Shanghai Quartet: Turbulent Times, Beautiful Music

Shanghai Quartet

NEW YORK, October 24, 2008 - In advance of the Shanghai Quartet's two performances at the Asia Society, Weigang Li, the quartet's first violinist, granted an exclusive on-camera interview to the Asia Society's La Frances Hui about politics and music—specifically, about his own memories of growing up during the Cultural Revolution and the quartet's recording of an entire CD, Chinasong (2002), evocative of that period.

Li's recollections encompass both a teenage Red Guard appearing at his family's house and demanding to see his father's diaries and the rash of suicides that swept over the local music faculty during the Revolutionary years. Nonetheless he acknowledged the peculiar nostalgia many Chinese feel for music associated with that era, which was one reason behind the quartet's decision to record Chinasong.