2017 Lunar New Year Concert Introduction 3

Erhu Queen Ma Xiaohui

Ma Xiaohui, one of the most talented musicians in our generation, she challenged a transform of Erhu from a traditional Chinese instrument to a typical international instrument recognised by the world stage. – Renowned Composer Tan Dun

Miss Ma Xiaohui is a famous Erhu (two-string Chinese violin) virtuoso and composer internationally renowned for her duet with the cellist Maestro Yoyo Ma for the Academy Award winning soundtrack for the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon composed by Tan Dun. 

Xiaohui, the first-class musician in China, speaks with the world through her Erhu.  She has worked with famous conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel and David Stern, and performed with Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and French International Orchestra, the NHK Symphony Orchestra, the China National Symphony Orchestra plus many other international top orchestras and ensembles. 

For over 20 years, Xiaohui toured with her Erhu to more than 50 countries around the world, and appeared at most of the world top venues and high profile international music festivals, including the Bern Beethoven House, the Vienna Golden Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Columbia University, Notre Dame University, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, San Jose International Art Festival and the Shanghai International Music Festival, among others.  She is the only Chinese performing artist who has performed and lectured for over one thousand times around the world.

Born in an academic family, Ma Xiaohui started her Erhu since age six.  She graduated from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and served many years as Concert Master for the Shanghai Traditional Orchestra.  She is Artistic Advisor of Shanghai Grand Theatre, Culture Director for the Shanghai Overseas Exchange Association, and Director of Shanghai Ma Xiaohui Art Center.  She is also a member of the United Nations Oriental Art Center, the Cultural Ambassador to the 2010 World Expo Shanghai and the guest professor for quite few national and international universities.

Ma Xiaohui has received numerous honours, including the Best Performance award from Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.  In 2008, she performed at Carnegie Hall and was rapturously received according to New York media.  She was awarded the “Shanghai Outstanding Artist” for two times. In 2014 she was selected to play for Madam Peng Liyuan, the wife of China’s President Xi Jinping, together with the first ladies from other countries attending an international conference in Shanghai.  In 2016, Ma Xiaohui ventured into the world of acting, appearing in the film Daughter of the Mountains and performed the entire soundtrack of the film as well.

Xiaohui’s music attainments have won international media praise and she has been crowned as the Erhu Queen by media in China.  The Oxford Times once reported: “…Ma Xiaohui drew a kind of alto human voice bereft of words, but given song. It sounds so culture-free and universal, that Ma Xiaohui’s gift, and vibrant musicality, shone out on us like light...” 

The Queenslanders would not be unfamiliar with Ma Xiaohui.  In 2010, at the fourth annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) held in Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, provided by ACCCA, Ma Xiaohui specifically performed her best Erhu music Horse Racing and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon at the APSA ceremony to the guests full of the house, and won great acclaim with the audiences standing up to give her big applauds for long time.

Brisbane audiences will definitely recognise Ma Xiaohui from her performance with Queensland Symphony Orchestra at the Year of the Monkey 2016 Chinese New Year Concert, with her virtuosity enthralling the City Hall crowd.  Brisbane media the West End Magazine reported after the concert: “Ma Xiaohui, an absolute marvel on an Erhu (Chinese violin) who succeeded at plucking the heartstrings of the crowd enraptured by her as she played before instilling in that very same crowd a heart-racing good time as she performed Horse Race (Shannon Coward)”. 

At coming Year of the Rooster 2017 Chinese New Year concert, Ma Xiaohui will meet Brisbane again with her beautiful Erhu – we cannot wait to see her in QPAC Concert Hall on 9 Feb!