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Strings of Heart Multi-platform Online Fundraising Concert

“Strings Of Heart” Fundraising Chinese Concert, which is an online concert broadcasted through multimedia, is co-organized by The Canadian Quqin (Vancouver Headquarter) Association and No String House, aiming at raising funds for Villa Cathay Care Home. Due to the severity of the spread of Covid-19, many fundraising activities cannot be presented as scheduled. However, the Rejuvenation Project of Villa Cathay urgently demands funds to complete the entire construction project to meet the needs of seniors who require long-term home care services. The organizers planned the Concert which invited renowned musicians in the field of Chinese music to present performances on Fairchild TV and other multimedia channels. As a result, people in the community may stay at home safely to appreciate the amazing music specially arranged for them.


Millennia of Classic Elegance 

At the invitation of Diana Tang, the concert co-organiser and chair-woman of The Canadian Guqin Association, Strings of Heart will be performed by outstanding musicians and broadcast on both TV and Internet.  The concert features melodies of oriental classic elegance, played with ancient Chinese musical instruments including Guqin(古琴), Dizi (笛子, Chinese bamboo flute), Sheng (笙) and Ruan (阮琴).

The themes of the music played by different Chinese musical instruments are spanned by numerous thoughtful ideas and profound sentiments. After an uproar of excitement, there will come a state of serenity and harmony. The music of the Concert will bring the audience into an extremely moving moment so that they are able to orient their lives toward the footsteps and traces imprinted in the long-lasting Chinese culture.


Performers and Instruments

Jin Zhang (music director)

Jin Zhang (Jack) is an internationally awarded artist. His recent acknowledgements are receiving AVIFF Award Cannes in France for his film score of “Lama in the West”, and the composition “Fire” received a nomination for Eclectic Song in the 17th International Independent Music Awards in USA.

Jin Zhang, associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre, received his first musical education at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. Then he traveled to Japan and studied at Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo, Japan. He also studied conducting in master classes with maestro Kazuyoshi Akiyama and Seiji Ozawa.

Jin is a multiple recipient of commissioning grants from the Canada Council for the Arts. In 2006, he was selected by the Canadian Music Centre to be part of their new online initiative entitled “Composer Portraits – Influences of Many Musics.” This project focuses on Canadian composers who have come to Canada from other countries, highlighting their valuable contributions to Canadian music. In 2004, Jin Zhang was honored by the City of New Westminster for ten years of distinguished service to the New Westminster Symphony Orchestra. In 2001, the film he composed music for – “Nu Shu – A Hidden Language of Women in China” – received the Audience Award and Best Documentary at the Festival  Internazionale Cinema Delle Donne in Torino, Italy. In 1986, a composition of his won second prize in a competition in the Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing. In 1984, he won the third prize in a nationwide composition competition in China. He also received an Artistic Achievement Awards issued by Vancouver Chinese Culture Centre. In 2016, the multi media project “High Muck A Muck” that he did composition and sound design received Main Prize in an international competition in England.

Currently Jin Zhang holds the position of Music Director and Conductor in the Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra, the New Westminster Symphony Orchestra and the Vancouver Youth Symphony Intermediate Orchestra. He is also an artistic director of Canada Chinese Performing Arts Society and New World Han Orchestra. He was a resident composer in Casalmaggiore International Music Festival 2015 in Italy, Artistic Director of Golden Maple International Film Festival in Vancouver and White Rock City Moon Festival 2019.

In recent projects, he works on music arrangements for San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and a film score for a media production in China. Mainwhile, he also works on his new composaition. The project received a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts. 

Diana Tang (Guqin)

Among the musical instruments in China, the guqin has the longest history, requires the highest levels of technical skill and aesthetic taste, and possesses the greatest cultural value, humanistic spirit and traditional qualities of a Chinese instrument. It has always been regarded as the most respectable instrument, and is often praised as “the instrument of the sages”, and “the father of all Chinese instruments”. Over the past few millennia, the guqin has played a powerful role of complementing and interacting with other art forms and ways of thinking in China. Thus, the guqin has always played a unique role within Chinese traditional culture. Not only was playing the guqin a required skill that academics historically were expected to master, but it has also been seen as a manifestation of a person’s personality and sentiments. In 2003, the guqin was recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as one of the masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Recently, the renowned guqin master Mr. Guan PingHu played the guqin tune: “Flowing Water” as the most representative piece of music that represents China, and it was broadcast to the universe on the American space shuttle.

Born in Guangdong Province in China, Diana Tang moved to Hong Kong with her parents when she was very young and immigrated to Canada when she was a teenager. Having a British great grandmother, she is one-eighth British.

Diana found her passion in the four Arts of the Chinese scholar: guqin-playing, Chinese chess, calligraphy and painting, as well as Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, Chinese culture and history ever since she was very young.

Having been a student for over ten years of Ms. Qiao Shan, a second generation successor of the famed Jiuyi School guqin master Guan Pinghu, Diana also studied the melodies of “King Wen Playing the Guqin” and “Clouds over the Xiang River” under the supervision of guqin masters Cheng Gongliang and Qi Yi. She spent the past six years perfecting guqin intonation and timbre under the supervision of famed composer, piano instructor and performer Xie Tianji. Recently she is also learning music analysis and composition under famed conductor and composer Zhang Jin.

Diana is deeply aware that guqin is an instrument for the improvement of the soul. It amalgamates the ancient Chinese philosophies of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism. It encompasses the trinity of heaven, earth and the person. It obeys the harmony and laws of nature. It embodies thoughtfulness, artistry and philosophy all in one. She also appreciates that guqin is steep in culture and unique in its thoughtful inspiration and artistic appeal.

Diana dedicates herself in the promotion of traditional Chinese culture since moving to Canada over 40 years ago. She was an instructor of guqin at the UBC Asian Studies Centre in 2005 and 2009.

In 2020, Diana published The Way of the Guqin, the product of her 15-year effort and a thoroughly researched book of guqin, as her way to promote to the world, in both English and Chinese, the ancient musical instrument and Chinese culture.

Zhong-xi Wu (Sheng)

The Sheng (笙) is an ancient Chinese mouth-blown wind instrument dating back 3500 years, and is one of the oldest free reed instruments known in the world. Made of bamboo, the Sheng can be used for both melody and accompaniment. It evolved into the modern pipe organ after being introduced to Europe. The Sheng was commonly used for accompaniment in royal ceremonies and banquets, or as ensembles by folks outside the royal courts.
Zhongxi Wu is the 4th generation descendant of the Wu Family of Suona players in the Chinese Province of Heilongjiang. He is an honorary overseas director of the Cultural Wind Instrument Society of China. He plays Suona and Sheng for the Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra and is a recurring soloist guest with the BC Chinese Orchestra.

Zhongxi is an instructor at the Vancouver Symphony School of Music. He is also the first Chinese piper of the Delta Police Pipe Band, and had the honor of playing with Paul McCartney two years in a row in Vancouver.

Charlie Lui (Dizi / Chinese bamboo flute)

The Xiao is an ancient instrument which first appeared in the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD), and is likely imported from the northwestern part of China where Sichuan and Gansu Provinces are located today. It is an end-blown flute made of bamboo. With its soft and melancholy timbre, it comes across as the sound of nature.

Prior to the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907 AD), the term Xiao (簫) denoted a multi-tube instrument. With the growing popularity of the single-tube vertical flute during the Tang Dynasty, the vertically blown, single-tube flute became known as the Xiao. The transverse flute was called the Dizi (笛子), and the multi-tube flute took on the name of Paixiao (排簫) from that time forward.

A multiple award winner, Charlie masters a wide range of Chinese wind instruments, including Dizi (Chinese bamboo flute), modified Chi-ba, Xiao, Xun, Koudi, Paixiao, Bawu, and Hulusi. Charlie is the principal Dizi player and general director of the BC Chinese Music Orchestra, a member of the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra, and the co-founder of Pentatonics. As a soloist, Charlie has performed numerous Dizi concerti and has performed on a number of CDs: Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra’s “Imaged Worlds” (2010); composer Jin Zhang’s (張進 Canada) “Tracing” (2008). In 2011, he premiered concerto grosso “Tsu-ur Song”  (潮歌) by Dr. Ning Wang (王寧) with the Nu: BC and the BC Chinese Music Ensemble in a Canada-China collaboration. Charlie will perform Steve Chatman’s “Earth Songs” with Vancouver Symphony Orchestra on Oct 22 & 23, 2011.

Grew up in a musical family, Charlie studied the cello under his father Ki Ling Lui (呂其嶺) since 1988. However, the Dizi became his primary focus in 1995. Charlie moved to Vancouver in 1996 and started to study the Dizi intensively with Jian Min Pan (潘建明). In 2000, he traveled to China to study with Wei-Yu Tan (譚謂裕), professor of Shanghai Conservatory of Music.

Tim Chan (Yuan)

Yuan, also known as Yuan-Xian, is a plucked string instrument which got its name from one of the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove in the Western Jin Dynasty (265 – 316AD). Earlier known as Qin Pipa, it was overshadowed by the Pipa which was introduced into China and took over the name, thanks to its popularity. Subsequently, Qin Pipa took on the name of Yuan-Xian, one of the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove who was a famous Yuan player.

Over the years, the Yuan has evolved into numerous sizes and forms. The family of Yuan instruments was widely used by civilians in solo performances and in ensembles.

Tim Chan was born in Vancouver, Canada. When he was 6 years old, he began learning sheng performing and music theory from famous wind musician Mr. And Mrs. Wu Zhongxi for twelve years. Tim is currently the sheng performer and executive member of the BC Chinese Orchestra.

In 2007, he participated in the Fairchild TV Group [Chinese Music Summer Camp] video recording as a demonstrator.

In 2009, he was invited by the Alberta Chinese Cultural Center to perform and promote sheng and traditional Chinese music in Edmonton, which was well received.

In 2010, the Canadian CBC radio station made an introduction and recorded his performance, and nation wide broadcast in Canada. Apart from Sheng performance, he also studied Chinese drum music with the masters of percussion, Gao Chao and Gao Yue.

In 2011, he began to participate in the BC Ruan Emsemble , and learned Da Ruan performance with the teacher Ms. Jiang Geling.
In November 2012, he was invited to participate in the outstanding performance of the China Central Conservatory of Music for overseas grading examinations.

In 2014, he won the championship of Chinese musical instrument performance in the Kiwanis Music Competition.

In August 2015, he took a tour of Calgary and Edmonton with BC Chinese Music Orchestra.

In July 2016, he was invited by the Calgary Chinese Orchestra to participate in the performance of the group.

In May 2017, he participated in the [Canada 150 Silk Bamboo and Maple Music Festival], celebrating the 150th anniversary of Canada, and performed the North American premiere Sheng concerto “Princess Wencheng” with the BC Chinese Orchestra.

In 2020, he was hired as an assistant tutor for the Chinese Music Group of UBC.

Qing-ru Kong (Dizi)

Having started music study at a young age under James Pan and Charlie Lui, Qing-ru is skilled in Di-zi and flute performance of various musical styles. She is serving as the dizi lead in the BC Youth Chinese Orchestra and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra School of Music Azalea Ensemble. She also participates in various major performances such as BC Chinese Orchestra’s Annual Concert at the UBC Chan Centre, and at the 2018 Juno Awards Press Conference in Vancouver.


Concert Date

Strings of Heart will be broadcast on TV, YouTube and other video sharing platforms.

Premiere: August 21, 2021

Canada Fairchild TV Channel 1: (Vancouver time) 5 pm

YouTube: (Vancouver time) 7 pm

The concert video will be released on other video sharing platforms after the premiere.

Villa Cathay Care Home and Rejuvenation Project

Villa Cathay Care Home was established in 1978 and has served over 1600 frail seniors who would otherwise have faced cultural and language barriers in English-speaking care homes. Today, it is one of two licensed non-profit facilities in the Lower Mainland that provides comprehensive culturally focused long-term care for Chinese seniors.

To meet the growing demand for this mission, VCCH embarked on a $72.9 Million Rejuvenation Project. The goal is to enhance the well known quality of care while increasing the capacity from 154 to 224 beds. Phase 1 finished at the end of 2019. When Phase 2 finishes at the end of 2021, VCCH will be a shining example of senior care with Love, Respect and Dignity.

Please give generously and support Villa Cathay Rejuvenation Project to reach the $5M fundraising goal and complete a reimagined home for seniors today and for generations to come! For more information, please call 604-215-3533.