The Butterfly Lovers Concerto: Celebrating Chinese New Year
Saturday 2nd Feb, 2019 → Sunday 3rd Feb, 2019

Kleinhans Music Hall
3 Symphony Circle Buffalo, NY 14222
Time: Sat 8:00pm | Sun 2:30pm
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Saturday, Feb 2nd
Sunday, Feb 3rd

Usher in the Year of the Pig and celebrate the musical legacy of China! Xu Ke, called the “Paganini of the erhu world,” performs the beloved Butterfly Lovers Concerto, one of the most popular pieces of Chinese music ever written. With help from our friends at UB’s Confucius Institute, it’s sure to be a festive night! Come one hour early to hear directly from the artists in Musically Speaking, sponsored by Uniland Development.

Ken Lam, conductor
Xu Ke, erhu
LI YUAN Train Toccata
HE ZHANHAO/CHEN GANG Butterfly Lovers Concerto
BORODIN In the Steppes of Central Asia
STRAVINSKY Song of a Nightingale

About Ken Lam

Music Director of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra in South Carolina, USA and newly appointed Music Director of the Illinois Symphony, conductor, Ken Lam also holds the posts of Resident Conductor of the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina, Artistic Director of Hong Kong Voices and Conductor Laureate of the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestras.

Winner of the 2011 Memphis Symphony Orchestra’s International Conducting Competition and a featured conductor in the League of American Orchestra’s 2009 Bruno Walter National Conductors Preview with the Nashville Symphony, Maestro Lam made his US professional debut with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in June 2008 as one of four conductors at the invitation of Leonard Slatkin. In recent seasons he has led performances with the symphony orchestras of Cincinnati, Baltimore, Detroit, Memphis, Illinois, Hawaii and Meridian, as well as the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Guiyang Symphony and the Taipei Symphony Orchestra.

Ken Lam studied conducting with Gustav Meier and Markand Thakar at Peabody Conservatory. David Zinman and Murry Sidlin at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen and Leonard Slatkin at the National Conducting Institute. He read economics at St. John’s College, Cambridge University and was an attorney specializing in international finance for ten years before becoming a conductor.

About Xu Ke

Xu Ke received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music in 1982 with honors from the Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing, China, where he studied under the Erhu master Yusong Lan.

Xu Ke was the first Erhu in the China National Traditional Orchestra in 1983.  In 1986, Xu Ke conducted his first tour of the United States as the musical director of a Chinese Music delegation.

Since 1978, Xu Ke has been a soloist with numerous world orchestras, including the Japan Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, the New Japan Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Philharmonic Orchestra of China.  Xu Ke has also held recitals in Japan, Hong Kong, Finland, Canada, Estonia, Europe, China, and the United States.

Xu Ke is also an outstanding composer of music for the Erhu, as well as an innovator with regard to how that instrument is played.  Xu Ke expanded the erhu’s range from two to more than four octaves, and has developed unique and innovative techniques such as double-stopping, artificial harmonics in high position and graduated prestissimo staccato.

In July, 2000, Xu Ke was invited as an art director by Yo-Yo Ma to participate in the Silk Road Project at the Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, Massachusetts.  In October, 2000, Xu Ke conducted the debut performances of the ‘’Fiddle Suite’’ by Chen Yi, in Konzerthaus, Berlin, Herkulessaal, Munich and other major concert halls throughout Germany with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra in Oct. 2000.  In July, 2001, Xu Ke was the artistic director of the ‘’Silk Road Music’’ concert held during the 17th Tokyo Summer Festival in the Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall. The Sony Classics label released an album recorded during the Silk Road Project featuring Yo-Yo Ma, Xu Ke and an ensemble of other performers.  Xu Ke was the first Erhu master in the world to record on the RCA label.  He currently records for his own label, XUA, which stands for “Xu Arts”

In September 2003, Xu Ke performed at the world famous Carnegie Hall.  Since then, he has preformed with world famous groups such as the Philharmonisches Streichquintett Berlin,  the Boston Modern Project Orchestra, the Shanghai Quartet, the Czech Philharmonic Ocete, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the US Pacific Symphony Orchestra all while traveling throughout the world to conduct recitals and master classes.

In March 2004 and 2007, he was named Guest Professor of Erhu at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and Conservatory of Music in Shanghai China, becoming the first overseas resident to be bestowed such a great honor from his homeland. In 2008, Xu Ke founded three erhu schools in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka. Currently, Xu Ke resides in Tokyo Japan.

He was awarded a platinum album from BMG Hong Kong in 1993.

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