Skip to main content

SVC, Loe Center to present traditional Chinese music concert

by Public Relations | April 19, 2023

LATROBE, PA—Saint Vincent College, in conjunction with the James and Margaret Tseng Loe China Studies Center, will present “A Hundred Birds Paying Homage to the Phoenix,” a concert of traditional Chinese music, on Friday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m. The concert will take place in the Robert S. Carey Performing Arts Center on the Saint Vincent campus.

The performance is free and open to the public. All are welcome; no prior reservations or registration is required. 

Performing the extensive program of traditional Chinese music will be Yazhi Guo on suona and Zhou Yi on pipa. The suona is a traditional double-reeded Chinese musical instrument that originated in ancient Iran and appeared in China around the third century, and the pipa is a plucked instrument, sometimes referred to as the Chinese lute.


Yazhi Guo is considered the world’s premier suona virtuoso. The suona is a traditional double-reeded Chinese musical instrument. In 1990, Guo graduated from the Folk Music Department of the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and began teaching at the Conservatory. In 2000, he was appointed principal suona of the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra. In 2012, he furthered his pursuit of music in the United States, earning an Artist Diploma from the Berklee College of Music in 2015. His awards include the Second-Tier Scientific Progress Award in 1993 from the Ministry of Culture of China for his invention of a movable reed for the suona, the Pro Musicis International Award at Carnegie Hall in 1998 and the annual Hong Kong Artist of the Year Award in 2013.


Guo led the Berklee Jazz band to China and Singapore to showcase the fusion style of suona and jazz performances, has recorded solo albums and has modernized the traditional Hulusi and Guzhen instruments. In December 2021, Guo co-founded—and became the first President of—the American Academy of World Music to nurture future generations of talented multi-ethnic, multi-cultural musicians. Guo endeavors to promote his dream of a peaceful world through the people and power of music. 


Praised for her “breathtaking” meticulous technique and expressiveness by the “Washington Post,” pipa and qin soloist Zhou Yi was born in Shanghai, China. Discovered by a Chinese instrumentalist talent scout at the age of five, she graduated from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music before moving to New York to pursue her music career. With a unique musical style that melds traditional Chinese music with contemporary sounds, Zhou Yi enthralls audiences worldwide with her captivating performances and artistry.


As a concert soloist, Zhou Yi has performed in prestigious venues worldwide, impressing audiences with her masterful playing and vast repertoire. Some of her career highlights include Tan Dun’s “Concerto for Pipa and String Orchestra” at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Germany; a Young People’s Concert with the New York Philharmonic; Bun-Ching Lam’s “Sudden Thunder” with the Sinfonieorchester Münster, Germany; and Zuqiang Wu’s “Sisters of the Grassland” with the Ohio Youngstown Symphony Orchestra. She has also premiered works by young composers in various styles, such as Jianbing Hu’s “Fine Sound from Tianzhu” at Jordan Hall in Boston. In addition to her solo career, Zhou Yi’s guest appearances in operatic and festival productions include Bright Sheng’s Dream of the Red Chamber at San Francisco Opera and Huang Ruo’s Paradise Interrupted at Lincoln Center Festival.