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November 5, 1999

Library of Congress Presents The Beijing Trio on Nov. 13

Jon Jang, pianist; Max Roach, drums; and Jiebing Chen, erhu

The Library of Congress Coolidge Auditorium is the first stop for a fall 1999 tour of the United States by the Beijing Trio -- pianist-composer Jon Jang, drummer Max Roach, and erhu virtuoso Jiebing Chen -- on Nov. 13 at 8 p.m.

The concert features the world premiere performance of Jon Jang's The Temple of the Drum, a Bicentennial commission of the Library of Congress, which celebrates its 200th birthday in the year 2000. Composed in honor of Max Roach, Jang's work for erhu (a two-stringed Chinese violin) and piano was commissioned by the Library's Music Division as part of a special three-year Bicentennial series of concerts, broadcasts, and symposia titled "I Hear America Singing."

Tickets will be available at the door on the night of the concert, or through TicketMaster, at (301) 808-6900 or (202) 432-SEAT, for a nominal service charge of $2 per ticket, with additional charges for phone orders and handling. Tickets for Library of Congress events sell out quickly, but there are often empty seats at concert time. Patrons are encouraged to try for no-show tickets at the door. For additional information, please call (202) 707-8432.

Bringing together a dynamic triumvirate of master musicians from China and the United States, the Beijing Trio celebrates diversity and the juxtaposition of cultures and people.

Jon Jang has broken barriers and genres as a composer, pianist, and artistic director of ensembles, integrating elements and evocations of Chinese folk music into contemporary contexts, and developing original works noted for their compelling mix of influences and sounds. In 1998 JAZZIZ magazine recognized Jang as one of a group of 150 significant artists who have strongly affected the world of jazz since 1983. He has received commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts, Kronos Quartet, Berkeley Repertory Theater, the Chanticleer ensemble, among others.

Awarded the prestigious MacArthur Foundation fellowship in 1988, Mr. Roach has made an indelible impact on the international musical scene through his numerous contributions as composer, performer, educator and scholar. Over the course of a 55-year career he has collaborated with many of the legends of the music world, including Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie, Cecil Taylor, the Kodo Drummers of Japan, the Boston Pops, the Alvin Ailey and Bill T. Jones dance companies, as well as writers Amiri Baraka, Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, and Sam Shepard.

Jiebing Chen is considered the world's foremost erhu virtuoso, one of the youngest to be named "National First Rank Performing Artist" by the Chinese government. Born in Shanghai, she gave her first recital at the age of six. Ms. Chen studied at the Shanghai Conservatory, graduating in 1982 with top honors, and winning the National Competition of Traditional Instruments in Beijing and an award for artistic excellence from the Chinese Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China.

The 1999-2000 "Concerts from the Library of Congress" season kicks off a special three- year series of concerts, broadcasts, recordings, and educational programs conceived to celebrate the 200th birthday of the nation's Library. Taking its theme from a Walt Whitman poem, "I Hear America Singing," the series encompasses classical and popular compositions, sacred and secular music from America's cities and its heartland. Exploring the breadth and significance of the American musical heritage from Colonial days to the end of the 20th century, the Bicentennial Music Project will be presented by the Library's Music Division, which won the ASCAP-Chamber Music America Award for Adventuresome Programming in 1998.

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PR 99-168
ISSN 0731-3527

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