Described as “evocative and kaleidoscopic” (Seattle Times), the music of composer Dorothy Chang often reflects the eclectic mix of musical influences from her youth, ranging from popular and folk music to elements of traditional Chinese music. Commissioned by the Vancouver Symphony and Philharmonia Northwest, Gateways, a double concerto for piano and erhu, is a testimony of her own various cultural influences. We close with Rimsky-Korsakov’s famous Scheherazade.
Corey Hamm, piano
Nicole Ge Li, erhu
Pianist Corey Hamm is establishing a unique musical profile performing widely in North America and in Asia as both a soloist and as a chamber musician. His CD of Frederic Rzewski’s hour-long solo piano epic The People United Will Never Be Defeated! won Spotify’s Best Classical Recording 2014, and Best Classical Recording at the 2014 Western Canadian Music Awards. Further recording plans include the complete works for piano by Henri Dutilleux, and a CD of solo works written for him by Canadian composers.
Corey Hamm has commissioned, premiered and recorded over 200 works by composers from all over the world. His most extensive collection of commissioned works includes over 60 pieces for PEP (Piano and Erhu Project). Some of these works are already released on two volumes of PEP CDs with two more to come in 2017 and 2018.
He has also commissioned dozens of works for The Nu:BC Collective and for Hammerhead Consort. As a founding member of Hammerhead Consort, he received the 1993 Sir Ernest Macmillan Memorial Foundation Chamber Music Award, and was winner of the 1992 National Chamber Music Competition.
In recent years, Corey Hamm has, recorded and toured one of the great piano works of the last decades, Frederic Rzewski’s monumental The People United Will Never Be Defeated! (Redshift TK431). He is planning further concerts of this masterpiece, notably for Rzewski’s 80th birthday in 2018.
Dr. Hamm is an award-winning Associate Professor of Piano at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. He is on the Piano Faculty of the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice (SICPP) at NEC in Boston. His beloved teachers include Lydia Artymiw, Marek Jablonski, Stéphane Lemelin, Ernesto Lejano, and Thelma Johannes O’Neill.
Nicole Li began learning Erhu at the early age of 6, and started training professionally at age 11 in the Wuhan Conservatory of Music Affiliated Secondary School, where she received a full scholarship for four consecutive years. Li was later admitted to the prestigious Shanghai Conservatory of Music, where she earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Erhu performance in 2008.
An active Erhu performer, both as a solo artist and as a member of an ensemble, since 2000, Li is a much sought after performing artist in Vancouver. In 2011, she organized and performed in her own Erhu recital in Vancouver, which was also the first full-scale Erhu performance event of its kind held in Canada. In 2013, she was invited to perform for Prime Minister Stephen Harper as the only Chinese instrumental soloist at the Chinese New Year Gala in Vancouver. Later that year, Li performed the celebrated Erhu concerto “Butterfly Lovers” with the BC Chinese Orchestra. . In 2015, Li was a recipient of the prestigious Outstanding Young Leaders Medal of Merit Award. Starting from 2012, Li is collaborating with virtuoso pianist Corey Hamm in bringing the first of many world premieres of new works for Erhu and piano by Chinese and Canadian composers. These performances are being supported by a Canadian Art Council grant as part of a cross-cultural music exchange project. In 2016, “PEP-Piano and Erhu Project ” has become an “Ensemble in Residence in UBC”, and also has had a successful Tour in China during May 2016.
As a performing artist, Li is known for her interpretive expressiveness, stylistic versatility and ability to transverse a wide range of musical genres from the East to the West, from the traditional to the avant-garde. As a teacher, Li is known for her ability to inspire students to excel, as evidenced by all her students’ successful exam results.
Li works out of her, JW Musical Studio, in Richmond, BC where she teaches, rehearses and records her growing erhu repertoire.
Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade op.35 – Leif Segerstam – Sinfónica de Galicia
Blues n’ Grooves 舞动蓝调 by Roydon Tse played by Nicole Li 李歌, erhu and Corey Hamm, piano