A Colorful Musical Journey to visit Seattle

A scene from the 2012 performance (Photo from the Chinese Culture Festival)

Since immigrating to the United States, Dr. Austin Huang has worked to preserve his Chinese heritage through music.

On Sunday, April 21, Huang will present A Colorful Musical Journey, an Asian American’s Musical Dream Concert, at Benaroya Hall — a performance that blends traditional Chinese music with Western orchestral music.

The concert will present original Asian folk music, heard at the event for the first time arranged in symphonic form. There will be pieces for traditional Chinese instruments, such as the erhu, jingerhu, and jinghu, as well as violin and cello. Other traditional Asian instruments, such as pipa and guzheng, will be heard folded with a Western orchestra.

Although Austin became an American citizen in the 1990s, he had not studied music in China. Rather, he brought with him the memory of musical themes from his homeland and revisited them when he began study in the United States, studying under American composer Roger Briggs.

This concert will bring many people from Korea, China, Canada, and the United States together on stage to perform compositions by Li Fang of the Xinghai Conservatory and Jirong Huang of Canada, as well as by Briggs and Huang of the United States. Hoang’s Jinghu and Jingerhu Double Concerto is the first ever 12-tone composition to feature the jinghu and jingerhu, two-string, bowed instruments normally heard in Chinese Opera.

Over 200 musicians will grace the stage, including Chinese and Korean choirs; Korean singers Dohee Kim and Yu-Seok Oh; Geling Jiang, on jinghu; Yun Song, on jingerhu; and Jirong Huang, on erhu. Concertmaster Victoria Parker will lead Sharyn Peterson, violin soloist, and Matt Rehfelt, cello soloist, and a full Western symphony conducted by Briggs. (end)

A Colorful Musical Journey will be presented at Benaroya Hall on April 21 at 7 p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit ChineseCultureFestival.org.

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Photos on flickr