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Percussionist Li Biao: from Beijing Olympic Games to the World

Source:www.lifeofguangzhou.comRelease time:2009-09-04Views:
He is a "magician" changing the mass habitual appreciation of "stuffy" classical music. He is a "missionary" exploring emotions and passions throughout various musical styles: Li Biao is a rising star in the world of percussions. When winning the Debrecen Percussion Competition in 1993 he became known as one of the three best professional percussionists in the world. He is the first and only Chinese percussionist to win such a competition. It is Li Biao once again who performed at the closing ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Today, he returns with a 9-member percussion group that will be on stage at the Xinghai Concert Hall on the night of October 7. 

Li Biao gives a short Chinese Gong presentation during Li Biao's press conference. (Lifeofguangzhou.com)

After his European tour, this Nanjing-born musician is back in China and was holding a press conference in Guangzhou's China Hotel on September 3 to promote his upcoming concert. 

According to his biography, Li Biao was a top-notch student and a collector of international awards. Upon graduation from the Chinese Conservatory of Music in 1988, Li Biao was chosen by the Chinese government to become one of the first percussionists to study in Moscow at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory with V. Sniegerew. There he graduated with first honors and went on to continue his musical education in Germany after winning the DAAD scholarship. 

Between 1995 and 1998 he studied at the Munich Conservatory of Music with Peter Sadlo and graduated with a Master class Diploma. During his studies Li Biao won many international prestige competitions including the Debrecen Percussion Competition in 1993 and the Alimata Music Competition. Doing so, he became the first Chinese to win these international percussion competitions. 

For Li Biao, percussions are simple. "Beats and rhythms are the basic elements of music and close to nature and life. Based on our heartbeats and pulses, our ancestors introduced basic beats and formed music." 

Dazzling his audience with over 200 percussions weighing 5 tons, Li Biao and his ensemble will pay a tribute to different cultures and their rhythms, from the sensual beats of samba to the wild storm of African drums and the mysterious resonating drums from India. 

When talking to Li Biao, he highlighted one piece out of all the repertoire –  "The Rite of Mountains" which is a solemn tragic Marimba commemorating the May 12th Earthquake in Sichuan. 

By Jessie Hwang, David Keyton