, mostly the new arrangements of well-known tunes, whether anonymous folk or more recent pieces by composers such as Kengyo Yoshizaki, Tadao Sawai, Chang Yuanwang and our very own Grace Jong Eun Lee.


Short Biographies:

Grace Jong Eun Lee

As a composer, performer and educator, Grace Jong Eun Lee has dedicated herself to interculturalism. She received her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music from the University of British Columbia (Piano and Composition). Grace is the first Canadian Asian Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre. She also received the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Diamond Medal (Arts & Culture) in 2013. As a Canadian Composer representative, her music has been picked by the International Festival of Women in Music Today in Seoul (2003), CBC Radio (2005), Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra (2005), Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (2006), Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (2007), New York Philharmonic Orchestra (2008), Carnegie Hall New York (2008), the Cathedral Guild for the Arts (2009), SBS Korean Main Broadcast (2010), St Martin in Field London (2010), New York The Korea Society (2006-2010), CTV Multicultural Chanel Seven (2011), The Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Diamond Medal (Arts & Culture) (2013) and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (2014). Grace is strongly influenced by the sounds of nature and often uses them in her works to convey the East Asian sense of space and emptiness. Her interest in playing both traditional and contemporary music and composing for the kayagum blossomed in Canada.

Kozue Matsumoto

Based in Los Angeles, California, Kozue was born/raised in Japan and is a former resident of Vancouver, BC. She has been playing koto since three (under Ikuta-ryu Miyagi-kai) and holds a semi-master title. She has also played shamisen and shinobue since she was small. In North America, she has been collaborating with various musicians, dancers, visual artists, and other artists. Not only does she play traditional, contemporary and experimental music, but she also improvises, composes, and creates digital arts. She has studied improvisation, composition, and technology under Susan Allen, Vinny Golia, and Eyvind Kang, and Ajay Kapur, and graduated with her M.F.A. in Performer-Composer at California Institute of the Arts. Other than performances and inter-disciplinary collaborations with various artists, she has a strong interest in exploring the potential of Japanese traditional music and performing arts beyond their conventional contexts. She is currently working on integrating the koto sounds and computer technology to expand the koto sounds.

Sarah Yusha Tan

Born in China, Sarah began studying the guzheng at the age of 10 and later enrolled in Xinghai Conservatory of Music learning from different zheng teachers such as Professor Wang Wei. She completed her Bachelor Degree in 2008 specializing in guzheng. As a student, Sarah obtained numerous prizes in different major competitions, and played as a guest performer in many renowned Chinese symphonies. In 2004, she was employed by the Shanghai Conservatory of Music Art Center, and awarded the best guzheng instructor for five consecutive years. Since 2008 Sarah has been performing in Vancouver as a guzheng soloist and a member of the Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble.

Vancouver Oriental Philharmonic Choir

The Vancouver Oriental Philharmonic Choir was founded in September 2007 by director Tyler Xu. Today the choir has over 70 members and a diverse repertoire, including art songs, opera, folk songs and ethnic tunes from all over China. In addition to an annual public performance, the VOPC regularly participates in festivals and charity events at home and overseas.

Felice Womens Choir

Found in January 2010, Felice Womens Choir is based in the city of Port Coquitlam. This community choir pursues excellence in performance and celebrates a varied repertoire from classical to folk and pop. In the spirit of its name (Felice means happiness in Italian), the choir promotes the harmony between self-development and community service as its motive and function. With that purpose, the choir hopes to take role in reaching out to people in need in the community and touch hearts through the all-encompassing language, music.

Dr. Jan Walls

After completing his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in Chinese and Japanese languages and literatures, Dr. Walls began his academic career teaching Chinese language and East Asian cultures. In 1987, he joined Simon Fraser University, where he founded and directed the David Lam Centre until his retirement. He was also the founding director of SFUs Asia-Canada Program. He has been a director of the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden Society, S.U.C.C.E.S.S., and the Tzu Chi Education Foundation. He serves on the Government of British Columbias Multicultural Advisory Council, Chinese Community Advisory Group for the Lower Mainland B.C. and Canadian Red Cross Society. He is currently a director of the Canadian Society for Asian Arts and the Chinese Canadian Historical Society of British Columbia.


The Annex (View)
823 Seymour Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 3L4


Music > Choral
Music > Folk
Music > World

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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