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An American in Shanghai: Forgotten Stories; Ciompi Quartet with Min Xiao-fen, pipa and voice


Ciompi Quartet with Min Xiao-fen, pipa and voice

This event will be livestreamed via YouTube.

Andrew Waggoner: "Forgotten Stories" for String Quartet and Pipa (2024);
Alan Chan: "Catch Me at the Canidrome" for String Quartet and Pipa (2024); Wolfgang Fraenkel: Music for String Quartet (1949).

Download a copy of the press release >>

Program notes:

About 20,000 Jewish people escaped the Holocaust in China since Shanghai was the only free-port that they could enter without visa during 1930-40s. Many of these Jewish refugees were musicians and their livelihood depended on playing in the Shanghai Municipal Orchestra and providing music lessons. Several of them trained and taught composition, theory and instrumental studies to the first generation of the Chinese musicians. Wolfgang Fraenkel, a Jewish refugee who fled Nazi Germany was one of the music teachers landed in Shanghai proximately from 1939-1947. Many of his students became important figures and held many important positions in the Chinese musical institutions later.

About the artists:
Min Xiao-Fen

Few artists have done more to both honor and reinvent the 2000-year history of the pipa than soloist, vocalist and composer Min Xiao-Fen. Classically trained in her native China, she served as a principal pipa soloist at Nanjing Traditional Music Orchestra and was an in-demand interpreter of traditional music before relocating to the United States and forging a new path for her instrument alongside many of the leading lights in modern jazz, free improvisation, experimental and contemporary classical music. NPR Weekend Edition lauded Ms. Min as "one of the world's greatest virtuosos" and JazzTimes hailed her as "a pioneer in integrating her ancient instrument with modern jazz and improvised music." The New York Times raved that her singular work "has traversed a sweeping musical odyssey."

The Ciompi Quartet

Since its founding in 1965 by the renowned Italian violinist Giorgio Ciompi, the Ciompi Quartet of Duke University has delighted audiences and impressed critics around the world. All its members are professors at Duke, where they teach instrumental lessons, coordinate and coach chamber music, and perform across campus in concert halls, libraries, dormitories and classrooms.