Faculty Recital Focuses on Chinese Music, Painting and Poetry

Sunday, February 26 at Westminster Choir College.
Friday, February 10, 2012

The Westminster Conservatory Faculty Recital Series will continue with a program entitled Mountain and Water in Music and Ink on Sunday, February 26 at 3 p.m. in Bristol Chapel on the campus of Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton.  Admission is free.

The stunning beauty of the Chinese landscape served to inspire poets, painters and musicians alike. This multi-media presentation brings together three art forms inspired by this landscape: poetry, music, and painting. The performers will be Westminster Conservatory faculty members Fang-Ting Liu, piano; Dezheng Ping, violin and er-hu; Feifei Tang, piano and Timothy Urban, voice, with Shunzhu Wang of the Foreign Language and Literature Program at Rider University.  They will be joined by renowned Taiwanese soprano Li-Chan Chen-Maxham in presenting recited poetry and music against a backdrop of projected images of mountain-water paintings and the landscape that inspired them.

The program will include recitation of poetry by such famous poets as Li Bai (701 – 762), Wang Wei (699-759) and Su Sher (1037-1101), musical settings of poetry by Tzao Shue Chin (1724-1763) and Chang Chi (772-846), as well as folk melodies depicting the Mongolian landscape played on er-hu. The backdrop of projected images of the Chinese landscape and mountain-water paintings will feature works by such renowned artists as Wu Zheng (1280-1354) and Huang Gongwang (1269-1354).

Pianist Fang-Ting Liu began her studies in piano, violin and organ in Taiwan, continued her studies in Europe and the United States, made her New York debut with the Manhattan Festival Symphony Orchestra and appears regularly as piano soloist, vocal accompanist and chamber musician. Performance highlights include a solo concert in the New Jersey Governor’s Mansion, the 135th Philadelphia Chinatown Anniversary celebration and the 2006 North America-Taiwanese Culture Festival-Performing Arts. In 2007 she was assistant conductor for The Firmiana Rain by composer May-Tchi Chen. Her recordings include the complete album of Hugo Wolf’s Spanisches Liederbuch. Ms. Liu earned a master’s degree in Piano Performance and Piano Accompanying-Coaching from Westminster Choir College .

Dezheng Ping, violinist and er-hu player, has been on the Westminster Conservatory faculty since 2006.  He has performed as both a soloist and a concert master at such locations as Syracuse Symphony Orchestra and Beijing Central Philharmonic of China; Manalapan Battleground Symphony; Augusta Symphony; Delaware Valley Philharmonic Orchestra; and Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra.  Mr. Ping received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Beijing Central Conservatory of Music in China, and his Master of Arts degree from Minnesota State University.

Pianist Feifei Tang is a first year graduate student majoring in Piano Pedagogy and Performance at Westminster Choir College where she also teaches private piano and for the Piano Plus program at Westminster Conservatory.  A native of Guangzhou, China, she received her B.M. in Music Education and Piano Performance from Xinghai Conservatory of Music and was the silver medalists in the International Children and Youths Piano Competition.

Baritone Timothy Urban has been on the faculty of Westminster Conservatory since 1995 where he teaches voice, recorder, and music theory.  He has appeared in solo and chamber music recitals in Hungary, Brazil, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, as well as on both coasts of the United States.  Dr. Urban holds graduate degrees in voice and recorder performance, music theory, and early music performance practice as well as a doctoral degree in musicology specializing in early seventeenth century Italian music.

Shunzhu Wang, a prolific writer and translator, received his Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature from Jiangsu Teachers’ College (Soochow University), P.R.C. and his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Purdue University.  Dr. Wang is currently under contract by Beijing University Press and has two published books on western rhetoric. Dr. Wang is currently an associate professor of Chinese language and literature at Rider University.

Soprano Li-Chan Chen-Maxham has performed leading roles in such operas as in La Boheme, The Magic Flute, Faust, Der Freischutz, Don Pasquale, Rigoletto, Dialogues des Carmelites, The Savage Land, and Re-Bi-Ya and Xi-Shi with Michigan Opera Theatre, Hawaii Opera, Taipei Opera Theater, Stadttheater Gelsenkirchen in Germany and the Stadttheater St. Gallen in Switzerland, along with major orchestras in her native Taiwan.

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