The art of guqin is as reach and deep as Chinese culture. Understanding its roots and manifestations in Chinese history allows us to understand Chinese culture. Scholars have found traces of this instrument from three to four thousand years ago. This seven-string musical instrument has been associated with important political and social figures across the different dynasties, such as Confucius and Qu Yuan (BCE ca.340–278), the King of Chu, the emperor Huizong (CE 1100-1126) and other numerous Chinese emperors and illustrious figures.
SUIS Qingpu had the honour of welcoming two master students of the guqin from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music who are currently under the guidance of the renowned professor Dai Xiaolian, Du Bingbing and Li Changyun. Du Bingbing is not only a guqin student and Member of both the Chinese National Orchestra Society and Chinese Qin Association, but also a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Studies from Beijing Normal University and a Master of Engineering in Architecture from the Braunschweig University of Technology in Germany. Li Changyun is an experienced and high-level guqin performer with awards in national and international guqin competitions like the Singapore Guqin Art Competition in 2021 and the sixth Chengdu Gold Lotus competition in 2022. She is also an excellent pipa performer, the first musical instrument she began playing at six years old.
Music is an art, and during our Primary School’s annual Art Festival, the guqin concert and conference allowed students, parents, and teachers to appreciate the beauty of Chinese traditional music. On this occasion, students from classes 1D and 3F enjoyed being the selected groups to enjoy this concert at the school’s Ancient Scholars House, an elegant and refined 300-year-old villa whose wood structure and traditional Chinese design perfectly matched the atmosphere of the afternoon.
Astonished by such an exceptional performance, parents and teachers remained in the Ancient Scholars House after the students had left to go home, appreciating the performance of the last piece, “Guangling Verse.” With this piece, the sober and graceful afternoon came to an end, looking forward to another encounter with the guqin. Thanks again to the performers Du Bingbing and Li Changyun, the Shanghai Conservatory of Music guqin professor Dai Xiaolian, our SUIS Qingpu Campus leaders, and the Primary School’s Bilingual Subjects Team for creating such artistic and cultural platforms.