Wang Guowei is one of the most outstanding erhu
soloists of his generation. Born 1961 in Shanghai, Wang Guowei joined
the Shanghai Traditional Orchestra at age 17, later becoming erhu soloist
and concertmaster. He also earned a degree from the Shanghai Conservatory
with a major in erhu performance. He gained national prominence in garnering
prestigious awards including the "ART Cup" at the 1989 International Chinese
Instrumental Music Competition and for his performances at the 15th annual
"Shanghai Spring Music Festival." Wang Guowei has toured with the Shanghai
Traditional Orchestra to Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Belgium, Canada,
and the U.S.
As editor, producer and host of music programs for the Shanghai Radio
and East Radio, Wang Guowei introduced music by contemporary composers
to Chinese audiences. His performances on the erhu, including his own
compositions and arrangements, have been recorded on CD and cassette tape
in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Australia. He is also a prodigious author
of articles and papers published in major Chinese music journals. Wang
Guowei founded and directed the East Radio Invitational Artists Chamber
Ensemble in 1994 which gathered the most outstanding Shanghai musicians
to perform classical and contemporary Chinese music.
Wang Guowei is equally versatile playing the classic repertoire of the
erhu as well as new music composed for the instrument and its family of
2-string fiddles. He has performed the music of Zhou Long, Anthony Braxton,
Jason Kao Hwang, Pan Hwang-Long, Zhu Jianer, among others. A composer
himself, Wang Guowei has written music for Chinese and Western instruments,
including "Sheng," a solo for erhu which he premiered in 1996. He visited
Australia in 1997 with a grant from the Australian Ministry of Culture
to compose "Tea House." It received its premiere in Melbourne and was
broadcast by ABC Radio National and recorded on CD. He was commissioned
by the Ethos Percussion Group to write "Two Pieces for Percussion
Quartet" which premiered at Weill Recital Hall on March 4, 2000.
He is recipient of a commissioning award from the American Composers Forum
for "Three Chinese Poems" for Music From China. Wang has performed
with the New Music Consort, Peabody Camerata, Norfolk Chamber Consort,
Four Nations Ensemble, Ethos Percussion Group, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra,
Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and Ornette Coleman Trio.
Wang Guowei assumed the position of Artistic Director of Music From China
in 1996. In addition to performing, he also teaches erhu and is on the
faculty of the Wesleyan University music department as a private lesson
instructor and director of the Wesleyan Chinese Music Ensemble.
Watch streaming video for "The
Moon Reflected in the Erquan Pool"
Watch streaming video for "Fiddle
Awards & Activities
- Commissioned by Ethos Percussion Group to compose Kong' Wu
for percussion quartet which premiered at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital
Hall in March 2000.
- Performed gaohu concerto Butterfly Lovers with the Virginia
Symphony conducted by JoAnn Falletta (March 2000).
one could enjoy the beautiful playing of Wang Guowei, the
evening's soloist. Playing a gaohu, a type of Chinese violin,
he produced a sound that was as unusual as it was hypnotic."
Paul Sayegh, The Virginian-Pilot (Mar.
- Recorded erhu in soundtrack for the movie "The Corruptors."
- Performed in Zhou Long's Rites of Chimes with Yo-Yo Ma at the
Freer Gallery of Art in Washington DC (Sept. 2000)
- Performed with legendary jazz artist Ornette Coleman and the Ornette
Coleman Trio at their sold-out "Global Expressions" concert
at London's Barbican Centre (March 2001).
- Wang Guowei was featured erhu soloist in Jason Kao Hwang's chamber
opera The Floating Box: A Story in Chinatown of which NY Times
critic James Oestreich wrote: "Mr. Hwang's wildly eclectic score
is particularly notable for the role given the erhu, a two-string Chinese
fiddle (beautifully played here by Wang Guowei)
the audience has heard, in lovely interchanges with the
voices, is an erhu-a two-string Chinese fiddle
played by Wang Guowei."
James Oestreich, The New York Times
(Oct. 31, 2001)
- Participation in the orchestra of Bun-Ching Lam's chamber opera Wenji:
Eighteen Songs of a Nomad Flute at the Asia Society (Jan.-Feb. 2002).
- Wang Guowei's erhu concerto for Music From China funded through the
American Composers Forum's Composers Commissioning Program will have
its world premiere in Fall 2002 at Merkin Concert Hall.
More Praise for Wang Guowei's
technique and artistry of these musicians is outstanding, but
the star of the ensemble was Wang Guowei, whose mastery of the
erhu, the gaohu and the zhonghu, three
Chinese two-stringed fiddles of increasing size, is phenomenal
In the hands of a master like Wang, however, this simple instrument
can sing, talk, imitate bird calls and weep in an emotional
language that cuts through any cultural barrier."
Joe & Elizabeth Kahn, Duke University
Chronicle (Feb 2000)
Rudy's 'Fantasie' challenged erhu virtuoso Wang Guowei to mimic
the styles of Texas swing and bluegrass fiddle, among others,
accompanied by a 'virtual ensemble' of recorded electronics
It was a rollicking good time."
Mickey Coalwell, The Kansas City Star
(Jan. 20, 2001)
piece which left the most enduring impression was 'Sails Returning
to Yabase.' Its erhu solo, which showed off the astonishing
technical ability of Wang Guowei
. lifted the piece and
Paul Somers, Classical New Jersey
(Nov. 22, 2000)
at one point who was singing on stage and finally realized that
it was the erhu in its highest register which created such a
human vocalise sound. It only cemented my rising opinion of
. I was ready to hear Berlioz' Harold in Italy
with Mr. Guowei and his two erhus. What a full sounding and
Paul Somers, Classical New Jersey
(Nov. 22, 2000)
to the Pines
The River Flows Silently By
A Village Montage
On the Grasslands
Riding with the Wind
Spring is Here
Birds in the Forest
Lament of the Twin Stars
Variations on the Song of Yang Guan
Autumn Moon Over a Tranquil Lake
A Shandong Melody
Erhu and Symphony
The Moon Reflected in the Erquan Pool
The Fisherman's Night Song
Six Taiwan Folk Songs
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