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Fang Liu

, pipa

Montreal resident Liu Fang has achieved an international reputation for her masterful and deeply spirited pipa playing. Born in Kunming in the Chinese province of Yunnan, Liu Fang began studying the pipa (a Chinese lute) at the age of six and gave her first public performance as a pipa soloist when she was nine. At age eleven, she played for Queen Elizabeth during Her Majesty’s visit to China. Honoured with several provincial and national prizes, Liu Fang graduated from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in 1993, where she also studied the guzheng, a Chinese zither. Since moving to Canada in 1996, Liu Fang has built a remarkable artistic profile by captivating audiences and critics worldwide with the richness and grace of her playing as well as her wide-ranging repertoire, both live and in television and radio broadcasts. In June 2001, she was awarded the prestigious Future Generations Millennium Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts.

Among the numerous solo recitals, concerto performances and concerts at festivals throughout Canada, the U.S., Europe, and South America, Liu Fang has premiered new compositions by the celebrated Canadian composers R. Murray Schafer and Melissa Hui. In fact, most recently she has appeared in the spectacular world premiere of R. Murray Schafer’s musical drama The Palace of the Cinnibar Phoenix, playing out-standing solos on both the pipa and the guzheng. She has also collaborated with traditional master musicians from India, Japan, Syria, and Vietnam. Through these musical exchanges, the art of Liu Fang—while remaining faithful to the purest of traditions— has been enriched by the techniques and sounds that relate it to the various repertoires of the lute, that instrument which has caravanned from the Middle to the Far East on the Silk Road, all along a companion of local oral and classical traditions.

“Masterful, graceful, and riveting.” — BBC London

Mei Hua
Lise Daoust
September, 2004