LIANG Jianfeng 梁剑峰
Jianfeng Liang is the producer and music director of the 12 Girls’ Band, which draws upon more than 1,500 years of traditional Chinese music, blending traditional instruments with classical, folk, and contemporary sounds. The CD Romantic Energy (Meili nengliang 美麗能量) debuted in Japan, selling more than two million records and has even appeared in TV ads. Its American arrival entered at Number 62 on the Billboard 200 album chart, marking the highest debut by an Asian recording artist in history at that time. He has also produced a variety of other CDs that have found popularity outside of China including The Spectacular (Huihuang 輝煌), Dunhuang 敦煌, and Christmas 聖誕. He has collaborated with pianist Lang Lang on the theme song for X-Game (御龍在天), Jingju actress Wang Peiyu 王珮瑜, and celebrities Wang Feng 汪峰, Yang Kun 楊坤, Xu Wei 許巍, and Sha Baoliang 沙寶亮, among others.
ZHOU Ming 周鳴
Zhou Ming is a disciple of the Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage of Kunqu Music. Has inherited and passes down the traditional heritage and cultural legacy of flutists Yu Xunfa and Gu Zhaoqi. He holds a diploma from the Shanghai Academy of Traditional Performing Arts, was the chief flautist of the Shanghai Kunqu Troupe from 1989 – 1999), and is a graduate of the Joint Program of the Shanghai Music Conservatory and Shanghai Jiaotong University. He has performed publicly with the Shanghai Kunqu Troupe in Mainland China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan and worked as the Music Director for the Lincoln-Center productions of The Peony Pavilion and Orphan Chao, which toured Paris, Berlin, Rome, Milan, Sidney, Singapore and other cities. He is the chief flutist of Kunqu Society (New York) and founder of Ming Ming Dixiao Studio.
Dai Mingyue graduated from the Shanghai Opera School, majoring in Chinese opera percussions. He has had countless performances in his 14 years with the Chinese Opera House of Shanghai, including a tour in Japan in 1987. Dai was also a part of the Chinese-American Arts Council and the Chinese Opera of New York in New York, The Society of Kunqu Arts in Washington, D.C., and the Mudan Ting Troupe, which is affiliated with the Lincoln Center of Performing Arts and toured The Peony Pavilion in Arhus, Vienna, Berlin, and Singapore from 2000 – 2002.
CAI Qinglin 蔡青霖
Cai Qinglin is a disciple of the Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage of Kunqu and has inherited and passed down the traditional heritage and cultural legacy of Hua Chuanhao, Chou Chuancang, and Wang Chuansong – experts of the chou (or clown) role. He holds a diploma from the Shanghai Academy of Traditional Performing Arts and was involved in both the Shanghai Traditional Theatre School and Shanghai Kunqu Troupe, being recognized as “one of the most important 17 actors” for his work with the latter. He was one of the first kunqu artists to participate in a variety of festivals across the globe including China, Spain, and the USA. He has also given public lectures and performances in New York and Washington, D.C. Cai is a defining member of New York’s Kunqu Society, is true master of his craft, and experiments with kunqu pedagogy.
SHI Jiehua 史洁华
Shi Jiehua is a disciple of the Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage of Kunqu and has inherited and passed down the traditional heritage and cultural legacy of Zhu Chuanming, Zhang Chuanfang, and Fang Chuanyun – experts of the female role. She holds a diploma from the Shanghai Traditional Theatre School and was involved in both the Shanghai Peking Opera Troupe and the Shanghai Kunqu Troupe, being recognized as “one of the most important 17 actors” for her work with the latter. She has performed in festivals across the globe in places such as China, Hong Kong, Spain, Taiwan, and the USA. Most notably, she co-starred with Hua Wenyi in Peter Sellars’ avante-garde theatre production of The Peony Pavilion which toured Europe from 1997 – 1999. She has been active with the Kunqu Society in New York and has performed annually in since 1999.
CHENG Min 程敏
Cheng Min is a disciple of the Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage of Kunqu and has inherited and passed down the traditional heritage and cultural legacy of Zhou Chuanying, Cai Zhengren, Dong Jihao and Gao Jirong – experts of the young male role. He holds a diploma from Jiangu Academy of Traditional Performing Arts and is a top-ranked national performer of the Jiangsu Kunqu Troupe. He is a recipient of the Orchid Award for Outstanding Young Kunqu Artists, the Red Plums Award (Gold Medal) for Traditional Performing Arts, and the award for Outstanding Young Artists of Traditional Theatre. He has also won awards for outstanding performance from the 1st Festival of New Kunqu Plays and the Fifth Theatre Festival. He is the current director of the Kunqu Society and has performed annually in New York since 1999.
Professor Peng Xu is a disciple of Liu Zengfu and Zhu Fu of the Beijing Learned Society of Kunqu Opera and has inherited and passes down the traditional heritage and cultural legacy of Pu Tong’s Red Bean Studio. She is a graduate of Peking University, holds a PhD from the University of Chicago, and her research specializes in developments of Chinese opera and women in Chinese theatre. She has performed in China and various cities across the United States. Professor Xu is also a recipient of the 2002 Silver Dragon Award from CCTV’s International Competition of Peking Opera Amateurs in Beijing.