China Traditional Orchestra of Inner Mongolia, Zhang Lie, 2012

Tour Dates:22 Jan - 2 Feb, 2012

The Traditional Chinese Orchestra of Inner Mongolia is the only orchestra of its kind in Inner Mongolia. Originating with forty members, the Orchestra performed as a part of the Man-Han Opera Group until 2004.

Tour Dates
  • 22 Jan - 2 Feb, 2012

 

Tour Dates:22 Jan - 2 Feb, 2012

The Traditional Chinese Orchestra of Inner Mongolia is the only orchestra of its kind in Inner Mongolia. Originating with forty members, the Orchestra performed as a part of the Man-Han Opera Group until 2004, the year of its official formation, when it began to perform independently with a group of more than 60 musicians. Due to numerous performances in recent years and successful co-operations with famous conductors such as Pang Kapang, Zhang Lie and Zheng Chaoji (Singapore), the Orchestra has developed into a highly professional and technically demanding musical arrangement.

Inner Mongolia is an Autonomous Region, home to the Mongolian ethnic minority, which has been living side by side with the Han-Chinese for centuries. The region has a rich tradition of folk music such as Long, Han-Man and Mongolian Duet Singing. In recent years, the orchestra has invested effort into collecting traditional folk pieces and transforming them into contemporary arrangements such as, The Drums of Yin Mountain and Gambling, which because of their authenticity and use of traditional instruments have become audience favorites. The Orchestra's performance tours abroad, such as in Singapore and France, have been rated very positively by the public for their authentic and elegant presentation of Far Eastern music.

The Traditional Chinese Orchestra of Inner Mongolia consists of a total of 68 musicians and focuses its work primarily on traditional music concerts, supporting large-scale performances of the Han-Man Theatre, as well as composing new songs and musical education. As a prime example of the musical tradition of Inner Mongolia, the orchestra is dedicated to the promotion of inner Mongolian music by professional performances and the composition of authentic pieces that remain true to their ethnic and geographic origin.

Condcutor: Lie ZHANG

Lie Zhang is a member of the Chinese Musicians Association and the director of the China National Orchestra Society. He is also the Vice Secretary-General of the China Conductor Committee and a national level conductor.

Currently, Lie Zhang is the permanent conductor of the China Radio, Film and Symphony Orchestra as well as the Radio National Orchestra. Previous positions include: art director and guest conductor for the Central Conservatory of Music; the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra; the Singapore Chinese Orchestra; the Taipei Municipal Orchestra of Chinese Traditional Music the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts; and the permanent conductor of the Guangdong Orchestra.

Lie Zhang graduated from the Xi'an Conservatory of Music in 1984 and received further education in the Conducting Department of the Chinese Central Conservatory of Music after which he attended master classes in conducting under the guidance of Professor Baum in Germany.

Lie Zhang has worked in Europe, Asia, and the United States as well as in Greater China: Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. He has written orchestral and ballet music, movie scores, and had work commissioned from the National Orchestra, as well as done concerto and vocal arrangements for more than a hundred works and for this work he has received many awards. His percussion concerto Random Thoughts of Guan Mountain has been in the repertoire of traditional orchestras in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Mainland China. Major works in recent years include: Symphonic Song of the Wind and Song of Resentment, and music for the movies Dumb Mama and Village of the Sour Jujube. His work for Fantasia Little Balang won the first prize in the national competition and Boat Tracker of Huang River won the golden prize of the national competition.

Lie Zhang has a clear and meticulous style of conducting. He is full of passion and has an ability to grasp at the inner soul of the music and reveal it in an innovated way. A British critic once said, "Lie Zhang has a deep understanding of Chinese traditional instruments and his own ways to explain music. He's the soul of a concept; he can balance the sense of music and control the atmosphere of the audience. He can lead the audience in to a world of rich and varied feeling." In recent years, Zhang Lie's work and music has been popular and attracted much attention and praise.

Soprano: Fenglian ZHANG

Fenglian Zhang who enjoys the state's special allowance is the Vice president of Man Han Opera Theatre. Fenglian Zhang is a national first grade performer. She has represented China and Inner Mongolia performing at the Third China Drama Festival in Paris, France, and won the Individual Gold Medal as well as the Collective Traditional Repertoire Award. She also went to Mongolia for a series of exchange performances in celebration of 60 years diplomatic relations between China and Mongolia receiving stellar reviews from experts and audience members alike.

Mongolian Singer: Tu Ya

Mongolian singer Tu Ya is a national second grade performer and recipient of the Ethnic Minorities Singing Contest's second prize. She represented China and Inner Mongolia performing at the Third China Drama Festival in Paris, France, and won the Collective Traditional Repertoire Award.

Morin Khuur: Men De

Horse-head fiddle player and biophoric singer Men De is a national second grade musician who has taken part in the competition of instrumental and vocal music several times. Inheriting a singing style of intangible cultural heritage, Men De participated in the Wiener Musikvereins and earned positive comments. He represented China and Inner Mongolia performing at the Third China Drama Festival in Paris, France, and won the Collective Traditional Repertoire Award.

Long Song:

This genre of music is called Long Song (Urtyn Duu) because each syllable of text is extended for a long duration. For example, a four-minute song may only consist of ten words. Lyrical themes vary depending on context; they can be philosophical, religious, romantic, or celebratory, and often use horses as a symbol or theme throughout the song. Eastern Mongols typically use a morin khuur (horse-head fiddle) as accompaniment and sometimes a type of indigenous flute named limbe. The Oirat groups of the Western Mongols on the other hand, typically sing Long Songs unaccompanied or accompanied with the igil.

Morin Khuur (Horse-head fiddle):

The horse-head fiddle, or morin khuur, is a distinctively Mongolian instrument and is seen as a symbol of the country. The instrument has two strings. There is some controversy regarding the traditional carving of a horse on the upper end of the peg box. Some scholars believe that this is proof that the instrument was originally a shamanistic instrument, as the staffs of shamans have a horse similarly carved on top. The horse is a much-revered animal in Mongolia.

Throat Singing(Overtone singing):

Perhaps the best-known musical form of the Mongols is the throat singing tradition known as hoomii, extant among most Mongols though best known internationally from Tuva. In Mongolia, the most famous throat-singers include Khalkhas such as Gereltsogt and Sundui, while the Tuvan group Huun-Huur-Tu has an international following. This unique type of singing involves the production of two distinctively audible pitches at the same time, including a low pedal note, or drone, derived from the fundamental frequency of the vocal cord vibrations, and higher melodic notes that result when the singer's mouth acts as a filter, selecting one note at a time from among the drone's natural overtone series pitches.

 

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