Hiram College


A special concert of traditional Chinese music will be performed at Hiram College at 3 p.m. on March 2, 2014, in Frohring Recital Hall. Sponsored by the Hiram Community Trust and the Department of Music, the performance “Guo Yazhi’s World of Winds: The Legend of Suona” will feature the Cleveland Chinese Ensemble and internationally renowned artist Guo Yazhi.

This concert will be Guo’s first Northeast Ohio appearance. He will play more than ten different traditional Chinese wind instruments, including rarely heard instruments such as the xun (an ancient clay ocarina dating back 7,000 years); the guanzi and shuangguan (single and double oboes with clarinet-like tone); and various sizes of suona (a shawm with metal bell). Other instruments will include the houguan (bamboo oboe), hulusi (gourd triple pipe), yu di (jade flute), mu ye (tree leaf), and soprano saxophone.

A native of Shanxi province in northern China, Guo trained at the prestigious Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, where he taught for several years following his graduation. He has released a dozen CDs, performed as a soloist with orchestras throughout China and around the world, and he frequently appears on CCTV, China’s national television network.

In June 1998 he was selected by the Chinese Ministry of Culture as one of China’s most outstanding musicians, and was invited to give a solo performance for the heads of state during President Clinton’s visit to Beijing. Between 1999 and 2011 he served as principal suona performer for the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, winning a Hong Kong Arts Development Award for Best Artist (Music) in 2012. Also a performer of jazz and popular music (often in combination with traditional Chinese music), he has invented a sliding reed device that allows the suona to be played chromatically, and is currently studying at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

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