Live Performance of Traditional Chinese Music

The Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra has adapted its popular public educational series (normally presented in libraries across the Lower Mainland) into an online event! Join us on Zoom to celebrate Asian Heritage Month with VICO musicians Tai-Lin Hsieh (zheng) and Zhongxi Wu (suona, guanzi, sheng), who will introduce and demonstrate their traditional Chinese instruments live on screen. These solo performances will be interspersed with video clips from the VICO’s concert archive, showcasing the instruments in an intercultural ensemble context. Sit back, relax, and watch/listen as your musical horizons expand! Suitable for ALL AGES. 

More about the VICO: http://www.vi-co.org


Registration required. Register online or call 604-987-4471, ext. 8175. Zoom link will be sent to those registered in advance of the meeting date.

This meeting will take place on Zoom. What you’ll need: A computer with microphone (or headphones) and webcam for Zoom; or your smartphone/tablet. We will email you the Zoom link in advance of the event.




Tai-Lin Hsieh (zheng)

A graduate of the National Tainan University of the Arts, with a Master’s Degree in Ethnomusicology from Taiwan’s National Normal University, Tai-Lin Hsieh has toured in China, Singapore, Macau, Hong Kong, Japan, the United States, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Belgium. Her achievements include a nomination by Taiwan’s 22nd Golden Records Awards and winning such titles as the Star of Traditional Taiwanese Music & Culture Ambassador of Tainan and the National Concert Hall’s Traditional Music Star, as well as winning the Second Prize and Best Performance in Taipei Chinese Orchestra’s 2007 Zheng Competition. Tai-Lin has premiered numerous ground-breaking works. Some are released on her solo CD Zheng Image (2014) with critical acclaim. Tai-Lin is the founder of Augmented Sixth Ensemble, a soloist with the Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra, and she performs regularly with the Taipei Municipal Chinese Orchestra and Wei Yi New Chinese Music.


Zhongxi Wu (suona, guanzi, sheng)was born in Heilongjiang Province in northeastern China, and is from a family of traditional musicians.  His father and elder brother began teaching him reed instruments when he was eight years old.  Zhongxi later graduated from the Heilongjiang College of Performing Arts, and has performed as a soloist in Japan, Hong Kong, and many cities in the US, including New York, and Washington D.C. He was a guest artist on the sheng at the Carrefour mondial de l’accordeon in Quebec in 2008. In 2012, he was appointed as a member of the China Nationalities Orchestra Society. As a resident of Vancouver, he has taught sheng, guanzi and suona, performed many solos and ensemble pieces, traditional and new music works, recorded CDs with BCCMA and other groups, and performed at the Vancouver Jazz Festival. He has also learned to play the Scottish Highland bagpipes and plays regularly with the Delta Police Pipe Band, with whom he has toured to England to perform for the Queen and will tour to Holland later this year. He has also arranged for East-Meets-West collaborations between suona and bagpipes. In 2014, he performed with the Seattle Symphony and the China Shenzhen Symphony in 2015, at the Benaroya Concert Hall in Seattle.  In 2015, he performed the suona concerto “Lady Hua Mulan” with the BC Chinese Orchestra for their 20th anniversary tour, at the Chan Centre at UBC, Calgary’s Jack Singer Concert Hall, and Edmonton’s Winspear Centre. This year, he was also invited to teach suona, at the VSO Music School in Vancouver, as part of their new and unique Chinese Music Program. He contributed to the book, “Yueqi: Chinese Musical Instruments in Performance” by Alan R. Thrasher and Gloria N. Wong for the sections on sheng and suona.





Sheng: a Chinese mouth-blown free reed instrument consisting of vertical pipes. It is one of the oldest Chinese instruments, dating back to 1100 BCE (some instruments still exist today that have been preserved since the Han era). Traditionally, the sheng has been used as an accompaniment instrument for solo suona or dizi performances. It is one of the main instruments in kunqu and some other forms of Chinese opera. Traditional small ensembles also make use of the sheng, such as the wind and percussion ensembles in northern China. In the modern large Chinese orchestra, it is used for both melody and accompaniment.


Guanzi: a cylindrical double reed instrument, related to the western and central Asian duduk, duduki, and bili of Eastern Europe, Persia, Armenia, and Georgia. The original instrument was introduced to China through the Silk Road as the bili in the Sui Dynasty (580-618 AD). This ancient bili was most likely made from bamboo, but Bamboo bili are rare now, found only in a few areas in southern China. The more common wooden guanzi is usually made from a type of rosewood with 7 finger holes and one to two thumb-holes. The ends of the instrument are decorated with metal. The guanzi is made in a range of sizes from approximately 25 to 30 cm in length. Some modern instruments are being made with keys to facilitate ease of playing. The reeds are made from a hard cane.


Suona: a double reed instrument with a long body of wood fitted with a flaring brass bell. It has a very brilliant, even strident, tone, and projects very well in any musical situation. For this reason it is utilized as a solo instrument extensively. As well, it has long played a role in weddings, festive events, and other ceremonial occasions. It comes in various sizes to accommodate different pitch ranges.


Zheng: a plucked half-tube wood zither from China, with movable bridges over which strings are stretched. The strings were traditionally made of silk, but today they are usually made of steel or metal wound nylon. The modern Zheng usually has 21 strings, tuned to a pentatonic scale. The performer uses the right hand to pluck the strings, and the tone can be modulated by the left hand pressing the string on the non- speaking side of the bridge


Zoom 3


Sunday, May 23, 2021 - 2:30pm to 4:00pm


  • All Ages