Chinese Fine Arts Society Celebrates 30th Anniversary with Forces of Nature: The Five Elements Project Event Series Making a Splash with First Concert: “Water” Featuring a World Premiere at UChicago’s Logan Center, April 27

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Chinese Fine Arts Society Celebrates 30th Anniversary with

Forces of Nature: The Five Elements Project

Event Series Making a Splash with First Concert: “Water” Featuring a World Premiere


UChicago’s Logan Center, April 27


CHICAGO (April 8, 2014) – The Chinese Fine Arts Society (CFAS), Chicago’s champion for the art and culture of China led by Julie Tiao Ma, celebrates its milestone 30th Anniversary Season with a year-long series of concerts, lectures and events inspired by the world’s fundamental building blocks in Forces of Nature: The Five Elements Project.  Inspired by late CFAS founder Barbara Tiao, who many considered a “force of nature,” The Five Elements Project is themed around the five elements found throughout Chinese art, science and philosophy: earth, fire, metal, water and wood.  The Five Elements Project makes a splash with its first event, “Water,” a concert featuring traditional and contemporary works by renowned Chinese composers, including a World Premiere by New York composer Huang Ruo, at the University of Chicago’s Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th Street in Hyde Park, Sunday, April 27 at 3 pm.

The Five Elements Project opener “Water” is curated by Qing Hou, Chicago Symphony Orchestra violinist and CFAS artist-in-residence.  Wang Lu from the University of Chicago’s Center for East Asian Studies presents a pre-concert talk beginning at 2 pm on the five elements and how western audiences can better understand eastern philosophy through these keystones.  The “Water” program is co-presented by the Logan Center for the Arts and is part of Envisioning China, a five-month festival of art and culture presented by UChicago Arts (


Many of the Chinese Fine Arts Society concerts feature instruments harkening back to China’s 5,000-year-old musical traditions.  The “Water” program features Ruo’s Phrases of the Stream, a work featuring Yihan Chen on the pipa (a four-stringed plucked instrument similar to a lute) and Chicagoan Betti Xiang on the erhu (a two-stringed bowed instrument similar to a fiddle).  A collage of musical images drawn from the flowing, breaking, gathering and diverging of a mountain stream, Ruo’s piece was originally commissioned in 2002 by George Tiao, husband of CFAS founder Barbara Tiao, for Barbara’s 70th birthday.  This marks the work’s first public performance.  The “Water” concert also includes:

·        Traditional Chinese Tune: The Love of the Wei River

Featuring Yihan Chen, pipa

·        Traditional Chinese Tune: Winter Duck Playing in Water

Featuring YuQi Deng, guzheng

·        Traditional Chinese Tune: Flowing Spring Stream

Featuring YuQi Deng, guzheng

·        Lake by Lei Liang

Featuring Eugenia Moliner, flute, and Jennifer Woodrum, clarinet

·        The Stream Flows by Bright Sheng

Featuring MingHuan Xu, violin, and Jessica Tong, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago dancer

·        Three Gorges Dam Capriccio by Liu Wenjin

Featuring Betti Xiang, erhu, and Amy Briggs, piano

·        Happy Rain On A Spring Night by Chen Yi

Emanuele Andrizzi, conductor; Eugenia Moliner, flute; Jennifer Woodrum, clarinet; MingHuan Xu, violin; David Cunliffe, cello; and Amy Briggs, piano



Single tickets for The Five Elements Project: “Water” are $10 general admission, $5 for students, and available now through the UChicago Arts box office, located on the south entrance of the Logan Center, by phone at 773-702-2787 or online at  VIP tickets for $50 include premium concert seating and a post-concert food and beverage reception with the artists in the exquisite Performance Penthouse of the Logan Center.


More Five Elements Project Events

The Forces of Nature: The Five Elements Project continues with the second concert, “Earth and Wood,” a free event in Preston Bradley Hall of the Chicago Cultural Center, Sunday, May 18 at 3 pm.


The third concert in the series, “Fire and Metal,” is presented free at the Pritzker Pavilion of Millennium Park, Sunday, August 10 at 6:30 pm.


Other Five Elements Project events will be announced throughout the year.


About the Chinese Fine Arts Society

Founded in 1984, the Chinese Fine Arts Society is dedicated to promoting Chinese culture, music, dance and visual arts in Chicago through performance and education, thus enhancing cultural exchange.  Its core programming consists of three areas: Professional Concerts, Young Artist Development and Community Engagement.  


The history of CFAS has been a true “American Dream” success story, beginning when Barbara Tiao, a Shanghai native who fled the country in 1949, eventually settling in Chicago in 1984.  She established herself as a piano teacher and a “cultural ambassador,” sharing her beloved culture with other students and the surrounding community.  This passion was Tiao’s inspiration to start the Chinese Fine Arts Society.  Tiao passed away in 2008, having realized her dream: an organization that has bloomed into a professional entity in Chicago’s artistic scene.  Since its founding, the CFAS has been the leading champion of Chinese arts in Chicago, from traditional to contemporary.  CFAS has established itself with widely attended and critically acclaimed cultural events in various venues throughout Chicagoland.


To learn more about the Chinese Fine Arts Society and its programs, visit


About UChicago Arts’s Envisioning China festival

The CFAS ‘Water’ concert is part of Envisioning China, a festival of arts and culture at the University of Chicago featuring more than 40 events and exhibitions.  From February to June 2014, explore the depths of China’s cultural legacy through never-before-exhibited paintings, rarely seen films, engaging talks, and magnificent performances by acclaimed artists, musicians and more.


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