BC Chinese Music Ensemble

About the Music



Peggy Hua, conductor

Charlie Lui, dizi
Qiu Xia He, pipa
Ge-Ling Jiang, sanxian
Zhimin Yu, ruan
Zhongxi Wu, sheng
Dailin Hsieh, zheng
Yun Song, erhu
Lan Tung, erhu
Lyla Lee, cello
Christine Yang, contrabass
Jonathan Bernard, percussion



1. Han Yan Xi Shui | 寒鴉戲水
(The Lonely Duck in the Winter Pond)

Traditional, arranged by Mark Armanini & Qiu Xia He

Han Yan Xi Shui is a traditional piece for zheng in the southern Chinese Chaozhou style, dating back to the 15th century and developed over the centuries into a virtuoso display of musical character. The work has three separate tempos and a strong modal harmony. The mood of the work is comparable to a Song-era (11th century) nature painting, with soft natural colours and a harmonious feeling. The work began as a  pipa solo transcription by Qiu Xia He,  and the composer has taken the ensemble materials from the solo part and constructed an accompaniment that amplifies the intimate sounds of the pipa. This compositional technique allows the listener to hear the many intricate ornaments and the surprising sound world of the pipa, placed in a full colour setting of Chinese traditional instruments. Here the pipa lives up to its reputation as “the King of instruments”. – Mark Armanini

2. Scent of Spring by Khac Chi

arranged by Bic Hoang & Mark Armanini

Scent of Spring is a unique composition by Khac Chi, originally arranged by Bic Hoang and re-arranged here for the BC Chinese Music Ensemble by Mark Armanini. This delightful dizi solo is a showcase for Charlie Lui, with an agile, virtuoso solo part full of fantastically ornamented evocations and featuring a ‘bird call’ improvised section where the solo is joined in the ‘bird chorus’ by Jonathan Bernard, Zhong Xi Wu and Lan Tung. Changes in tempo intertwining with lyrical passages and colourful ensemble tableaux combine to make this a unique intercultural work. – Mark Armanini

3. Fall |
by Qinglin Bruce Bai

Fall is inspired by a Tibetan Buddhist tradition involving the creation and destruction of mandalas made from coloured sand. A sand mandala is ritualistically dismantled once it has been completed, and its accompanying ceremonies and viewing are finished to symbolize the Buddhist doctrinal belief in the transitory nature of material life. This is the core of this piece.

And now let me talk about the surface of Fall. This piece depicts a scene all Vancouverites are familiar with. The wind starts to blow, and the leaves turn their colours and soon fall to the ground. The clouds roll in as the temperature drops, and the rain begins. All the lush greens from the summer are destined to fade away, yet new leaves will grow on the same trees next spring. I can’t stop the leaves from falling, but I can’t keep them from growing either. When I feel lost, there is hope.  – Qinglin Bruce Bai

About the Artists

BC Chinese Music Ensemble (BCCME) is the professional subsidiary of the B.C. Chinese Music Association (BCCMA), the largest and most active Chinese music organization in North America. Formed in 2002, the BCCME is unique in Canada as a large traditional music ensemble capable of playing demanding contemporary work alongside the classics of Chinese traditional music. The BCCME’s mission is to present performances of the very best music by the finest Chinese professional composers and musicians. The BCCME performers are graduates from renowned music academies and experienced soloists and leaders of the top national and provincial orchestras and troupes in China and North America. Many members of the BCCME have also performed many Canadian compositions in small ensembles such as Silk Road Music, Orchid Ensemble, Red Chamber Ensemble and the larger Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) Radio Orchestra and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Major appearances include at the Vancouver Jazz Festival, Vancouver Folk Music Festival and many others across North America, Europe and Asia. The BCCME’s performances and recordings have been broadcasted on CBC Radio and on National Public Radio (NPR) in the US. https://www.bccma.net/association/our-ensembles/bccme/

Peggy Hua is a Vancouver-based conductor and an advocate for the arts. As a frequently sought-after conducting clinician, Peggy has directed performances in Vancouver’s renowned Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Chan Centre, and Roundhouse Theatre. Peggy has studied conducting with numerous conductors including Lars Kaario, Maestro Dwight Bennett, Dr. Graeme Langager, and Maestro Vance George. Currently appointed as the Resident Conductor of the BC Chinese Orchestra, Conductor of Left Coast Labour Chorus, and Artistic Director of Downton Singers, Peggy has also guest conducted in numerous ensembles, namely the inaugural conductor of Cor Flammae, Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra, and BC Chinese Music Ensemble.

Video Production Credits

Videography – Alistair Eagle, assisted by Don Xaliman & Camillia Frey

Audio Engineer & Mix – Sheldon Zaharko

Filmed and recorded on June 11, 2021 in the Historic Theatre at The Cultch, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

For the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra:

Artistic Director & Producer – Mark Armanini

Composer-in-Residence & Senior Project Manager – Farshid Samandari

Production Manager & Communications – Melanie Thompson

Marketing & Production Assistant – Gina Hernandez Sanchez

Operations Manager – Devni De Silva


View the whole Global Soundscapes Festival: Digital Edition 2021 programme.

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More Videos

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Overview of the full Festival programme