New Zealand School of Music presents world’s premier pipa virtuoso—Wu Man

The New Zealand School of Music (NZSM) and Victoria University’s Confucius Institute are collaborating to bring Wu Man—the world’s premier pipa virtuoso—together with celebrated chamber ensemble, the New Zealand String Quartet, for a masterful evening of music spanning the centuries.

Wu Man

Wu Man captured the world’s attention with her virtual reinvention of an ancient Chinese instrument—the lute-like pipa.

Her performances have relaunched the reputation of this 2000 year-old instrument in the West, with multiple Grammy Award nominations and Musical America naming her Instrumentalist of the Year in 2013, as their first non-Western awardee.

NZSM Director Professor Sally Jane Norman says it is remarkable for an artist of Wu Man’s calibre to be performing under the NZSM umbrella.

“Wu Man’s collaborations with musicians including Yo-Yo Ma, Philip Glass, Terry Riley, and the Kronos Quartet, and her recognition as the Huntingdon Library's first Musician-in-Residence are just a few of her quasi legendary achievements. Above all, though, Wu Man's use of traditional Chinese pipa techniques in contemporary music is strikingly relevant to the NZSM, where pioneering figures like Jack Body have developed our reputation as an Asia-Pacific hub committed to artistic work across cultures.”

Wu Man is a founding member of world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble - an ensemble which connects musicians, composers, artists and audiences around the world with the aim of fostering cross-cultural communication through musical performance and education.

For this concert, the Wellington audience will have an opportunity to hear Wu Man and the New Zealand String Quartet performing traditional Chinese folk music alongside arresting contemporary scores, including pieces by Tan Dun, known for his celebrated soundtrack to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.


Tan Dun: Concerto for String Quartet and Pipa
Tan Dun: Eight Colours for string quartet
Zhao Jiping and Zhao Lin: Red Lantern for pipa and string quartet
Tabea Squire: 4th mvt from Chimaera for violin and pipa
Trad. Chinese: Xi Yang Xiao Gu (Flute and Drum music at Sunset)
Trad. Chinese: White Snow in Spring
Yi-Wen Jiang (arr.): Butterfly Love by He Zhanghao and Chen Gang

What: Wu Man and the New Zealand String Quartet
When: Thursday 28 September, 7:30pm
Where: St Mary of the Angels, Wellington
Tickets: Eventfinda

For more information contact Sarah Smythe on 04-463 6590 or