Formosa Quartet With Mei-Hui Wei: 'The Music of Taiwan'VIEW EVENT DETAILS
Presented in partnership with the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Spotlight Taiwan
Thursday, October 26, 2023
7:30 p.m. Program
9 p.m. Reception
Formosa Quartet returns to Asia Society Texas for a performance celebrating Taiwanese indigenous music and nanguan, a beloved style of classical Chinese music known for its soft melodicism. Featuring special guest vocalist and pipa player Mei-Hui Wei from Taiwan, the concert will include contemporary pieces by composer Shih-Hui Chen, who will speak on Taiwanese musical traditions and cultural context of the pieces.
Enjoy a selection of the Formosa Quartet's last performance at Asia Society Texas as part of our Encore Series:
This concert is being presented as part of the "Spotlight Taiwan" project.
About the Artists
Winners of both the First Prize and Amadeus Prize at the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition, Formosa Quartet is “one of the very best quartets of their generation” (David Soyer, cellist, Guarneri Quartet). Hailed as “spellbinding” (The Strad) and “remarkably fine” (Gramophone), the Formosa Quartet has given critically acclaimed performances at the Library of Congress, the Da Camera Society of Los Angeles, the Chicago Cultural Center, the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center, the National Concert Hall in Taipei, Wigmore Hall in London, die Glocke Bremen, and the Kammermusiksaal at the Berliner Philharmonie. The founding ensemble’s deep commitment to championing Taiwanese music, and promoting the arts in Taiwan, has expanded to include the exploration of the rich folk traditions and heritages found in America today, and an insatiable search for the fresh and new in string quartet expression.
Mei-Hui Wei 魏美慧, lead performer of Gang-a-Tsui Theater, is a prolific nanguan artist versatile in both traditional concert and theater styles. Since joining Gang-aTsui in 1993, Wei has toured extensively with the theater. Notable appearances include the International Nanguan Gala in Singapore, the Asian Traditional Arts Festival in South Korea, the International Traditional Dance Festival in Mexico, and three U.S. tours, as well as other appearances in Japan, Poland, and Indonesia. Wei received her master’s degree in nanguan performance at the Taipei National University of the Arts. She has shared her nanguan experience and expertise and has joined the effort to preserve and define nanguan theory, history, and performance practice. She obtained her master’s degree in nanguan performance from the Department of Traditional Music, Taipei National University of the Arts, in 2016.
Taiwanese-American composer Shih-Hui Chen is fascinated by the narratives at the intersection of identity, culture, and tradition. In her works, she seeks to cross boundaries between music and society, between the music of distinct cultures, and between music and other art forms. Chen is the founder/ director of 21C: Classical, Contemporary, and Cross-Cultural Asian Music, a performing arts festival that fosters international exchange between Asia and the U.S. through an annual series of lectures and performances.
Shih-Hui Chen has worked with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, the Utah Symphony and the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra. Recognition of her work has come from institutions that include the American Academy in Rome, the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the Fulbright Scholar Program, as well as the American Academy of Arts and Letters, which awarded her the Walter Hinrichsen Prize in 2023. She is currently on the faculty at the Shepherd School of Music, Rice University.
Performing Arts and Culture programs at Asia Society Texas are presented by Syamal and Susmita Poddar. Major support comes from Nancy C. Allen, Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, The Brown Foundation, Inc., the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance, The Clayton Fund, Houston Endowment Inc., and Mid-America Arts Alliance. Generous funding also provided by The Anchorage Foundation of Texas, The Cullen Trust for the Performing Arts, and Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas), National Endowment for the Arts, Texas Commission on the Arts. Additional support is by the Friends of Asia Society, a dedicated group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing exceptional programming to Asia Society Texas.
Performing Arts and Culture Presenting Sponsors
Syamal and Susmita Poddar
Performing Arts and Culture Program Sponsors
About Asia Society Texas
Asia Society Texas believes in the strength and beauty of diverse perspectives and people. As an educational institution, we advance cultural exchange by celebrating the vibrant diversity of Asia, inspiring empathy, and fostering a better understanding of our interconnected world. Spanning the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, our programming is rooted in the educational and cultural development of our community — trusting in the power of art, dialogue, and ideas to combat bias and build a more inclusive society.
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