Bright Sheng: Three Chinese Love Songs

Written by Leann Osterkamp


In category: Song of the Day

Published November 30, 2018

Perhaps the most famous contemporary cross-cultural composer, Bright Sheng has an original compositional dialect that combines Western traditions and Chinese traditional and folk music. His music results from both his personal cultural upbringing and his intentional study and research of the principles underlying both nations’ musical traditions. His schooling was primarily in America. However, he is constantly involved in compositional and academic endeavors that strive to blend and define international musical styles. One such example was his participation in the Silk Road Project. Born in China in 1955, he moved to the United States in 1982. These Three Chinese Love Songs come from shortly after his immersion into American schooling in 1988. Within a very traditional chamber music setting, the music demands extended techniques to achieve certain Eastern sounds to blend with the lyric lines of the soprano. Even after only six years of studying in the United States, Sheng developed a very enticing and organic blend of cultural styles, marrying different traditions into three beautiful songs.

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Leann Osterkamp is a passionate educator, solo/collaborative pianist, and recording artist. She is an American Presidential Scholar of the Arts and a Steinway Artist. She has garnered numerous accolades, in both performance and academia, starting with her first competitive win at age 8. She has performed/lectured at Caramoor, the Kennedy Center,  Carnegie’s Weill Hall, Steinway Hall, and the Library of Congress. She has recorded for Steinway Spirio and WQXR. Her solo album The Complete Works of Leonard Bernstein for Solo Piano and her recording of John Musto’s Improvisation & Fugue are released under the Steinway and Sons Label. Leann received her training at Juilliard and The Graduate Center CUNY. Formerly Adjunct Faculty at Juilliard, where she taught for 6 years, she is currently the Orchestra Director, Piano/Guitar faculty, and Boys Choir Director at Regis Jesuit High School. Leann joined the NYFOS family in 2014 as the first pianist to be invited to the Caramoor Rising Vocal Star Residency, and will be featured in Hyphenated-Americans on February 20, 2019 at Merkin Hall.


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