Biography

About Xu Ke

A magical combination of Chinese and Western classical music
Western critics have proclaimed that Xu Ke is “another Heifetz”, an “Asian Paganini” and “Segovia of the age”
Xu Ke has also been designated an “Ambassador for Chinese Music”

A revolutionary Erhu performer
Xu Ke’s innovative mastery of the Erhu is unprecedented
Xu Ke has expanded the range of the Erhu from two to more than four octaves.
He has developed techniques such as double-stopping, artificial harmonics
in high position and graduated prestissimo staccato
In defiance of the mechanical limitations of the erhu,
Xu Ke has developed a “dual tone melody” capability for that instrument

Xu Ke

Hong Kong’s HiFi Magazine dubbed Xu Ke the ‘’Paganini of the Erhu world’’ and the Richmond Times Dispatch proclaimed that Xu Ke ‘’sounds like another Heifetz’’ and “If this plangent, wiry sounding instrument (an English horn of strings) finds a home in the concert world, Xu ke will have been it missionary, as Segovia was for classical guitar and Landoswska was for the harpsichord.”
Xu Ke received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music in 1982 with honors from the Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing, China, where he studied under the Erhu master. Yusong Lan.

Xu Ke was the first Erhu in the China National Traditional Orchestra in 1983.  In 1986, Xu Ke conducted his first tour of the United States as the musical director of a Chinese Music delegation.

Since 1978, Xu Ke has been a soloist with numerous world orchestras, including the Japan Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, the New Japan Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Philharmonic Orchestra of China.  Xu Ke has also held recitals in Japan, Hong Kong, Finland, Canada, Estonia, Europe, China, and the United States.

Xu Ke is also an outstanding composer of music for the Erhu, as well as an innovator with regard to how that instrument is played.  Xu Ke expanded the erhu’s range from two to more than four octaves, and has developed unique and innovative techniques such as double-stopping, artificial harmonics in high position and graduated prestissimo staccato.

Xu Ke has conducted numerous presentations and workshops pertaining to the erhu in universities throughout the world, including the Tokyo Arts University, the Central University of Japan, the Tokyo Women’s University, Old Dominion University, Duke University, the University of Missouri, and the Kansas City Conservatory of Music. Xu Ke was conducted research into the use of the erhu and other musical issues while at the Social Studies Department of the Waseda University in Japan.

In July, 2000, Xu Ke was invited as an art director by Yo Yo Ma to participate in the Silk Road Project at the Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox, Massachusetts.  In October, 2000, Xu Ke conducted the debut performances of the ‘’Fiddle Suite’’ by Chen Yi, in Konzerthaus, Berlin, Herkulessaal, Munich and other major concert halls throughout Germany with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra in Oct. 2000.  In July, 2001, Xu Ke was the artistic director of the ‘’Silk Road Music’’ concert held during the 17th Tokyo Summer Festival in the Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall. The Sony Classics label released an album recorded during the Silk Road Project featuring Yo-Yo Ma,  Xu Ke and an ensemble of other performers was released.  Xu Ke was the first Erhu master in the world to record on the RCA label.  He currently records for his own label, XUA, which stands for “Xu Arts”

In September 2003, Xu Ke performed at the world famous Carnegie Hall.  Since then, he has preformed with world famous groups such as the Philharmonisches Streichquintett Berlin,  the Boston Modern Project Orchestra, the Shanghai Quartet, the Czech Philharmonic Ocete, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the US Pacific Symphony Orchestra all while traveling throughout the world to conduct recitals and master classes.

In March 2004 and 2007, he was named Guest Professor of Erhu at the Central Conservatory of Music Beijing and Conservatory of Music Shanghai China, becoming the first overseas resident to be bestowed such great honor from his homeland. In 2008, Xu Ke founded three erhu schools in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka. Currently, Xu Ke resides in Tokyo Japan.

He was awarded platinum album from BMG Hong Kong in 1993

Perform with the world well known Orchestra

  1. China National Symphony Orchestra
  2. China National Orchestra
  3. Philharmonisches Streichquintett Berlin
  4. Czech Philharmonic Ocete
  5. Boston Modern Project Orchestra
  6. US Pacific Symphony Orchestra
  7. New York Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra
  8. Oakland Philharmonic Orchestra
  9. Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
  10. Russian Philharmonic Orchestra
  11. Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra
  12. Tokyo Symphony Orchestra
  13. New Japan Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra
  14. Tokyo City Philharmonic Orchestra
  15. Japan Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra
  16. Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra
  17. Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra
  18. Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra
  19. Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra
  20. Gunma Philharmonic Orchestra
  21. Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
  22. Singapore Symphony Orchestra
  23. Macau Philharmonic Orchestra
  24. Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra
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