Wu Man and the Shanghai Quartet perform composer Zhao Lin’s 2015 quintet, Red Lantern, based on music from a classic Chinese film score by the composer’s father, Zhao Jiping. Wu Man and the Shanghai Quartet, members of which were her former schoolmates at the Central Conservatory in Beijing, have long collaborated in efforts to cultivate a western audience for contemporary and traditional Chinese music.
Zhao Lin describes Red Lantern as a tribute to his father, the eminent Chinese film composer Zhao Jiping, whose Pipa Concerto No. 2 was written for Wu Man and premiered by her with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 2013. Zhao Jiping composed the score for the classic Chinese film Raise the Red Lantern, and his son draws upon this music in the recent quintet. Zhao Lin also describes the piece as a tribute to the Chinese musical tradition more generally.
The Shanghai Quartet includes violinists Weigang Li and Yi-Wen Jiang, violist Honggang Li and cellist Nicholas Tzavaras. Their work is renowned for passionate musicality and impressive technique that melds the delicacy of Eastern music with the emotional breadth of Western repertoire.