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Film, Video Conversation with Ann Yao

Transcript: TEXT

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  • Conversation with Ann Yao


  • Ann Yao talks about her life and her music with folklorist Stephen Winick. Yao performs cutting-edge interpretations of traditional material on the zheng, one of China???s most ancient instruments. A five-foot long, horizontal, plucked zither that typically has 21 strings, the zheng is first mentioned in Chinese literature in the third century B.C.

Event Date

  • November 19, 2020


  • -  Born into a musical family in Shanghai, Ann Yao grew up immersed in traditional Chinese music. Her grandfather's home was an important gathering place for traditional musicians from many regions of China. Ann was learning the zheng from her aunt and uncle by the age of ten; she developed an interest in and later mastered varied regional styles. She was also influenced by the folk and theatrical styles she learned from the musicians who frequented her grandfather's house. Ann went on to study zheng at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Upon graduation, she joined Beijing's Central National Music Ensemble. After moving to the United States in the 1980s, she joined Music from China, an innovative New York City-based ensemble known for contemporary arrangements of traditional material. She now performs in a trio and as a solo artist.

Running Time

  • 42 minutes 4 seconds

Online Format

  • video
  • image
  • online text





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Credit Line: Library of Congress

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Chicago citation style:

Conversation with Ann Yao. 2020. Video.

APA citation style:

(2020) Conversation with Ann Yao. [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Conversation with Ann Yao. 2020. Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.