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Tales from the Forbidden City - a five-part series documenting the collaborative NZ-Chinese musical project

(l to r: Jiao Shanlin - perc, Shen Cheng - huqin, Liu Shun - conductor, Rolf Gjelsten - cello, Yang Jing - pipa, Doug Beilman - vln, Helene Pohl - vln,  Dylan Lardelli - composer, Xiao Ma - countertenor, Jack Body - composer, Wang Hua - flutes, Gillian Ansell - vla, Zhao Chengwei - sanxian, Yang Lin - zheng, Wang Yang - sheng, Luo Yuan - qin, Wei Wei - ruan, Zhang Zunlian - erhu, in Jingshan Park, before the first concert at the Forbidden City Concert Hall)

Last year, China’s renowned ensemble the Forbidden City Chamber Orchestra joined with the New Zealand String Quartet to commission seven New Zealand and Chinese composers to write music for their ensembles. Radio NZ Concert’s Kate Mead visited the project’s headquarters in Beijing and spoke with the musicians and composers about their lives, their instruments, their music and the successes and challenges of this innovative project.

Throughout August in Global Sounds we’ll hear the music and voices of the musicians involved in the project.

(1) Jack Body discusses how the project came about; composer Tabea Squire introduces her work, Chimaera; Yang Lin (zheng), Luo Yuan (qin) and Wang Hua (flute) introduce their instruments (RNZ)


Jack Body, composer

Tales from the Forbidden City, Part 1

Jack Body talks about the genesis of the project
Tabea Squire, composer
Tabea’s work, Chimaera, Pt 1
Yang Lin, zheng player
Tabea’s work, Chimaera, Pt 2
Luo Yuan, qin player
Tabea’s work, Chimaera, Pt 3
Wang Hua, flute player
Tabea’s work, Chimaera, Pt 4