PRISM Quartet

ANTIPHONY: PRISM Quartet & Music From China

United by their passion for fresh soundscapes, the PRISM Quartet and the ensemble Music From China join forces for a daring cross-cultural program, including works from their 2014 recording The Singing Gobi Desert, described by Sequenza 21 as “Brilliant and expressive,” and their 2010 recording Antiphony , hailed by Chamber Music magazine for “shattering expectations” and “pioneering achievements of the highest order.” The program explores the dynamic relationship between Eastern and Western, contemporary and ancient cultures, drawing from recently commissioned works by Zhou Long, Bright Sheng, Chen Yi, Lei Liang, Huang Ruo, Fang Man, Ming-Hsiu Yen, and Wang Guowei.

PRISM and Music From China’s collaboration bridges remarkable distances of space and time. The instruments of Music From China, including the erhu (violin), sheng (mouth organ), pipa (lute), yangqin (hammered dulcimer), and percussion, have been played for more than a millennium, while the saxophone bears a French patent dating from the Industrial Revolution. According to Pulitzer Prize-winner Zhou Long, the music of Antiphony “evolves a multifaceted and layered language containing Occident and Orient, and forging a musical hybrid enriched by both traditions.”

  • Fang Man

  • Bright Sheng

  • Lei Liang

  • Zhou Long and Chen Yi

  • Huang Ruo

  • Ming-Hsiu Yen

  • Yihan Chen, pipa

  • PRISM and Music From China

Program Repertoire

Zhou Long (b. 1953) Antiphony for Erhu, Daruan, Percussion and Saxophone Quartet (2008)+
Bright Sheng (b. 1955) The Singing Gobi Desert for Sax Qtet, Perc., and Chinese Instruments (2011)+
Wang Guowei (b. 1961) Songs for Huqin and Saxophone Quartet (2009)+
Chen Yi (b. 1953) Septet for Erhu, Pipa, Percussion and Saxophone Quartet (2008)
Ming-Hsiu Yen (b. 1980) Chinatown for Yangqin, Pipa, Percussion and Saxophone Quartet (2008)+
Fang Man (b. 1977) Dream of a Hundred Flowers for Sax Quartet and Chinese Instruments (2011)+
Lei Liang (b. 1972) Messages of White for Sax Quartet, Erhu, Pipa, Yangqin, and Percussion (2011)+
Huang Ruo (b. 1976) The Three Tenses for Pipa and Saxophone Quartet (2005)

Guest Artist

Music From China

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Music From China performs an eclectic repertoire that embraces both traditional and contemporary music. The ensemble was founded in 1984 by Director Susan Cheng and is under the artistic direction of erhu virtuoso Wang Guowei. Performing on Chinese instruments, the...

Music From China performs an eclectic repertoire that embraces both traditional and contemporary music. The ensemble was founded in 1984 by Director Susan Cheng and is under the artistic direction of erhu virtuoso Wang Guowei. Performing on Chinese instruments, the musicians invoke the sonorities of age-old musical traditions and interpret the music of today. Music From China has appeared at colleges and universities including Princeton, Duke, Pittsburgh, Yale, Wisconsin, Dayton, Bucknell, Vermont, Colgate, Indiana, Bard, Vassar, Dartmouth, Lafayette, Peabody Conservatory, and Eastman School of Music. The ensemble has also performed at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, San Diego Museum of Art, Chautauqua Institution, 92nd Street Y, Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Boston Early Music Festival, American Folk Festival, and the Library of Congress. A proponent of new music, Music From China has collaborated with celebrated composers Chen Yi, Zhou Long, Bright Sheng, Bun-Ching Lam, Dorothy Chang, James Mobberley, Vivian Fung, Tan Dun, Lei Liang, Yu-Hui Chang, and Derek Bermel. Music From China is the recipient of an Adventurous Programming special commendation from Chamber Music America and ASCAP for creative programs that combine the music of East and West. Please visit www.musicfromchina.org.

Press Quotes

  • James Keller, Chamber Music magazine

    "I liked them all (the six compositions on the CD, Antiphony) and five of them I can’t get out of my head… these musicians go far beyond the expectations any listener might reasonably propose... the day may not be far off when instrumental combinations such as those heard on this remarkable CD don’t strike many listeners as terribly unusual. When that time comes, this CD in general, and Zhou Long’s piece in particular, may be held up as pioneering achievements of the highest order."