Zhou Long2001

Equally at home in the worlds of traditional Chinese music, western symphonic music and contemporary computer-generated techniques, Zhou Long speaks with an original, uncompromising voice. His family nurtured his talent for the piano; his advanced training was disrupted by the Cultural Revolution. (He was sent to drive a tractor in a remote rural area.) Later, Zhou Long was one of one hundred, chosen from eighteen thousand applicants, when the Central Conservatory reopened in 1977. After graduating in composition, he embarked on a successful career in China. In 1985, Zhou Long emigrated to the United States where a radically different musical culture led him to reevaluate his expressive world, to rebuild his compositional technique and develop a multifaceted and layered language. In Poems from Tang, for string quartet and orchestra, for example, Zhou Long has imagined the traditional western string quartet as the ancient seven string Chinese zither, the qin, forging a hybrid enriched by both traditions. Zhou Long has extended his dialogue to dance, film, and theater, collaborating with H.T. Chen, Chiang Ching, Gao Xing-Jian, Loni Ding, and Ellen Perry among others.
"Thinking about what we could do to share different cultures in our new society, I have been composing music seriously to achieve my goal of improving the understanding between peoples from various backgrounds. My conceptions have often come from ancient Chinese poetry. There are musical traits directly reminiscent of ancient China: sensitive melodies, expressive glissandi in various statements, and, in particular, a peculiarly Chinese undercurrent of tranquillity and meditation. The cross-fertilization of color, material, and technique, and on a deeper level, cultural heritage, makes for challenging work."