Biography

Reviews

Boston Herald (2005.1.10)
"Xu Ke then offered Wang Jian-Min's 'First Erhu Rhapsody,' demonstrating the
surprising volume and clarity offered by that two-string violin, also played upright."
-- Keith Powers

The New York Times (2005.1.8)

"The Chinese works featured Xu Ke, a guest, who has been called the Paganini of the
Erhu . . . the plaintive, affectingly nasal-toned Erhu, played with affecting beauty and
stunning virtuosity by Mr. Xu. . . ."
--Anthony Tommasini

The Strad (Oct. 2003) Flight of the Erhu

"Xu Ke, a veteran with Aaron of Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble. Tucked between new works like Yang Yong's River Songs, Zhou Long's Taiping Drum and Chen Yi's Romance and Dance were Debussy's Cello Sonata and Bartok's Rhapsody No. 1 – a juxtaposition that made much musical sense in freeing the ear from conventional tonal beauty and allowing for explorations in timbre. Xu Ke, who proved a match for any western violin virtuoso, later tore into Flight of the Bumble Bee – a crowd pleasing antic saved from tackiness by its blistering brilliance."
--Ken Smith

Boston Globe (U.S.A.) October 15, 2002

"He plays as well as any superstar virtuoso on Western instruments, yet serves new music more faithfully than most superstar virtuosos do."

Die Welt (Germany) January 11, 2000

"Incisive Dawning of a Nation...a two-stringed instrument on which Xu Ke delivers an astonishingly masterly performance..."

Der Tagesspiegel (Germany) October 31, 2000

"Volcanic Dance -- An excellent concert in the Berlin Concert House . . . an especially beautiful insight into the characteristics of the Erhu, a Chinese stringed instrument, in a concerto by the 1953-born Chen Yi. Performed by the internationally-renowned Chinese Erhu player Xu Ke, the Erhu Paganini of the East, with passion and unparalleled artistry."

Richmond Times Dispatch (U.S.A.) May 13, 1996

"He sounds like another Heifetz. He plays the erhu, the two-stringed traditional fiddle of China, with the speed, flexibility, dynamism and room-filling tone of a Western string virtuoso, and his arrangements of Chinese and Western violin music could usher the Erhu into the mainstream. 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."

Ming Bao Monthly (Hong Kong) August 8, 1992

"You are a hero who has for or the first time in playing the double concord on the Erhu."

HIFI Magazine (Hong Kong) July 3, 1992

"Xu Ke is the Paganini in the world of Erhu, and his perfect command of the techniques is probably unprecedented."

Asahi Shimbun (Japan) January 5, 1990

"Xu ke is the best among Chinese erhu players . . . . His exquisite and vivacious performances have given his audiences the sheer enjoyment of the beauty of music."

Youth Daily (China) January 3, 1988

"By Absorbing the special violin techniques, and by merging China and the West, he has most deftly and exquisitely expressed the rich and profound inner soul of Chinese music. . . . The success of Xu Ke's recital laid the foundation for the highest realization of the ideal of the great erhu master, Liu Tianhua, who believed that Chinese national music should keep pace with music of the world."

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