On Location with the Shanghai Quartet In the tradition of Bartok and Copland, who revitalized classical music by introducing folk themes into their work, the Shanghai Quartet has recently started playing several Chinese folk songs. Fred Child goes on location for a private recital NPR member station WCVE in Richmond, Virginia.
NPR logo On Location with the Shanghai Quartet

On Location with the Shanghai Quartet

Bringing Western Music East and Eastern Music West

On Location with the Shanghai Quartet

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Members of the Shanghai Quartet play at WCVE in Richmond. Marshall Lloyd hide caption

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Marshall Lloyd

The Shanghai Quartet is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. For much of that time, it has been based in Richmond, Va.

While classical music is popular in China, most Chinese are not familiar with chamber music. The quartet is hoping to introduce chamber music to a broad Chinese audience through concerts at universities there. The four musicians are playing the complete cycle of Beethoven string quartets at concerts in China and the United States.

As they bring classical music to the East, the Shanghai Quartet has also brought eastern music to the West. Violinist Yi-Wen Jiang has arranged Chinese music for string quartet. He says he hopes the arrangements will help expose U.S. audiences to beautiful music that is not widely known in this country.