West Meets East Concert To Be Held on Feb. 16 as Boston Celebrates Chinese New Year

By Yan-Huang Performing Arts

Yan-Huang Performing Arts Corporation was established by Hong Jiang in 1999 and is a tax-exempt, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

In order to fulfill our mission, we have annual concert series “West Meets East”. The series are comprised of concerts where Eastern and Western music and artists are brought together to offer people an opportunity to discover and appreciate the difference, commonality, and mutual influence of the two musical worlds.

Since 1999 we have held sold-out concerts at Symphony Hall, Jordan Hall and Sanders Theater in Boston and at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York. We are proud to present the 2013 West Meets East Concert at Jordan Hall featuring some of the well-respected musicians in Boston area. It will be a great night of Chinese and Western music as we celebrate the beginning of Year of Snake, which starts on Feb. 10.

Featured Artists:

Ronald Knudsen, Conductor
Li Fan, Piano
Xin Ding, Violin
New Philharmonia Orchestra


Bao Yuankai: Suite of Chinese Folk Music
Joy at Sunrise
Through the Western Pass
Going to See the Yangge Dance

Chen & He: Violin Concerto Butterfly lovers

Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No.1

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Conductor Ronald Knudsen
As a highly respected member of Boston’s professional musical community, Ronald Knudsen is known as performer, conductor and educator. Throughout his extended career he has devoted himself to bringing classical music of all kinds to the widest possible audience. Born in Nebraska and raised in Minnesota, Mr. Knudsen studied at the MacPhail School of Music in Minneapolis and Peabody Conservatory. Following Peabody he was a Tanglewood Music Center fellowship student, serving as both the orchestra’s concertmaster and soloist.

Mr. Knudsen is now in his 46th season as a member of the Boston Symphony violin section. Before coming to Boston in 1965 Mr. Knudsen was a member of the Baltimore and Detroit symphony orchestras. Since arriving in Boston Mr. Knudsen has been active in many aspects of Boston’s musical community. He was the original violinist in the contemporary music group Collage and in 1971 he helped to found the Curtisville Consortium, a chamber ensemble of BSO players and friends playing a series of chamber concerts each summer in the Berkshires. He has been a violin soloist with the Boston Pops, Brockton Symphony, Newton Symphony and Worcester Orchestras and appears annually in chamber programs throughout Massachusetts.

As a conductor Maestro Knudsen has conducted numerous orchestras throughout New England and in Japan. He served as Music Director of the Brockton and Newton Symphonies prior to being invited to be Music Director of the NPO. In June 1990 Maestro Knudsen made his conducting debut with the Boston Pops Orchestra and since that time has been a regular guest conductor with both the Boston Pops and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestras. His appearances in December 1999 mark his 10th season as a Boston Pops guest conductor. In addition, he has guest conducted for a variety of chamber and pops orchestras around the New England area. Maestro Knudsen has been acclaimed by the press, orchestra and audience for his programming, conducting skill and ability to bring professional standards to a non-professional orchestra.

On a personal level, in addition to playing and conducting Mr. Knudsen repairs fine old string instruments. He is married and lives in Newton where, in his “spare” time he works on the restoration of his historical Victorian period home. He has two children and four grandchildren all living in the area. His son Sato is a member of the Boston Symphony cello section and his daughter Mayumi is a graphic designer. Ron is the recipient of a number of civic awards including Newton Pride Award for Excellence in the Arts and the 1997 Newton-Needham Chamber of Commerce Appreciation Award.

Pianist Li Fan
Born into a musical family in China, Li Fan began his piano studies at the age of six, under the guidance of his mother and professor Yang Hangao. He had his debut professional performance in piano at the age of thirteen. In 1982, he received his Bbachelor’s degree in piano performance with honors from the Sichuan Conservatory of Music. From there he studied piano with professors Li Ruixing and Zhang Juanwei at prestigious Shanghai Conservatory of Music where he earned his Master’s degree with distinction. Upon graduation he was invited to join the faculty of the Piano Department at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music. In 1990 Mr. Li came to Boston to continue his piano study with Mr. Victor Rosenbaum at the Longy School of Music where he graduated with an Artist Diploma in 1992. He subsequently studied piano with Mr. Randall Hodgkinson and Mr. Gabriel Chodos.

In 1988 he made highly acclaimed nationwide tour with recitals in Shanghai, Xi’an, Chengdu, and Beijing where he performed at the Beijing Concert Hall – the foremost concert hall in Mainland China. After he came to US, Mr. Li has performed as recitalist and concerto soloist at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Weill Ricital Hall in New York and Symphony Hall, Jordan Hall and Sanders Theater in Boston as well as other concert halls in Tacoma, Manchester, Goshen and others.

As a native of China, Mr. Li also gave highly acclaimed recitals of Chinese Music in Boston area. Boston Globe said Mr. Li ‘evokes a different musical ear’. His debut recording of Chinese piano music was released by Centaur Records. Jed Distler reviewed the album at www.classicstoday.com: “Li Fan’s sensitive pianism certainly evokes the images behind the picturesque titles. He makes colorful impressions with Wang Jianzhong’s harp-like passage work and with the gentle, distant percussion effects in Li Ying Hai’s Flute and Drum at Sunset..” Jed Distler gave Li Fan’s performance in the album score 9 of 10.

Li fan resides in Newton, Mass. with his family.

Violinist Xin Ding
A native of China, violinist Xin Ding joined the Boston Symphony in January of 1999, having already had an accomplished music career. She served as concertmaster for both the China Youth Symphony Orchestra, the China Chamber Orchestra, and

performed in New England’s major orchestras. Xin’s natural gifts as a chamber musician were recognized early when she won the gold prize at the National String Quartet Competition in China. Her perfomances were often featured on national Chinese television and accompanied Chinese government delegations to promote culture exchanges in many countries. The passion for chamber music has continued throughout her career – recent performances include a 2007 quartet tour of China, performed by Xin and her BSO colleagues, as well as annual concerts in Boston and at Tanglewood as part of the Prelude concert series and many summers as visiting artist at the International Musical Arts Institute in Fryeburg, Maine. In addition, Ms. Ding is a member of the Milton String Quartet, performing concerts in support of children’s charities in China and around the world. A former faculty member of Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, teaching also plays a major role in Xin’s professional life. Her dedication and experience in this field have been widely recognized. She was named Studio Teacher of the Year by the American String Teachers Association of Massachusetts in 2007, and in 2011 was invited to judge the first ever Greater Boston Chinese Repertoire Violin Competition.

The oldest child of a musical family, Xin’s early studies on the piano and the violin were with her mother. At age of 10, she was one of the six young violinists selected nationwide to enter the primary school of Shanghai Conservatory of Music. She received bachelor’s degree from the Central Conservatory of Music in China. Bravely venturing to America in 1996 in pursuit of new musical inspiration, Xin Ding continued her studies in Houston and in Boston before earning an Artist’s Diploma from the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA. Her major teachers were the legendary pedagogues Zhenshan Wang, Fredell Lach and Eric Rosenblith. Ms. Ding launched her BSO career while attending the Longy School and now balances teaching, chamber music and orchestra career as part of a well-rounded and fulfilling musical life.

New Philharmonia Orchestra


“The orchestra played with great warmth and considerable refinement…It was a triumph.”
— The Boston Globe

Of the New Phil’s concert at the Hatchshell: “Knudsen and company offered a lively program mostly of what used to be called “light” classics. And the orchestra founded 10 years ago by longtime BSO violinist Knudsen served ‘em up exactly right.”
— Boston Herald

“The horns were exemplary. The oboes and flutes piquant in the Allegretto, the celli rich in tone and open of heart in the slow movement. Knudsen’s gauging of the development and recap of the finale was masterful.”
— The Boston Globe

“It was a privilege to be present for such a performance.”
— Boston Herald

“[Ronald Knudsen’s] mission, incorporated in this orchestra, is to bring great music to the suburbs, and to make it not only for the people but of the people and by the people. He’s done it.”
— The Boston Globe

“The winds and horns did themselves proud, the strings sang and soared.”
 The Boston Globe

“You could have closed your eyes and…pictured yourself at a performance by a professional orchestra in a fine and fancy concert hall… These are strings which… display the kind of real brilliance that delights the ear and tugs at, well, the heart strings.”
— The Tab

“…there was the superior level of execution in Debussy’s “Afternoon of a Faun” that, transcending such labels as ‘community,’ was pure and simply music-making of the highest order.”
— The Tab

“This was a concert of music to remain in the memory – as well as the imagination – for a long time to come.”
— The Tab



The New Philharmonia Orchestra of MA, Inc. (New Phil), founded in 1995, is a 75 member non-professional regional orchestra based in Newton. “Music of, by and for the people” [The Boston Globe] encapsulates the spirit of the organization.

From the outset New Phil’s motto, MUSIC FOR ALL, has been our mission. The orchestra advances its mission by presenting programs of diverse repertoire of classical and light classical music for the enjoyment of audiences of all ages and experiences from a variety of urban and suburban communities. At the same time the orchestra strives to provide its non-professional players the opportunity to achieve a high level of ensemble performance not otherwise available.

The New Philharmonia Orchestra is a member of the League of American Orchestras and the New England Orchestra Consortium.

Meet Musicians of New Philharmonia

The New Phil prides itself on the high musical standards they are able to obtain with a membership of non-professional players. Many of our players trained for a professional life in music and once they determined they could not make a living doing what they most loved, moved on to other professions including law, medicine, education and computer technology. The many music schools in Boston attract and graduate many players who go on in life wanting to play but not as a professional and the many community orchestras in the area are the beneficiaries. The New Phil is fortunate to have quite a stable membership, strong rehearsal attendance and a commitment and dedication from the players to the orchestra that is part and parcel of the high performance standards we have been able to attain with non-professional players. This is aided and nurtured by the gifted leadership and teaching of the New Phil Music Director, Ronald Knudsen who above all else wants to “help people love music.”