Tuesday 13 June 2017, 7.30pm
Genre-defying Chinese percussionist, Beibei Wang, returns to OTO alongside special guests Ansuman Biswas, Jihye Kim, Belle Chen and Emi Watanabi to bring a fully Asian cultural experience to London.
“The Young Chinese virtuoso Wang Beibei is nothing if not flamboyant.” – The Times
Genre-defying percussionist Beibei Wang is an acclaimed international virtuoso percussionist with both Chinese and British musical education background. Beibei has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the classical music world, receiving international praise for her performances. She received double Master Degrees from the Central Conservatory of Music (China) and the Royal Academy of Music (UK). In 2014, she was listed in the top 50 Chinese musicians in the “Sound of East” project by the Chinese Ministry of Culture. In 2015, she was endorsed by the Arts Council ,England receiving an Exceptional Talent visa from British Government. Following a successful recital at SOAS ,University of London, Beibei now leads a traditional Chinese percussion workshops to promote and preserve traditional Chinese percussion at SOAS. Most recently, she was featured on the front cover of China Music Life magazine and in iD China Magzinge in 2017.
Since 2008, as a soloist, Beibei has embarked upon a number of hugely successful international tours at many international music festivals including the Edinburgh International Festival, the Lucerne Festival, the Bach Academy Musikfest Stuttgart, Colour Scape Music Festival. She has collaborated with numerous leading Orchestras worldwide, including: the BBC Symphony Orchestra (UK),the Mahler Chamber Orchestra (Germany),Orchestra dell’ Academia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Italy) the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (Canada), as well as conductors, including: Kent Nagano, Tan Dun, Kristjan Järvi, Muhai Tang, etc.
By exploring new possibilities and challenging assumptions from all fields, she and her collaborators have developed genre-defying projects, pushing boundaries and delighting audiences the world over.
Ansuman Biswas has an interdisciplinary practice encompassing music, film, live art, installation, writing and theatre.
He has worked as a composer and musician in a wide range of contexts from jazz to Indian Classical music, pop songs to industrial noise. He has been commissioned by the Sonic Arts Network, the National Theatre, the Royal Ballet, the English National Opera and Guangdong Modern Dance Company in China.
He has worked with the BBC, Channel Four, MTV, Royal Opera House and The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. He has shown visual art at Tate Modern, The South London Gallery, The Whitechapel Gallery, the ICA.
Jihye wants to be called a “performing artist” rather than a “percussion player”, the word describes well how much she enjoy being on a stage. She has played Korean traditional percussion and her focus of musical activity is playing all kinds of improvised music, not being deviated from the core elements of Korean traditional music. She always desires to collaborate with various genres. She gained her first MA in Korean traditional percussion at Korean National University of Arts and received the Grand Prize at the KBS Korean traditional music award as a member of the group ‘Ensemble Sinawi’ in 2012. She is currently MA student at SOAS, University of London.
“Original and provocative” – Brian Eno
“At the forefront of UK’s new wave of experimental classical musicians” – China Sohu News
Handpicked by Brian Eno as the one to watch, Australian-Taiwanese pianist Belle Chen has distinguished herself with her unique recorded works that are unbound by tradition- often mixing classical music repertoire with recorded soundscapes. Her creativity was celebrated through winning the classical music category of 2015 London Music Awards, as voted by a luminous panel from the UK music industry.
Belle’s unique and versatile creativity as a performer has seen her grace the stages of several major UK festivals and key venues ranging from BBC Radio 3 70th Anniversary at Royal Festival Hall, 2016 Latitude Festival, The Roundhouse to Café Oto. Her work was selected by BBC Radio 3 as one of top 4 best new music by BBC Introducing Classical Artist in the year of 2016.
Forever in pursuit of capturing and recreating special moments and observations through classical music and immersive performances, Belle has collaborated across various creative mediums - from perfume, multimedia, dance, to drama. She believes classical music to be a living language, and often incorporates improvisation as part of her performance.
Since 2016, Belle has been endorsed under the Exceptional Talent scheme by Arts Council England.
Emi Watanabe was born in Japan where she trained in traditional flutes. Emi plays three different types of traditional flutes – Ryuteki, Nohkan and Shinobue. She has been invited to perform with numerous musicians since she moved to the UK in 1995.