Wu Man | Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University | International | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Wed., April 9, 7:30 p.m. 2014
Price: $22, $10 for students
Wu Man is a virtuoso of the traditional Chinese lute known as the pipa, and she’s mastered its vast, ancient repertoire with grace, empathy, and an unerring ear for pitch and melody. Her most exciting work, however, has arisen from her efforts to push the instrument in new directions. She’s collaborated with the Kronos Quartet and applied the pipa’s twangy, brittle sound to contemporary classical pieces by the likes of Lou Harrison and Philip Glass; she connects Chinese traditions to genres as disparate as jazz, British folk, and on the 2012 album Borderlands (Smithsonian Folkways), Uighur, Tajik, and Hui musics from along the Silk Road trade route. For tonight’s program she performs Ancient Dances (she wrote one of its three movements, and NYC-based Chinese composer Chen Li wrote the other two) with percussionist Robert Schulz and video by Kathleen Owen; the work takes inspiration from the writing of Tang Dynasty poet Li Bai, Chinese calligraphy, and the paintings of Wu Man’s father. —Peter Margasak



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