PING GAO (b 1970 )
The Chinese composer and pianist Gao Ping was born in Sichuan province. Growing up as a young pianist at the Sichuan Conservatory in Chengdu, he was affected by China’s concurrent transformation from a collective to a market economy. This transitional phase between old and new and the productive cultural clash between East and West left traces that would later be evident in his music. The Beijing-based musicologist and professor Li Xi’an has referred to Gao Ping as a leading member of the “sixth generation” of Chinese composers. Gao Ping’s works have won wide acclaim throughout the world. His last chamber music release on Naxos was described by a German critic as “music which wants to be heard with ears of a child, full of wonder and amazement…deep and vulnerable.” In his recent works, Gao returns more fully to China as a creative theme. Works such as Piano Quintet “Mei Lan Zhu Ju” (2009) and The Four Not-Alike for multi-function pianist and Chinese instruments (2012) reflect the appeal of his fusing of Western and Eastern idioms, as well as the expanding interest in his compositions dealing with China and its multiple pasts.
Gao Ping is currently a professor in composition at the Conservatory of Music at Capital Normal University in Beijing. He also holds a guest professorship at the China Conservatory. He previously taught composition at the School of Music at Canterbury University in Christchurch, New Zealand.