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Portrait: Fiona Sze-Lorrain

“My origins and upbringing are a hybrid of East and West…”

 

As soloist, I explore across the traditions of a classical zheng repertoire and a wide range of contemporary works: from the ancient Han tunes and guqin adaptations to modern compositions of the 50s-90s.

Trained in classical piano, I have also discovered the avant-garde zheng, a new genre that explores atonality and the difficulty of sound. Music becomes more than a classical expression of harmony, style, and form. I am interested in the purity and expressiveness of a tone, and how each tone, in its different shades, communicates.

Photo: Fiona Sze, age 11, performing on the zheng
Performing at age 11

In his Poétique musicale (1952), Stravinsky wrote, "True tradition is not the documentation of a closed past; it is a living force which stimulates and teaches the present." My origins and upbringing are a hybrid of East and West, past and present. I seek not to instill a mixture of both values, but to demarcate gaps and distance. I play a traditional Zhejiang tune on my zheng, but punctuate it with Bach's counterpoint, in search of a cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary artistic journey.

Fiona Sze-Lorrain
Sept 28, 2006 - Paris

Read her biography | en français