International Friendship Through the Performing Arts
1960 Cliff Lake Road, Suite 129-219,
Eagan, MN USA
February 21, 2017
For Immediate Release
World Premiere Performance of Gao Hong’s “Chinglish” at The O’Shaughnessy
Join Gao Hong as she celebrates 45 years of music making with the world premiere of her multi-media project “Chinglish.” Gao Hong will perform live on the pipa in two groundbreaking multi-media performances and a storytelling traditional Chinese piece dating back over 100 years that only she plays.
March 24, 2017
The O’Shaughnessy at
St. Catherine University
2004 Randolph Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55105
Tickets are available through The O'Shaughnessy ticket
office by calling 651-690-6700, visit oshag.stkate.edu, or
in person at 2004 Randolph Avenue, St. Paul, MN.
Ticket Prices: $17 in advance, $20 at the door
For seniors, students, groups of 10 or more, or economically disadvantaged:
$14 in advance, $17 at the door.
Additional fees may apply. All seating is General Admission. The O’Shaughnessy is an accessible venue. Please let the ticket office know of any accessibility needs.
For More Information Contact:
Paul Dice, (952) 210-3628
What happens when you confuse “Mountain Dew” with “mildew”? “Cleveland” with “cleavage”? When you’re Chinese and speak no English and your new husband is American and speaks no Chinese? Chinglish is the true story of renowned pipa player Gao Hong and her personal odyssey from her native China, to Japan, and finally to America. Whether she’s telling us about her refusal to believe that ducks can fly or recounting an immigration officer’s emotional response to the love letters she exchanged with her husband, her story is both hilariously funny and movingly poignant. Music is also essential to her performance, and she speaks as eloquently through her live playing as she does through her storytelling. Her journey is also captured in an accompanying video backdrop, bringing music, visual images, and spoken word together to recount her extraordinary story. Created with director and designer Roger Bechtel, Chinglish presents Gao’s funny and moving story in concert with her original compositions for the pipa, performed before a multimedia backdrop. Gao Hong composed all the music and performs her pipa live as she uses looping and special effects to relay her stories.
Gao Hong on the Highway
Though her skills in music are many, her production “Gao Hong on the Highway” focuses on one aspect of Gao Hong's life she remains inept at - driving. In this show Gao Hong shares ridiculous (but true) stories of what happened to one person on Minnesota’s roadways. This comedic performance piece features Gao Hong, her Chinese pipa, and her driving mishaps. In this collaboration directed by media and design specialist Dann Hurlbert, Gao Hong takes the stage against a background of YouTube clips and unique animations while she accompanies all of the action.
Mother-in-Law Fighting with Daughter-in-Law
Lost for decades, “Mother-in-Law Fighting with Daughter-in-Law” was reconstructed by Gao Hong’s mentor - the late pipa master of the Pudong style, Lin Shicheng - and passed on to Gao Hong during her travels to Hong Kong and Beijing. It tells the story of a mother-in-law arguing with her daughter-in-law with a wide array of entertaining and descriptive sounds coming from the pipa.
About Gao Hong
Gao Hong, master of the Chinese pear-shaped lute, the pipa, began her career as a professional musician at age 12. She graduated with honors from China's premier music school, the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, where she studied with the great pipa master Lin Shicheng. In both China and the U.S. Gao has received numerous top awards and honors, including First Prize in the Hebei Professional Young Music Performers Competition and an International Art Cup in Beijing. In 2005 Gao Hong became the first traditional musician to be awarded the prestigious Bush Artist Fellowship, and in 2012 she became the only musician in any genre to win four McKnight Artist Fellowships for Performing Musicians. The Minnesota State Arts Board has awarded her with an Artist Assistance Fellowship, two Artist Initiative Grants, two Folk and Traditional Arts Grants, two Arts Learning Grants and a Cultural Community Partnership grant. She was the winner of a 2012 and 2015 Global Music Award and USArtists International grant from Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Elizabeth & Michel Sorel Charitable Organization, Inc. in New York City has awarded her a Sorel Medallion in Recording grant.
Gao has performed throughout Europe, Australia, Argentina, Japan, Hong Kong, China, and the U.S. in solo concerts and with symphony orchestras, jazz musicians, and musicians from other cultures. She has performed at many major festivals worldwide. Her performances have included those at the Lincoln Center Festival; Carnegie Hall; the Teatro Colon (Buenos Aires); the San Francisco Jazz Festival; the Smithsonian Institution; the Next Wave Festival; Festival d'Automne a Paris in Paris and Caen, France; the International Festival of Perth, Australia; and the Festival de Teatro d'Europa in Milan, Italy. Her performances of pipa concerti with symphony orchestras include several world, U.S., and regional premieres and performances with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Louisville Orchestra, China National Traditional Instruments Orchestra (Beijing), Pasadena Symphony, Heidelberg (Germany) Philharmonic, Women's Philharmonic (San Francisco), Portland (Maine) Symphony, and the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra among others. In addition, she performed worldwide with the Lincoln Center production of “The Peony Pavilion” and was the first pipa player to play the national anthem at a Minnesota Timberwolves’ NBA home game.
As a composer, she has received commissions from the American Composers Forum, Walker Art Center, the Jerome Foundation, Zeitgeist, Ragamala Music and Dance Theater, Theater Mu, IFTPA, Minneapolis Guitar Quartet, Danish guitarist Lars Hannibal, a 416 Club Commission through The Cedar and Jerome Foundation (for Gao Hong on the Highway) and Twin Cities Public Television for the six-part TV series "Made in China." Meet the Composer Inc. in New York City has awarded her two Creative Connections grants and two MetLife Creative Connections grants. Gao is currently Senior Lecturer in Chinese Instruments at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, where she also directs the Chinese Music Ensemble and Global Music Ensemble, and an honorary Guest Professor at both the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and the Tianjin Conservatory.
China's foremost music publication, "People's Music," wrote of Gao Hong that "like the famous Luoyang peony, she has gradually emerged as the best of all beautiful flowers...her performance has extremely strong artistic appeal and belongs under the category of 'fine wine'...the more you listen, the more beautiful it gets…
About Roger Bechtel
Roger Bechtel, Professor of Theater at Carleton College, is both a theater artist and a scholar. He is the artistic director of the Chicago-based multimedia performance company Big Picture Group. BPG’s inaugural production of .duck was named one of the ten best productions of the year by the Chicago Tribune, and its devised performance True + False won the Critic’s Choice award at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival. As an actor and director, he has worked Off-Broadway in New York City and at a host of regional theaters, including the McCarter Theater at Princeton, the Yale Repertory Theater, the Utah Shakespeare Festival, and the Attic Theater in Detroit, where his Hamlet won a best actor award. He is the author of the book Past Performance: American Theatre and the Historical Imagination, and has contributed chapters to several other books, including The History of Collective Creation, The Oxford Handbook of American Drama, and The Wooster Group and Its Traditions. He received an MFA in Acting from the Yale School of Drama and a Ph.D. in Performance Theory and Criticism from Cornell University.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
Gao Hong is a fiscal year 2016 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation by the Minnesota Legislature; and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
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$17 advance, $20 at the door, $17/$14 for seniors, students, Carleton alumni
International Friendship Through the Performing Arts
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