Chinese pipa player Wu Man and French cellist Gautier Capucon are touring with the NCPA Orchestra in North America. (Photo provided to China Daily)
The Hangzhou-born and San Diego-based musician has imbued the 2,000-year-old, four-stringed Chinese instrument, the pipa, with a contemporary touch.
She will perform American composer Lou Harrison's Concerto for Pipa with String Orchestra.
"Lou Harrison was commissioned by the Lincoln Center and Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra to write the piece in 1997 when he was 80 years old. The composer spent time in Taiwan in his early years and he was familiar with Asian instruments. He wasn't afraid to do anything," Wu said in Beijing, before performing at a send-off concert for the NCPA Orchestra on Oct. 18.
Back in 1997, she premiered the work with the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Dennis Russell Davies.
"It's fascinating to have a Western composer write for a Chinese instrument. I am looking forward to performing with the NCPA Orchestra," Wu says.
"Many of the musicians in the orchestra are from Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, where I graduated; the conductor Lyu Jia, for example. It's like a reunion."