Friday, March 04, 2011

The China Anhui Traditional Orchestra

Thanks to He Laoshi, we had the opportunity to take in the China Anhui Traditional Orchestra's performance the other night at the Kennedy Center.

The orchestra blends a small number of Western instruments with a much larger assortment of traditional Chinese instruments. These instruments range from suona (a Chinese trumpet that I know Z, as the trumpeter in the family, really appreciated) to the yueqin (or "moon guitar", called that because of its round shape). A personal favorite of mine is the sheng, which we posted about last summer when we bumped into a man practicing on this mouth organ in a remote corner of the Summer Palace. It was a classic Chinese scene that I know I'll never forget.

And then there were the orchestra's soloists, who played beautifully on the pipa, erhu (another one of Z's instruments), and dizi. For a more nuanced take on what these soloists accomplished, as well as the overall vibe of concert, check out the Washington Post's review of the evening's program.

~Steve

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