To celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Ox, Willoughby City Council in co-production with the Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture at Western Sydney University proudly presents the 2021 Lunar New Year Concert at the Concourse Theatre. This one-off extravaganza features an exhilarating feast of music, martial arts and dance by a wide selection of prestigious artists.
Iconic soprano Shu-Cheen Yu will share much-loved vocal classics from Australia and China. The concert’s impressive line-up also includes young virtuosos from Sydney Conservatorium: Isabella Sun (violin), Jade Park (trumpet), Jack Theakston (cello), Sydney Piano Festival finalist Jeremy So, members of the Chinese Music Ensemble, as well as renowned pipa player Dr Lulu Liu, Australian kungfu artist Nathan Tsen and sword performer /TV presenter Andy Trieu.
With a focus on healing and hope for the future, the audience will experience the tranquil and vibrant chanting of Venerable Ruyi from Nan Tien Temple Chatswood, accompanied by guqin master Tony Wheeler. This unique production culminates in the world première of an original composition by curator Dr Nicholas Ng.
Date/Time: 2-4pm on Saturday, 20 February 2021
Venue: The Concourse Theatre at Chatswood (Click HERE to access venue information)
MC: Andy Trieu (SBS PopAsia)
Curator: Dr Nicholas Ng (ACIAC, Western Sydney University)
Ticket Booking: Click HERE to book your tickets (group tickets of ten or plus people are discounted by $5 per ticket)
Chinese New Year Celebration (opens in a new window) by Fine Music Sydney FM
Arts Friday (opens in a new window) by Eastside FM (Note: event was mentioned at 66:50 -68:39 by Claudia Chan Shaw)
What Your Fortune Holds in the Year of the Ox (opens in a new window) by Mama.com.au
Key Artists' Biographies
Shu-Cheen Yu (俞淑琴), born in China, Shu-Cheen Yu began her career as a child star in Chinese traditional opera. Her parents were members of the Shanxi province local opera company. Shu-Cheen was one of China’s best folk singers and a principal artist with the Shan-Xi province Beijing Opera Company and China’s prestigious National Oriental Song and Dance Company. She made regular broadcasts on television and released five successful albums in China each of which was wildly successful. With three best-selling CDs produced by ABC Classics, Shu-Cheen has accumulated 12 major national and international singing awards including New York Metropolitan Opera, Australia Regional Awards, London Royal Opera House Covent Garden Scholarship and the Placido Domingo International Opera Awards in Vienna. Her impressive career is highlighted by her role in bridging the cultural gap between Australia and China as a regular guest performer with Opera Australia, a principal soloist and guest artist at diverse and renowned festivals, concerts and corporate events.
Click HERE for Shu-Cheen's full profile.
Andy Trieu (Concert MC) is an Australian actor of Vietnamese and Chinese ancestry. He graduated from a double degree in Business and International Relations at the Australian National University (2009). Originally a martial artist, Andy Trieu expanded his repertoire from competing in tournaments to performing in roles across stage and screen. He has acted and presented on the Nine Network on programmes such as Kitchen Whiz as the Kitchen Ninja with a minor role in Rescue: Special Ops and Crime Investigations. He has also appeared on SBS network shows Houso's, Bollywood Star and is a current a host on SBS PopAsia.
Andy has also acted in the 2015 ABC TV comedy Maximum Choppage as Fury, and in the Australian zombie comedy cult classic Me and My Mates vs the Zombie Apocalypse alongside comedians Jim Jefferies, Greg Fleet and Alex Williamson. Andy was a runner up for the national search for hosts on ABC3 and was a finalist in CLEO's Top 50 Bachelors. He is also an advocate and ambassador for All Together Now Australia, and the National Stroke Foundation.
Dr Lulu Liu is a pipa performer, educator and researcher. Commencing her pipa studies at the age of six, she graduated from Shenyang Conservatory of Music and the Central Conservatory of Music before receiving her doctorate from the University of Sydney (2019) for a thesis entitled ‘The Chinese pipa and its music, from conservatory to concert hall and beyond: Case studies of pedagogues, popularisers and promoters’.
She is currently a pipa lecturer, Senior Adviser on China Music Strategy at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (SCM) and Acting Director of the Sydney Conservatorium's Chinese Music Ensemble. Her article, ‘Contemporary Chinese pipa music and its future’, was published in Asian Musicology (2012), and her chapter on pipa repertoire is forthcoming with Routledge. She has performed extensively in Australia, China, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong and has released two solo pipa albums, three collaborative albums in addition to performing in Christopher Gordon’s soundtrack to the movie Mao’s Last Dancer.
Jade Park is a dual soloist. She earned LMusA (Oboe) at 13 and AMusA (Trumpet) at 11. She is a scholarship holder at the Rising Star since 2018 for both Trumpet and Oboe. Jade has made incredible progress in the music world, winning scholarships and competition awards across the globe. She has been invited to perform in Rome and Carnegie Hall, New York and was the recipient of the 2020 International Trumpet Guild’s Young Artist Award.
Jack Theakston, aged 14, is currently studying cello with Susan Blake and organ with Philip Swanton at Sydney Conservatorium. He joined the Open Academy Rising Stars program at Sydney Conservatorium at the age of 9 and is on a full scholarship. Jack has won various local and international competitions and has been a keen participant in various orchestras and chamber ensembles. He is also a Year 9 Music Scholar at The Hills Grammar School. Apart from his love of classical music, Jack enjoys playing the piano, volleyball, board games and reading.
Isabella Sun began learning the violin at the age of 6 and has been in the Open Academy Rising Stars program at Sydney Conservatorium since the age of 8. She studies with Fox Chan and is a recipient of the Victor Cromack and Melba Alma Harris Cromack Memorial scholarships.
Isabella has been a prize winner of numerous violin competitions in Australia. In 2019, Isabella was selected to participate in the 3rd Zhuhai International Mozart Competition for Young Musicians in China. Isabella’s first solo recital in Sydney at the age of 11 was a great success. She obtained her Licentiate (LMusA) two years later. As a chamber musician, Isabella enjoys playing in many ensembles and orchestras to expand on her repertoire.
Dr Nicholas NG (Concert Curator) is a composer, performer and Research Fellow at the Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture (Western Sydney University). A former Lecturer (Australian National University) and Research Fellow (Queensland Conservatorium), he began teaching Chinese music and western harmony at Sydney Conservatorium in 2016. On the erhu, Nicholas has toured to festivals around Australia, New Zealand, North America, Canada and Europe such as the KunstenFESTIVALdesarts (Brussels) and Sydney Festival. He has composed for The Song Company, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and other ensembles.
Nicholas works closely with William Yang and Annette Shun Wah and appeared in Double Delicious with Benjamin Law. He has produced a book and various articles on Australia-China exchange. Nicholas established the ANU Chinese Classical Music Ensemble (2003) and curated the festival ENCOUNTERS: China (2010). His work has been documented on SBS Mandarin Radio, ABC Music Show, and in the ABC Compass program, Divine Rhythms.