Ma Xiaohui: A Cultural Envoy for Erhu to "Void Unjust"

240 views · Organized by 陌上花 on 2022-11-03

"Erhu is like a Chinese, low-key and modest, but also has wisdom and tension" - Ma Xiaohui: a cultural envoy for Erhu to "voice grievances"

"There are only two strings in the erhu, but these two strings reflect the concept of the universe yin and yang of Chinese culture. One string represents logic, and one string represents sensibility..." Ma Xiaohui, a famous erhu performer of the Shanghai National Orchestra, a member of the Shanghai Municipal Committee of the Zhigong Party, and a director of the Shanghai United Front Work Department Knowledge Federation, recently received an exclusive interview from China News to talk about his understanding of the "erhu philosophy". This famous artist at home and abroad is an elegant and dignified "female master of Huqin" on the stage, as well as the "Erhu Fairy" and "Modern Yujiaolong" in the eyes of friends. She has spent decades of her career traveling between the eastern and western stages, constantly exploring the expression boundaries of erhu, and has also found more and more confidants for Chinese culture overseas.

"The charm of erhu lies in its simplicity and profundity"

As a representative artist of contemporary Chinese erhu performance, Ma Xiaohui has left classic works such as "Shepherd Girl of Tianshan Mountain", "Elegy" and "Destiny" for the music world. However, her affinity with erhu was a coincidence.

Ma Xiaohui, who grew up in a family of "literary and artistic" intellectuals, had three musical instruments in his home when he was young: violin, accordion and erhu. Ma Xiaohui chose Erhu by mistake. At that time, she did not think it would become a lifelong professional.

At the age of 13, she left her hometown of Chengdu and went to the High School Affiliated to Shanghai Conservatory of Music to study. He Zhanhao, a well-known Chinese composer and one of the authors of the violin concerto "Butterfly Lovers", met her at the station when he checked in at the school that year. After entering the school, Ma Xiaohui learned from Wang Yi, a famous erhu educator, and has since embarked on a professional path.

Erhu was introduced into the Central Plains from the Western Regions in ancient times. After the infiltration and integration of multi-ethnic cultures, it continued to sublimate and eventually became a representative instrument of Chinese traditional folk music. However, Ma Xiaohui, as a teenager, was "sulking" at the stereotype of erhu by some laymen.

"When I introduce myself to playing erhu, people really look down on me - how can a girl with a very foreign look learn to play the 'begging' erhu? I always complain about erhu." Ma Xiaohui said, "The appearance of the erhu may not be as foreign as that of the violin and cello. It seems a little simpler and simpler than the piano. But the simpler things are, the more difficult they are. I think the charm of the erhu lies in its simplicity and profundity."

In Ma Xiaohui's eyes, "The two strings of the erhu can represent too many things, 1+1=2, plus the bow, that is, everything is born. I can't say that the erhu is omnipotent, but it is indeed charming. It is both eastern and western, traditional and modern. It is not only sad, but also conveys people's emotions and sorrows... The erhu is quite like the Chinese, low-key and modest, at the same time, it is very intelligent and tension."

Ma Xiaohui: A Cultural Envoy for Erhu to

In February 2018, at the Melbourne New Year Concert, Ma Xiaohui cooperated with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra to present the erhu concerto Tian Shan Shepherdess for Chinese and Australian audiences.

A song "Jasmine" conquers Expo officials

For more than 20 years, Ma Xiaohui has been insisting on promoting erhu culture overseas. She was once the "first Chinese erhu player to eat crabs" on world-class stages such as the United Nations and Carnegie Concert Hall. In 2003, she first produced "Erhu Shakes Hands with the World", in 2006, she produced "Music and Psychology - the Beauty of Erhu Art Healing", in 2011, she produced "Go Home to Realize Your Dream" and other global tours and appreciation lectures, which have been held in Europe, America, Asia and Africa for more than 1000 times. She is also known as China's "Princess of the Silk Road".

On the stage, Ma Xiaohui likes to show off her traditional Chinese women's dress, but her performance experience and diversified temperament in her works from all over the world make people appreciate the other side of her gentle image, her soulful and loyal spirit.

Ma Xiaohui played the erhu solo in the Chinese movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which won the Oscar for Original Music Award. Some music critics commented that she was a "modern Yujiaolong"; Some friends said that she was like a "gypsy girl" who spread erhu culture in the world by herself.

Ma Xiaohui also felt incredible. "For so many years, he traveled around the world alone, took some erhu and didn't get any money from the government. He came out entirely by the market".

Ma Xiaohui has always believed that the overseas dissemination of Chinese culture can not only rely on theoretical knowledge, but also requires the strength of folk "practice". With Qin as the medium, Ma Xiaohui plays the role of the ambassador of Chinese culture on an increasingly diversified stage. In 2007, she served as the "Special Olympics" love ambassador, in 2010, she became the "Expo Application Cultural Ambassador" of Shanghai, in 2020, she served as the "World Expo Cultural Ambassador", and in 2022, she became the "United Nations Peace Artist"

Ma Xiaohui told reporters about her experience in participating in the Shanghai Expo application: "At that time, she went to Africa to lobby, and the negotiation process was very tense. Later, after lunch, I played a song" Jasmine Flower "for the officials of the Expo Bureau. The whole atmosphere suddenly changed from day to day. It was easy for everyone to become friends. This is the charm of art and culture."

In the years when he went abroad, Ma Xiaohui not only felt the growing influence of Chinese culture and art overseas, but also observed the changes of Chinese groups.

Ma Xiaohui recalled: "I often deal with the overseas Chinese community overseas, and I often participate in the overseas Chinese show of" Spring Festival Across the World ". In the early days, the strength of the Chinese people was very weak, and I often saw only one Chinese audience occasionally in a concert. But in the later years, especially after the World Expo, there were more and more Chinese audience, and many overseas activities were also attended by Chinese people. I think the status of Chinese people is different. During the overseas Chinese show, the local Chinese We are proud, and we are also proud of them, especially pleased and warm. "

Ma Xiaohui: A Cultural Envoy for Erhu to

Ma Xiaohui held a special concert at Carnegie Hall in New York, USA.

"Expect music to comfort and heal life"

In recent years, in addition to stage performances and the promotion of erhu culture, Ma Xiaohui has held numerous public offices. "I have been a member of the Shanghai CPPCC for three times, and also a member of the Shanghai Municipal Committee of the Zhigong Party." She said, "I have never been absent from the CPPCC meetings, and the big commercial performances will be canceled."

Her proposal focuses on topics such as aesthetic education and music therapy. "Mainly from my own experience, I will talk about the etiquette of the East and the West, and then give advice in combination with aesthetic education and music therapy, including how to purify and melt the mind with music, and improve aesthetics."

Unlike many artists who adhere to the concert hall route, Ma Xiaohui is keen on cross-border attempts and exploration, advocating the presentation of elegant music art to the general public, "so I settled in Tiktok. The video number has been completed, and some netizens left a message saying that teacher Xiaohui has" gone down to earth ".

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Ma Xiaohui has initiated a series of public music collection activities, which have achieved good social response. She said, "We have been using music to spread positive energy. The more challenges we face in life, the more we need to comfort and heal through culture and art, especially music.".

In the future, Ma Xiaohui hopes to contribute to the upgrading of overseas dissemination of Chinese culture. "We have done a lot of brilliant things. Now we can calm down and do some fine works. I think it is very good." She said firmly, "In the future, we will not only transmit the art of erhu, but also, more importantly, convey the Chinese humanistic spirit and concept of" higher than erhu "."

Involving the artist

Ma Xiaohui, graduated from Shanghai Conservatory of Music, studied under the famous erhu educator Professor Wang Yi. National first-class actor, famous erhu performer, member of Shanghai CPPCC, member of United Nations Oriental Art Center Shanghai.
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Involving musical instruments

Erhu (Pinyin: Erhu) originated in the Tang Dynasty, called "Xiqin", and has a history of more than a thousand years. It is a traditional Chinese stringed instrument. Erhu, or Erxian Huqin, also known as "Nanhu" and "Omzi", is one of the main bowed and stringed instruments (wiping strings) in the Chinese national musical instrument family.

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