Among other co-workers are Chen Yi and David Loeb. Born in 1974 to a family of artists, Liu was a child prodigy. Her mother, an actress, took her to rehearsals in her first years and at the age of six she began to learn the pipa, a particularly big and difficult instrument. She gave her first public performance at nine and started to win provincial competitions. In 1985, age 11, she performed for Queen Elizabeth II, and three years later won first prize at the National Competition for Young Musicians.
At age 15 she was accepted at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music where she studied pipa and guzheng (a Chinese zither) for three years. Upon graduation she went back to her hometown of Kunming to perform with the local music and dance troupe. Despite support from the Chinese government, traditional music is more seen as necessary furniture rather than an art form in China and Liu was beginning to feel she could touch foreign listeners on a deeper level than her compatriots. After a trip to Germany in 1995 where she performed with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, she emigrated to Canada with her husband and settled in Montreal. She immediately made contacts in the city's Chinese district and began to perform.
Erhu player Lei Qiang led her to Paul Etch, owner of the record label Oliver Sudden Productions. He released her first CD Chinese Traditional Pipa Music in 1997. Two years later Liu's husband gave up his job as a meteorologist to manage her growing career. Since her arrival in Canada, the pipa player has received strong support from the community.
The national radio has recorded many of her concerts. In 2001 she was awarded the Future Generations Millennium Prize, a one-time prize given by the government to three artists in different disciplines (music, literature, and visual arts). In February 2000 she toured with Kohei Nishikawa's ensemble. In September 2001 she premiered R.
Murray Schafer's "The Palace of the Cinnabar Phoenix". She has also performed with the Nouvel Ensemble Modern and the Société de Musique Contemporaine du Québec. Official site: http://www.liufangmusic.net Note: not to be confused with 刘芳, a pop singer. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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