Considered to be the master of traditional Chinese music, Peng Xiuwen was born in 1931 in Wuhan, Hubei province in central China. He began learning to play the erhu at the age of 7. In 1956, he became the conductor and director of The Central Broadcasting Folk Orchestra, an ensemble of Chinese traditional and modernised traditional instruments, based in Beijing. He was a frequent guest conductor of the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra in the 80s and 90s. Peng is credited for formulating and standardizing orchestras with traditional Chinese instruments based on the set-up of a Western orchestra. Peng was also a prolific composer and arranger. He passed away in 1996.