Professor Yang, a renowned string artist, is a prodigy. At a young age of five, he performed as a solo pianist in Hong Kong. At the age of sixteen, he was admitted to the Central Academy of Music (中央音樂學院) for his musical talent as well as his proficiency in violin and piano performances. He studied under Professor Ma Si-cong (馬思聰), graduating in 1957, specializing in the field of performance, composition, musicology and violin teaching.

At the time of his graduation, China was swept by the “Anti-rightists Movement”. Professor Yang was unfortunately wrongly labeled as a ‘rightist’ and was exiled to the Chongqing Opera House (重慶歌劇院) to do heavy labor work. After 1978, when China started to reform, he was recalled to teach in the Shanghai Academy of Music (上海音樂學院), the Central Academy of Music (中央音樂學院), and the Sichuan Academy of Music (四川音樂學院).

Professor Yang retired in 1997 and settled in Hong Kong. But he remains active in composition, teaching, lecturing and publishing music education materials.

Since 1955, Professor Yang has been diligently pursuing his dream of integrating the art of violin (composition and performance) with the traditional musical culture of China, exploring the ways to distill the essence of China’s long-time musical culture to a format which could be understood and appreciated by the contemporary international music community, through his own violin repertoires.

He held a number of violin recitals in Chongqing (1979), and in Sichuan (1997 and 2004). Starting in 2000, he held a concert on his own works in Chongqing, and since then, he has, almost every year, his own works performed in Hong Kong and various parts of the world.

Professor Yang’s extensive and profound knowledge on traditional Chinese music and folk music of various tribes and regions, traditional and contemporary, can be reflected in many of his compositions. For convenience, his works may be grouped into the following categories:

  • Re-arrangements/paraphrasing of Classical Chinese music
  • Re-arrangements/paraphrasing of traditional/contemporary folk music
  • His own original compositions for solo violin, duets, trios, quartets, quintets for strings, or in combination with piano, and /or various traditional Chinese instruments.

Many of his compositions/performances have been recorded and published by various institutions and publishing houses, such as the Central Academy of Music Publishing House (中央音出樂學院出版社), The Stradivarius Violin Institute ,Chicago, (芝加哥斯持拉·瓦利小堤琴協會), the China Audio-visual Technology and Culture Publishing House (中國科技文化音像出版社), to name but a few.

Professor Yang’s papers for many of his seminars, lectures have been collected and published in various formats together with many of his books on violin playing and teaching.

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1979
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Invited to lecture on “Influence of Folk Music and Instruments on the Composition of Professor Ma” in the special seminar on “The Study on Composition of Professor Ma Si-chong”.

1992
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“The 60th Anniversary Concert on Professor Yang’s Works” in Chongqing.

2000
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Invited by the Central Academy of Music, Beijing, Professor Yang’s mother school, to lecture on “Using the violin, a Western string instrument to Express Chinese Traditional Music” .

2002
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Invited by the School of Arts to lecture in the National Cultural University of Taiwan (台湾國立文化大學藝術學院).

2002
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“Concert Commemorating Professor Yang’s 70th Birthday” in Sichuan, during which Professor Yang played the piano accompaniment with violist Chen Xiang (陳响) on his own arrangement for “Surrounded on All Sides (十面埋伏)”

2004
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Joined and taught in the “Yip’s Music Centre”, Hong Kong, teaching violin classes.

2005
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Joint performance with renowned Ur-hu instrumentalist Min Huifen (閔惠芬) playing Professor Yang’s Concerto for Ur-hu (川江-二胡與交响乐隊版本, chuan-jiang : Ur-hu and Symphonic version).

2006
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Professor Yang’s re-arrangement for violin, a Rondo (秀山花灯回旋曲 xiushan huadeng hui xuan qu), was included in the repertoire in the Hong Kong Schools Music Competition (香港校際音樂比賽).

2008
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Concert in Switzerland on Chinese music, in which Professor Yang’s works were introduced.

2011
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Professor Yang lectured in Poland.

2014