December 2: Gao Ping, A Chinese Musician in a World Without Walls

As part of the 39th National Conference of the Musicological Society of Australia, the Confucius Institute will be co-sponsoring a public talk by renowned Chinese composer Gao Ping.

This free event will feature live piano performance and a fascinating talk on Gao Ping’s on musical journey.


Composer-Pianist at the Conservatory of Music,
Capital Normal University Beijing

Friday 2 December, 5:15-6:30 p.m.
The Braggs Lecture Theatre
The University of Adelaide

For a contemporary musician in China today, there seems to be two paths to follow. The first looks backwards through the centuries of Chinese traditions, the other outwards to the myriads of possibilities in the international world. Fortunately, there is ‘a middle path’, one that embraces elements of both, and that is how I would characterize my own life as a composer-pianist. My presentation in Adelaide will be largely an autobiographical narrative, as I review the influences and milestones in my life: Memories of the sounds of my native home in Sichuan; my training in America; the example set by composers like the late Jack Body, the New Zealander who found inspiration in traditional cultures the world over; the idea of the pianist as a multi-faceted performer who also sings, speaks and plays other instruments; my own ‘discovery’ of traditional Chinese instruments like the Qin; composing for those instruments and combining them with Western concert instruments; relating to ancient ways of Chinese thinking, and many other dimensions. My presentation will include video clips of my work with the Purple Forbidden City New Orchestra, as well as live performances of two recent works of my own, one for solo vocalizing pianist, the other for piano (4 hands) in which I will be joined by a new friend, the Adelaide born pianist Ashley Hribar.

I have always thought of myself as a story-teller of sorts, but in place of words, I use music. Some people have found in my work a mélange of Chopin and Shostakovich, popular Chinese song and post-Mao revolutionary music. Underlying all that is my sense of identity as the product of rich traditions constantly refreshed and expanded by new encounters of a world without borders or walls. – Professor Gao Ping


This will be a free non-ticketed event, however we would appreciate your RSVP to

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