(Click on the pictures to see more images)

Kevin Zhang
Kevin Zhang studied the Laosheng (Older Male) role, under YU Xiaotong of the Yang style of acting-singing in Dalian. He was winner of the Jing Opera Performance Premier Award at the Dalian Arts Festival in 1997. He is one of the youngest members of the Dalian Opera Association. Kevin is a versatile performer and also sings the roles of the Xiaosheng (Young Male), and Qingyi (Lady). Since 1999, he has performed frequently in the UK and also in Europe.

Kathy Hall
Kathy Hall studied the qingyi role of the Mei Lanfang style under the late Bao Youdie, a Mei specialist. She also studied under former Kunqu Opera actress Le Yiping. She is the founding Chair of the London Jing Kun Opera Association. She was awarded a 2004 Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fund Travelling Fellowship, and took intensive lessons with Kunqu Opera actor, Wang Fengmei in Hangzhou. In 2009, supported by an Arts Council England (London) grant, she studied with Kunqu Opera actor, Liang Guyin, inShanghai. Kathy was Vice Principal of a Hong Kong secondary school, and subsequently Secretary-General of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council before settling in the UK.

Qin Liang
Qin Liang graduated in daomadan (Military Lady's role) from the Performance Department of the National Academy of Chinese Opera, Beijing , in 1999. She was accorded an ĎAll A's Student' for two years running. She graduated in 2002 from the Music Education Department of the Wuhan Conservatory of Music, majoring in Dance. She performed briefly with the Beijing Army Region Comrades-in-Arms Jingju Troupe, and was tutor in the Wuhan Hubei Industrial University for three years. She won many awards at the provincial level.

Ming Lu
Ming Lu grew up in Tianjin surrounded by Jingju music. Her father gave up being a Chinese herbal doctor to become a professional Cheng style dan. Her brother is National First Grade principal jinghu player with the Tianjin Youth Beijing Opera Troupe. Ming and her sister were taught at home by well-known Jingju teachers and they performed together. More recently she has learnt with Qu Tianhuang of the Tianjin Opera School. She has performed for a month in London in 2009 with the Not So Loud theatre company in ‘The Slippery Mountain’, a cabaret style play based on the Jingju opera, ‘Mulian Rescues Mother’.

Joanna Qiu
Joanna Qiu (Jinghu & Strings Lead) graduated in instrumental music from the Tianjin Opera School and the China National Beijing Opera College, majoring in Yueqin (Moon Lute) and Jinghu (Bamboo 2-string Fiddle). After graduation she performed with the Beijing Opera Company for nearly ten years, and then she was Yueqin player for the re-established Mei Lanfang Beijing Opera Troupe from 1996 to 1999. She has toured in China and abroad, and has recorded for a special series of Beijing Opera music. Since settling in the UK in 1999, she has taught as well as performed frequently in solo and group performances, and workshops. She plays a wide range of Chinese musical instruments.

Ying Wan
Ying Wan (Drum/Clapper) graduated in composition from the Shoobi Music Academy in Tokyo. His compositions included music for woodwinds, strings, piano, as well as jazz and electronic music. He has worked in film and television music in Japan and China, and also as a conductor, singer, and orchestral player. His main interest is in percussion. Since settling in the UK, he has worked in Chinese music both in the UK and in Europe as a music arranger and percussionist.

Haishuo Liu
Haishuo Liu (Cymbals) graduated from the Beijing Opera School in 1996, specialising in percussion. He also studied both Western and Chinese drumming in a Vocational Secondary School attached to the China National Music University.

Xiao Wang
Xiao Wang (erhu) graduated from the Wuhan Conservatory of music in China. In 1999 she joined the Headquarters Arts Troupe of the Henan Provincial People's Armed Police as erhu soloist. In 2001 she took part in the Luoyang Casio Young Instrumentalists Competition, where she won a Silver Prize, and in the same month a Gold Prize as erhu soloist in the Henan Provincial 'Hundred Fountains Cup' Young Instrumentalists Competition. Before going abroad she was erhu, banhu soloist with the Luoyang Symphony Orchestra. She has given many performances in the UK.

Jack Footitt

Jack Footitt (Bamboo flute) studied western theatre with the Royal Shakespeare Company before studying Chinese and Music at SOAS. He obtained his MMus in 2011 on Chinese traditional music. He plays both the erhu (fiddle) and dizi (flute), and has been a member of the SOAS Silk and Bamboo Ensemble for many years. He plays the flute for the LJKOA Kunqu Ensemble. He also plays in the Indonesian Gamelan, Korean Drumming, and Noh percussion.

Paul Kendall
Paul Kendall (3-stringed lute) is studying for a PhD in Asian Studies at the University of Westminster. He has previously lived in China for four years, working as a music journalist for China Radio International and Time Out Beijing. He presents New Sounds of China, a contemporary music show broadcast by London Huayu Radio. He plays the sanxian (3-stringed lute) for the LJKOA Kunqu Ensemble.

Ruard Absaroka
Ruard Absaroka (reedpipes and big gong) is a PhD student in Ethnomusicology at SOAS, and has conducted extended fieldwork in China while attached to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. After much time in the jiangnan sizhu clubs of Shanghai, and as a long-standing member of the SOAS Silk and Bamboo Ensemble, he plays dizi (flute), erhu (fiddle) and sanxian (3-stringed lute). He is trained on the Guqin (zither), and has also been known on occasion to play suona (shawm) for LJKOA. He also performs Korean Drumming, is a Jazz pianist, and plays the fiddle for various London groups, including Balkan, Cuban, Greek and Irish folk music ensembles.

Ashley Thorpe
Dr. Ashley Thorpe (Small Gong) has studied at the National Academy of Traditional Theatre in Beijing (2001) and the Shanghai Theatre Academy (2009). He teaches traditional and modern Chinese drama at the University of Reading, and has published a book and a range of articles on Beijing Opera performance.

Xuming Li
Xuming Li studied instrumental playing at the Shenyang Music Academy in Northeast China. He worked with the Shenyang Opera and Dance Troupe for seven years. His speciality is the Yangqin (Dulcimer), Erhu (Orchestral Second Fiddle), and Dizi (Bamboo Flute). He is a frequent performer and workshop leader.

Qi Zhang
Qi Zhang (Moon lute) graduated from the Shandong Provincial Arts School,
and was Yueqin player with the Shandong Provincial Beijing Opera Troupe. He also plays a range of Chinese musical instruments. Having been trained in the Laosheng (Old Male) role at a young age, he has kept up his interest in singing. Since settling in the UK in 2000, he has performed frequently.


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