FENG Mantian is a ruanxian performer, ruanxian art inheritor, and Chinese traditional culture restorer. He is a national first-class actor of the China National Traditional Orchestra. He learned plucked stringed instruments, such as yueqin and zhongruan from Chinese yueqin maestro FENG Shaoxian. He worked in the China National Traditional Orchestra from 1978 to 2023. As a member of the China National Traditional Orchestra Delegation, he visited many countries. He was invited to join important foreign affairs activities frequently and performed for domestic and foreign dignitaries, spreading the voice of China to the whole world. In 2014, he won Grand Champion of the reality show “Brilliant Chinese” on CCTV. His creative performance helps ruanxian art to attract unprecedented public attention. He has carried out numerous practices in ruanxian performance, production, cultural inheritance and other aspects, who is recognized as a representative and influential artist. He has dedicated over 17 years to restore and develop “Imitated Hidden-hole Zhongruan in the Style of the Tang Dynasty”, which has been conferred with many national patents. He plays a crucial role in promoting the inheritance of national musical instruments. In 2020, FENG Mantian released his first solo digital music album Deep in the Ruan. Since 2019, he has set up “Mantian Band” and presented concert entitled “Up and Down the Mountain: Sacred & Secular”, with more than 100 tours around the globe. FENG Mantian’s music not only carries on and outreaches the purest concept of ruanxian art, but unswervingly searches for a cultural core of the Chinese Nation.
For more than 40 years, FENG Mantian has stood dedicated to the inheritance and development of ruanxian art in the contemporary context and from a global perspective. By delving into X-ray drawings of ruanxian of the Tang Dynasty, which was collected by Shōsō-in Treasure House at Tōdai-ji, on the basis of 17-year efforts and 47 experiments, he finally rolled out “Hidden-hole Zhongruan”, “Imitated Ruanxian in the Style of the Tang Dynasty”, “Unpitched Daruan” and other musical instruments suited for playing in 2009.
FENG Mantian’s ruanxian art is reinvigorating the complex for ancient literati with modern music form, embodying Chinese philosophy and bringing together the Oriental aesthetics, beliefs and pursuits, which seems like a meditation in the music world. The music, like as illusionary images, is painted by the audiences at will. FENG Mantian expects to lead the audiences into the Chinese classical music world to feel its unique heartbeat, pulse and breath.
KONG Hongwei (JIN Fo)
KONG Hongwei is a famous Chinese jazz pianist and composer, a pioneer of the Chinese folk jazz, an associate professor at the China Conservatory of Music, a member of the Jiusan Society, and the founder of Tien Square. He used to study at the Central Conservatory of Music Middle School, the Traditional Instruments Department of the Central Conservatory of Music, and the Composition Department of the China Conservatory of Music. He has published China’s first solo jazz piano album, Summer Palace, and his personal writing, Modern Jazz Piano Artistry. Since 2012, KONG Hongwei has visited many countries in the world on behalf of Chinese musicians at the request of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China. As a representative figure of Chinese jazz, KONG Hongwei has his name on the list of musicians promoted to the outside world by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China. His works are typical of Chinese folk music, and he remains dedicated to blending Chinese elements with jazz. He was also the first person to mount the international stage and tell the Chinese story to the world with folk jazz.
CHANG Jing is a national first-class actress. During childhood, she studied guzheng from master LONG Dejun. In 1991, she was admitted to China Conservatory of Music and successively studied under the tutelage of professors LI Wanfen and QIU Dacheng. She is an ambassador for China-Greece cultural exchange. She is also Founder and Music Director of “Xian Ensemble”. Since 2002, she has been employed as the permanent guzheng teacher for the Princess of Thailand. At the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games 2008, she offered a guzheng solo Ritual Music—A Moonlit Night on the Spring River. She used to perform guzheng concerto A Moonlit Night on the Spring River in cooperation with famous conductor Lorin Maazel and Butterflies in Love with Flowers in cooperation with Qigang Chen, TANG Muhai and Orchestre National de France. She also cooperated with Yanni, Richard Clayderman, ZHU Zheqin and other artists. She serves as a soundtrack performer for movies Under the Hawthorn Tree and Shadow directed by ZHANG Yimou and movie Ashes of Time Redux directed by Karwai Wong. Her music sheds light on the Chinese classical music culture to the whole world in a modern way, innovatively portraying guzheng music through unique performance and the wonderful mix of the Eastern and Western musical instruments.
DING Xiaokui is a wind instrument performer of the China National Traditional Orchestra. He is good at playing the flute, xiao, shakuhachi , xun, paixiao, bansuri, irish whistle and other wind instruments. He won Silver Award of Flute Professional Group in the First CCTV National Instrumental Music TV Competition, Silver Award of “Shanghai Spring” International Southern String and Pipe Music Invitational Competition in 2011, and Gold Award of National and Folk Outstanding Ensembles conferred by the Ministry of Culture in 2013. He played an important role in such large-scale dramas as Impression Chinese Music and Rediscover Chinese Music directed by WANG Chaoge, Looking for DU Fu directed by YI Liming, etc. He played the role of the young monk Xuanzang in Xuanzang’s Pilgrimage, the first national instrumental drama produced by the China National Traditional Orchestra. In 2017, he held a solo recital at the Beijing Concert Hall. From 2019 to 2021, he participated in the “Honor of Kings” Concert Tours of China National Symphony Orchestra. He took part in a recording of the opening ceremony music for the Beijing Winter Olympic Games 2022, and presented the inaugural flute work Beginning of Spring in the opening ceremony repertoire that night, winning over highl praised from many insiders and other people.
DING Xiaokui contributes to the recording of soundtrack music for many movies and TV series, such as Youth, Nothing Gold Can Stay, Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace, Xuanzang, All Men Are Brothers, The Three Kingdoms, Word of Honor, as well as background music for many other games, such as Honor of Kings and Moonlight Blade. He remains committed to cross-over performance of diverse musical culture. He is a member of the Gold Buddha Jazz Band headed by jazz pianist KONG Hongwei and Mantian Band headed by zhongruan maestro FENG Mantian. He is favoured by music festivals and musicians in Europe and America.
LI Linxiao is Cheng-school Qingyi actress and national second-class actress of the Jingju Theater Company of Beijing. She holds a master degree of National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts. She once studied under the tutelage of Peking Opera masters, such as MENG Xianrong, FANG Mingzhen, WANG Zhiyi, CHEN Qi, ZHANG Manling, CHI Xiaoqiu, LI Wenmin, QIAO Cuirong, SHEN Jianjin and LI Haiqing. She is now instructed by ZHANG Huoding, a prestigious Peking Opera artist and professor at National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts. Until now, she has been studying Cheng-school art under the tutelage of professor ZHANG Huoding in the past decade, and she has made brilliant progress in artistic style and concept.
Under the tutelage of professor ZHANG Huoding, she joined “Meet in Beijing” International Art Festival frequently, and performed in the United States as a member of National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts Delegation. LI Linxiao and ZHANG Huoding ever jointly performed The Unicorn Purse, The White Snake Legend and other Cheng-school classics, which were well received both inside and outside the industry. She won Gold Medal of the First CCTV Peking Opera Competition of Students from the National Traditional Opera Schools, and Bronze Award of the Seventh CCTV Young Peking Opera Performers TV Competition. She played the role of LIN Daiyu in a concert entitled “A Dream of Red Mansions with Savours of Peking Opera” by the Jingju Theater Company of Beijing.
Under the joint cultivation of the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts and Jingju Theater Company of Beijing, LI Linxiao spares no effort to gain rich experience in plays and improve creative ability, constantly drawing on the performance essences of the Cheng School and other schools, grasping different styles and characteristics in the process of learning from various teachers, and attaching tremendous importance to the study of historical theory and the spirit of critical thinking. She can promptly adjust the cognition of performance according to her personal reflections and feedbacks from all walks of life. She strives to improve her own accomplishments in terms of stage presentation and theoretical quality. She boasts performance skills in such plays as Furious Queen Dowager HE, The Injustice to DOU E, The Unicorn Purse, A Young Lady’s Dream, Red-mane Savage Horse, The Butterfly Lovers, The White Snake Legend, Sister JIANG, A Red Mole, Grave for Lovers and LIU Yingchun. LI Linxiao is a rare Qingyi actress on the contemporary stage of the Peking Opera.