The Grace Goudy Distinguished Artists Series presents classical guitarist Xuefei Yang Sunday, Nov. 15, at 3 p.m. in Hudson Hall in the Rogers Music Center at Willamette University. Yang will present a free guitar master class that evening at 7:30 p.m., also in Hudson Hall.
The concert will feature a lute suite by Johann Sebastian Bach, works by Spanish composers Isaac Albéniz and Francisco Tárrega, and The Chinese Garden, written for Yang by Stephen Goss.
Yang is the first classical guitarist to emerge from China. Born in Beijing, she gave her first public performance at age 10 with the First China International Guitar Festival, and was the first guitarist to graduate from Beijing's Central Conservatory of Music. She attended the Royal Academy of Music in London as the first Chinese classical guitarist to study and launch a professional career in the West.
Now based in London, Yang performs solo concerts and concertos with leading orchestras throughout Great Britain, Europe, Asia and North America. She has appeared on numerous radio and television programs, including the BBC documentary "The Story of Guitar" and a biographical documentary about Yang on China Central Television. Her 2006 debut CD, Romance de Amor, reached gold disc status in Hong Kong, and her second CD, 40 Degrees North, was named Editor's Choice in Gramophone Magazine and Best Instrumental CD of 2008 by Canton Radio station in China.
"Xuefei Yang is proving to be one of the great classical guitarists of the day," wrote Classical Guitar Magazine, and Gramophone wrote, "The guitar world has a new star."
"Rarely will you come across a guitarist who can stroke the strings with such gracefulness ... she has a gossamer stroke," wrote Audiophile Audition. Spain's El Periodico wrote, "Yang has a clean, round sound and always aims to carefully color each phrase, paying attention to every detail."
Tickets are $10, $15 or $20 for adults, $5 for students, and $10 for education employees with ID, and can be purchased at Travel Salem, at 181 High Street NE in downtown Salem. Tickets are also available at (503) 581-4325 or online at www.absolutelytix.com. Seats are reserved. Willamette University students may purchase the $5 student tickets in the Music Office, Rogers Music Center. For more information call the Willamette Music Department at (503) 370-6255. Learn more about Yang at yang40degreesnorth.com or www.xuefeiyang.com.
Now in its 26th season, the Grace Goudy Distinguished Artists Series brings world-renowned musicians to Salem several times each year. Sponsored by Willamette University and directed by music Professor Anita King, the program is supported through an endowment established by The Collins Foundation in the 1990s to honor the late Grace Goudy, an original trustee of the foundation.
The series will continue April 11 with the Brentano String Quartet.
Photo credit: Neil Muir