Music Department Events

Feb 4

Guest Artist: Yazhi Guo, suona

Tuesday, February 4th, 2020
7:30 – 9:00 pm / Kracum Performance Hall

To celebrate the Lunar New Year, the Department of Music is delighted to be part of the Festival of Spring: Brilliance of Huaxing by presenting a concert by the world’s top souna (Chinese double-reeded horn) master, Yazhi Guo. He will perform Chinese traditional, folk music and improvisations and will be joined on several pieces by Gao Hong on pipa and members of the Carleton Chinese Music Ensemble. The concert is cosponsored by the Mall of America, Hua Xing Arts Group of Minnesota, University of Minnesota China Center, and by the special support of the Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Chicago.

Yazhi Guo, suonaWidely known as the best suona player in Asia, Yazhi Guo was the winner of the 1998 International Pro Musicis Award, and the 2012 Hong Kong Award for Best Artist. He graduated with distinction from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing in 1990 and lectured Suona at the Central Conservatory of Music for 9 years. The Ministry of Culture namd him one of China’s most outstanding musicians, and Guo was invited to give a solo performance with Suona and Saxophone for the heads of states during US President Clinton’s visit to Beijing in 1998. In the 1990’s, he recorded original songs for over 100 films and popular TV series that had huge fan followings.

In 1999 Guo was appointed as Principal Suona by the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra. Since then, he has performed with many orchestras around the world including Orchestra de la Suisse Switzerland, South Korea Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra, Belgium’s Flanders Symphony Orchestra, Malaysia Chinese Orchestra, Singapore Chinese Orchestra, National Chinese Orchestra of Taiwan, and so on. He also actively lectured at Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, and led the Hong Kong Suona Association as its first executive director. His brilliant and expressive performance with a unique style has created many opportunities in the world of modern music for Suona.

In 2012, Guo left his long-held highly competitive position as Principal Suona in the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra. He relocated to Boston to explore Jazz at Berklee College of Music. During study at Berklee, he actively showcased the uniqueness of Suona, and successfully made the traditional Suona more fashionable and popular. After graduating from Berklee in 2015, he led the Berklee Jazz band to visit China, performed in many cities, and lectured at colleges. The fusion-style Jazz performance - Suona with Jazz band - is an eye-opening experience that is highly received by Chinese and American audiences. In 2016, Guo received "Thank You" letters from the Mayor of Boston and the Governor of Massachusetts for excellence in cross-cultural contribution.

Not only a multi-instrumentalist specializing in woodwind, Guo invented the “Flexible Core of Suona” - a movable reed that solved the problem of playing complicated modulations and temporary inflexions. This allowed the Suona to be played in both eastern and western orchestras, and significantly broadened the expressive force of the instrument. He received the Second-Tier Scientific Progress Award from the Ministry of Culture in China.

Sponsored by Music Department Events. Contact: Holly Streekstra, x4475