Soloist for pipa (Chinese lute) and guzheng (Chinese zither)

Presskits - information and music samples

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Video demo for Pipa

The beauty and grace of
Chinese traditional pipa music

Introduction: Classical (literati) tradition | The history of the pipa and its repertoire

14.12.2008: Liu Fang interview and live performance on Dutch TV (la complète émission de la télévision sur le web)

An extract (4 min.) guzheng and pipa playing from a documentary by CBC TV (BravoCanada) broadcasted on January 12, 2008, 8:30pm. Thanks to BBC (BravoCanada) for the permission to use this recording for demo purposes. (more ...

An HQ video by Dutch TV, December 14, 2008: Interview and live performance at the vrijegeluiden TV (music channel).

Traditional Chinese Pipa Music - video samples

No. 1: "King Chu doffs his armour"  (Bawang Xiejia), traditional pipa solo from classical repertoire, martial style, concert live recorded at the Early Music Festival in St. Petersburg, December 18, 2012.

About this piece

"The King Chu doffs his Armour" is one of the most famous masterpiece for pipa solo. Information about the composer is still not clear. There are some research works which seem to indicate that the original composer could be the renowned poet Wang Wei (around 7th century) whose painting and pipa playing are equally famous. The music theme is about the tragic historical event: the defeat of King Xiang Yu who thought himself invincible. During the war which followed the foundation of the Han Empire (202 BC - 220 AD), Xiang Yu suffered a fatal defeat. The pipa depicts the scene of the battle, noises of the soldiers' flight, and the indescribable feeling of being defeated and of having to farewell his beloved concubine Yuji. The performance of this piece demands a whole range of complex techniques and virtuosity, with speed, precision and restraint.

Liu Fang played this piece in 2002, concert live (recorded in Pierre-Mercurre Hall in Montreal on March 27, 2002, Curtesy of CH Montreal, Chinese TV Channel, Mr. Zhou Fan). The whole piece is about 11 minutes.

Comments on Liu Fang's playing

"It's an amazing video clip of Liu Fang performing. You can't help but be drawn into her world.
At first glance, it may seem like her fingers are tensed up at times, but on the contrary, they are extremely relaxed and so agile and responsive to the music that it draws the soul of the music out through its movements. Interestingly enough, it is not only the active fretting fingers, but the inactive fingers that also determine the sound, as Chinese music, like its language, is full of tonalities, and the general shape of the hand will bring out a different nuance...." - Helen, Guitarist

"... This performance you’re about to see is an example of technique only complimenting the music, and not overshadowing it...".

"A sensational example... You can hear her voice speaking directly to you." - NEY MELLO, Guitarist

(See more in press reviews ...)

No. 2: "Wild geese descending on the sandy beach" (classical tradition). Seeing the wild geese flying freely and elegantly in the sky and then descending on the sandy beach, relaxed and playful, one cannot but feel the beauty and harmony of nature. This piece entails the Taoist philosophy.


No. 3: Falling Snow decorate the Evergreen Lyrical style (civil style) from the traditional classical repertory:

Using natural scenes or phenomena to describe inner feeling and determination is quite common in Chinese arts. This piece, derived from very old times, is like a Traditional Chinese painting, depicts the snowing in a evergreen forest, beautiful and harsh. Since the pine tree can resist extreme cold, it is a symbol of a strong self.

"Falling Snow decorate the Evergreen"
More Videos


No. 4: The ambush from all sides Martial style from the traditional classical repertory:

The ambush from ten sides (classical tradition): With its highly virtuoso programmatic effects and tremendous power, this piece is regarded as the most representative of the "martial repertoire" of classical pipa solo. It describes the glorious victory of Liu Bang over Xiang Yu in 202 BC, the same theme as "The King doffs his Armour", however, from a totally different view point.

Title also known as "The Ambush from ten sides"


No. 5: "On a theme to dance" (Ge Wu Yin), composed by Liu Tianhua (1895-1932), recorded live at Liu Fang's solo concert at TFF Rudolstadt festival on July 9, 2006. This clip is taken from the festival DVD with permission to use for demo purposes.

(3min. 10MB)

Click here to view the whole piece recorded life at the concert in Paris (Theatre dela Ville, May 8, 2006)


Though died very young, Liu Tianhua (1895-1932) is one of the greatest composers in Chinese history. He composed three pieces for pipa and several other pieces for different instruments, all became master pieces of classical repertoire.

No. 6: "Autumn Moon in a Palace of Han Emperor" (Hangong Qiuyue), traditional piece from the Chinese classical repertoire, recorded live at Liu Fang's solo recital in the music festival in Almeria, Spain, on June 19, 2008. (This is an Extract. The complete piece is found in Liu Fang's guzheng solo album.)  

About the music:

This ancient melody is said to represent the loneliness and melancholic feeling of the ladies in the palace of the Han. The title just perfectly reflects the musical atmosphere.

No. 7: "The night of the Bonfire Fest" (Huobajie zhi ye), composed by Wu Junsheng for pipa solo, performed by Liu Fang, accompanied by Ziya Tabbasian on framed drum.
No. 8: "Red River" (Honghe Yejin), composed by Zheng Qingrong in the 1980s based on a folk melody of Yi people inYunnan Province, China. This is a concert live recording during a tour in France in 2005.

No. 9: "The Spring on the Tianshan Mountaon" , composed by the renowned pipa master Wang Fandi, is one of the famous piece from Xinjiang folk music.
Originally for pipa solo. In this demo video, Liu Fang performed with percussionist Ziya Tabassian on concert live.


The Spring Rain, composed by Zhu Yi & Wen Bo in the 1980s.



Other sources for online listening:






Liu Fang solo guzheng CDs

2010: New CD release

Liu Fang CDs available now for online order


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