Melody of China

Melody of China

 San Francisco, California, USA

Melody of China, a non-profit Chinese music group, sees its mission as twofold: to promote classical and modern Chinese music to the diverse communities within the United States, and to promote the synergy of ancient Chinese tradition with the youthful, diverse American culture.


For over a decade, Melody of China has been producing innovative programs that combine traditional and contemporary music. Established by Hong Wang and Yangqin Zhao, along with other musicians from prestigious Chinese music conservatories, its extensive repertoire includes folk songs, classical music, festival music, opera, popular music, and contemporary music, as well as pieces from different ethnic groups in China. This award-winning San Francisco-based ensemble performs regularly throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Multi-instrumentalist Hong Wang and 'yangqin" (Chinese hammered dulcimer) master Yangqin Zhao co-direct the the ensemble. They are joined by Wanpen Guo on "sheng" (mouth organ) and Gangqin Zhao on "guzheng" (table harp), Thomas Lee on "ehru" (spike fiddle) and frequently by other guest artists.

Melody of China offers a wide array of concerts, commissions, classes, workshops, and lectures, as well as a comprehensive educational program for elementary and high school students. Since 1993, they have visited nearly a hundred schools and institutions around the San Francisco Bay Area, and have worked in collaboration with such organizations as Young Audiences of North California, Young Imaginations, Education Division of the Music Center of LA County, San Francisco Symphony's Adventures in Music Program, and many others.

Melody of China breaks down cultural walls with their colorful, fresh, and lively performance of the full range of Chinese music.

Band Member Individual Biographies:

Yangqin Soloist
Member of Chinese Nationalities Orchestra Society

Yangqin (hammered dulcimer) Soloist of Melody of China Yangqin Zhao, prophetically named after the instrument she has become famous for playing, has established herself as one of the foremost yangqin (Chinese dulcimer) performers in the world, having been elected to the prestigious Chinese Musicians Association and the Chinese Nationalities Orchestra Society. Showing promise at an early age, she studied yangqin under professor Qian Fang-Ping of the Nanjing Arts College. In 1982, she graduated with honors from Nanjing Normal University's Music Department and eventually became head of the faculty of instrumental music of that university.

Ms. Zhao has been invited to perform in many countries, including Australia, the Netherlands, Belgium, Singapore, Hong Kong, Mexico and Germany, where she has lectured at universities, conservatories and music schools. In an excerpt from CHIME Newsletter by Frank Kouwenhoven, Secretary-general of the European Foundation for Chinese Music Research, he notes:" I was impressed not only by her high technical standard of playing but also the strong musical feeling she displayed during Performance and by her friendly and modest character." In June of 1996, she was invited as one of seven musicians who are masters on the Yangqin - like instruments (hammered dulcimer) for the Tanz & FolkFest Rudolstadt (Folk Instruments Festival) in Germany in September, 1996, she performed as the yangqin soloist with Shanghai Ethnic Orchestra. In June 2000, she was invited to perform at the "Concert in the Wildstage" by Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in Berlin, Germany.

Gangqin Zhao
Guzheng and Chinese Percussionist

Member of Chinese Musicians' Association
Gangqin Zhao, younger sister of Yangqin Zhao, studied the yangqin under her father ever since childhood. She was on stage performing when she was eight. At age 14, she began to learn the guzheng (Chinese zither) and percussion instruments under the well-known music educator and the board director of the China Musician's Association, Jiangsu Branch.

Since 1991, she has been teaching the guzheng and yangqin in the Nanjing Children Music & Dance School. In 1996, she took part in the editing the music book for Jiangsu Province School District. The book has been used as nationwide music book. She also certified by Jiangsu Educational Committee. In 1998, she was invited as a multi-instrumentalist by Young Imaginations, Inc. for performances and educational programs in the schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1999, she performed in the Silk Road Festival at Skirball Center, Los Angeles.
In 2000, she performed with "Peony Pavilion" group at Denmark International Folk Festival.

In January 2001, she performed with "Peony Pavilion" group at Berlin International Folk Festival.
She has performed throughout California. She has performed at Cal Performances (UC Berkeley), the Music Center of L.A. County, Yerba Buena Center for the Performing Arts (San Francisco), San Jose Center for the Performing Arts, Flint Center (Cupertino), UC, Sacramento, CSU, Chico, and Petaluma Summer Festival, Sonoma Folk Festival, Asian American Jazz Festival etc.

Thomas Lee
Gaohu and Ehru soloist

Mr. Thomas Lee was born into a musical family. Under the tutelage of his father, he started his gaohu training at the age of nine. by the time he was twelve he was a seas


Music Sampler - 2009
Melody of China - 2007

Set List

Possible Set-List includes:

-Joyful Xinjiang
-Dance of Yi Li
-Red Flower