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China Daily Website

Chinese musician gives solo performance in London

Updated: 2013-11-06 10:18
( Cecily Liu (chinadaily.com.cn))

Chinese classical guitarist Yang Xuefei says that becoming mature has made her shift her ambition from playing good music to contributing more to the development of classical guitar as an instrument.

“When I was young, I thought about myself, but when I am older I start to think about others. I am now thinking about the next generation, and I want to build my legacy,” says the 36-year-old Yang.

Yang, who demonstrated immense talent for the guitar as a child, became the first to study classical guitar at the middle school affiliated with China’s Central Conservatory of Music.

After graduating from the Central Conservatory of Music, Yang studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and became a celebrated musician on the international stage.

On Sunday November 3, Yang gave a solo performance at London’s Wigmore Hall, where she presented a variety of pieces including the world premiere of Shuo Chang, a piece by Chinese composer Chen Yi, commissioned by Wigmore Hall.

Yang says she felt very excited because Shuo Chang is the first piece by a Chinese composer commissioned for her to play, and called it her “long time wish finally realized”.

Shuo Chang, which literally means ‘speaking and singing’, is a style of Chinese music where singing, reciting, drums and a small ensemble will play together. Yang presented the variety of sound all with her guitar.

Yang says she would like to be known as a musician, rather than just a guitarist, because music is powerful for its ability to move, regardless of which instrument it is played on.

“When I perform, I wish my audience can forget that I’m Chinese, that I’m a guitarist. I just wish my audience to be there, to be inspired by my music, and when they leave the concert they feel uplifted, and they feel that the world is nicer. That’s my goal as a musician,” Yang says.

Yang says she now wants to do more to help the classical guitar win more understanding and popularity. She says she hopes to set up her own foundation, which will commission new music for the classical guitar, to benefit future generations of guitarists.

She says she also wants to introduce more Chinese music influences into the guitar, because there are many plucked instruments in the Chinese musical tradition, whose music is suitable to be played on the classical guitar.

Reporter: Cecily Liu Camera: Cecily Liu Video: Xue Min & Cong Ruiting Producer: Flora Yue

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