Arts & Events

Press Release: Melody of China to Combine Chinese Traditional Music with Western New Music in Bay Area Premiere Performances in November

Friday October 24, 2014 - 11:06:00 AM

Talent and beauty are merged into one as Melody of China, San Francisco’s premiere Chinese chamber ensemble, premieres a new work at Old First Church on Friday, November 7 at 8 P.M. with follow-up performances at Yoshi’s Oakland and the Community School of Music and Arts in Mountain View. The program will feature captivating performances by the bold and dynamic Melody of China, known for their mastery of Chinese traditional instruments, with talented guests Peter Josheff, Jon Jang, Francis Wong, Marcus Shelby and Deszon X. Claiborne.

All three concerts will showcase Melody of China’s (MoC) newest commissions, exciting collaborations, and lively traditional selections. The program at Old First Church (San Francisco) will feature the premiere of Yuanlin Chen’s "Coexistent Beauty" for yangqin, guzheng, pipa, sheng, dizi, bass clarinet, violin, cello, keyboard and electronics. Chen’s piece, supported by a grant from Chamber Music America, will be performed again at the Community School of Music and Arts and Yoshi’s Oakland. In the composer’s words: “Coexistent Beauty explores differences and connections in various perspectives among human society.” The program at Yoshi’s will also include a new work for Chinese instruments and jazz quartet along with a vocal performance by MoC’s own Gangqin Zhao. The program at the Community School will include Chen’s new work and traditional selections. Other pieces include "Flying China," MoC’s own medley of traditional pieces showcasing each instrument, and several other stirring selections from the group’s vast traditional repertoire.

The concerts will feature several high-profile guests including the bay area’s leading new music clarinetist Peter Josheff, violinist Dan Flanagan, cellist Kevin Yu, drummer Deszon X. Claiborne, Mongolian Horse-head fiddle master Bo Li and keyboardist Eric Myers. The Yoshi’s date will also feature jazz pioneers pianist Jon Jang, saxophonist Francis Wong and bassist Marcus Shelby.  


TICKETS & PERFORMANCES: Melody of China performs three shows: the first is Friday, November 7, 8 P.M. at Old First Church, 1751 Sacramento Street, San Francisco. Tickets are $17 General Admission; $14 for Seniors 65 and over; $5 for full-time Students; Children 12 and under are free; visit or call (415) 474 - 1608. The second performance is Sunday, November 9, 2 P.M. at the Community School of Music and Art, 230 San Antonio Circle, Mountain View; admission is Free; visit for more information. The third concert takes place Tuesday, November 11, 10:30 P.M. and includes a special Chinese/jazz fusion performance; it’s happening at Yoshi’s Oakland, 510 Embarcadero W., Oakland; tickets are $12; visit for details and to purchase tickets.  


ABOUT MELODY OF CHINA: Co-founded by Hong Wang and Yangqin Zhao, Melody of China has helped to popularize Chinese music in San Francisco, the Bay Area and throughout the nation. The ensemble has premiered over 40 new works by 20 contemporary composers including Kui Dong, Gang Situ, Yuanlin Chen and Carl Stone. They’ve performed all over the world including New York’s Lincoln Center, in Germany with the Berlin Philharmonic, and at the Chicago Jazz Festival. Members include: yangqin (hammered dulcimer) soloist and Melody of China Director Yangqin Zhao, Gangqin Zhao on guzheng (zither), Shenshen Zhang on pipa (lute), Wanpeng Guo on sheng (mouth organ), Xian Lu on dizi (bamboo flutes) and Li Bo on matouqin (horse-head fiddle). Although they all trace their origins to China, they’ve succeeded in making the Bay Area home by carving a niche being the only long-standing Chinese chamber ensemble in San Francisco and one of the leading ensembles in the U.S. The group’s longevity has enabled them to break barriers and work with a variety of arts organizations including Oakland Ballet, San Francisco Symphony, Lines Ballet, Earplay and Anthony Brown’s Asian-American Jazz Orchestra. 

For more information about the group, visit Melody of China’s website at
See MoC performance video: