The guqin (a seven-stringed plucked zither) is a quintessential Chinese musical instrument with a history of more than 3,000 years. Unlike other classical Chinese instruments that were adapted from foreign cultures, the guqin is uniquely Chinese. Its reputation rests not only on the rich and diverse musical expressions it is capable of, but on the fact that it is widely viewed as a symbol of Chinese culture. Chinese thought and philosophy are integrally imbued in the guqin repertoire itself; behind every guqin piece, there is a legend or an underlying philosophy. Guqin music was declared a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2003.
Wang Fei is a master musician, published writer, and multimedia artist. She began her study of guqin in 1985 under the direction of master artist Li Xiangting at the Central Conservatory of Music in China. Wang Fei is considered one of the most experienced guqin artists of her generation. She founded the North American Guqin Association in 1997, one of the first online guqin communities. She has won several awards in the field of Chinese music, toured internationally, and given speeches, lectures, workshops on the guqin at many universities, including Stanford, UC Berkeley, and UCLA. Wang Fei is the recipient of the Library of Congress, American Folklife Center Harry Reed Award in 2014.
As a current master artist in ACTA’s Apprenticeship Program, Wang Fei is working with apprentice June Lou to refine her guqin repertoire and reach a level of mastery that will enable her to begin teaching.
Wang Fei participated in ACTA’s Apprenticeship Program in 2009 with apprentice Kwan Wong. During the apprenticeship, Wang Fei trained Kwan to assume the role of guqin educator, performer, and promoter and included a comprehensive review of playing techniques and repertoire.
The following video features Wang Fei (right) on the guqin.