October 5, 2023

For the Love of GuZheng

with Master Weishan Liu & Anna Wong

7:00 - 8:30pm EST

online via Zoom

$10 is suggested but any amount is appreciated. Donations support these events, leaders, musicians, and the Folk Arts Center.

About the Program

“Gu” means ancient, “Zheng” refers to the zither instrument. The GuZheng originated in China during the Warring Period over 2500 years ago. The earliest known versions were constructed with a bamboo frame and used silk strings. Its scale was pentatonic, using the notes DO, RE, MI, SO, and LA with a major note for each of its five strings. The GuZheng became very popular in the imperial court and among the common people. Historical records from ancient books and scholarly writings give vivid accounts of the instrument and its music.

The program will cover the following areas:

  • Getting to know the artists – their love story with the ancient musical instrument
  • Historical perspective and discussion of techniques
  • Demonstrations of GuZheng music from different regions, and from different eras

About the Artists

Master Weishan Liu

GuZheng Master Liu Weishan is a highly talented musician, a deeply creative composer, as well as an exceptional teacher for generations of young musicians. Master Liu began her classical GuZheng training at 11 under the acclaimed GuZheng master Cao Zheng. Her breakthrough came in 1974 at the Chinese Traditional Music Competition where she played her original composition “The Magnificent Bronze Gorge”, when she won first prize in both the Composition and Performance categories.

She became the top GuZheng soloist at the Central Song and Dance Ensemble of China, making recordings and performing for heads of state that include President Deng Xiaoping, President Jimmy Carter and Queen Elizabeth. She has also performed with George Winston, a celebrated American jazz pianist, who described her music as “deeply expressive, combining deep feelings that reflects strength, heart, emotion, experience and wisdom”. Master Liu resides and teaches in San Francisco, and is the Artistic Director of the San Francisco GuZheng Music Society.

You can enjoy a performance of Qin Rhapsody, 秦桑曲 by Master Liu at the San Francisco Guzheng Music Society’s 2006 annual concert.

Anna Wong, PH.D.

Anna Wong is a clinical psychologist by training and was head of the Clinical Psychology Department at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Oakland California. Anna has been an active community leader in San Francisco Chinatown. She has studied and practiced under Master Liu for 35 years, and performs regularly with Master Liu. After her retirement from Kaiser, she focuses on perfecting her GuZheng skills. When she is not traveling around the world, Anna serves as the “always ready” Grandmother to three toddler grandchildren. Anna resides in Berkeley, California, and is a Board Member of the San Francisco GuZheng Society.