Xu Fengxia Biography  


The Shanghai Years I When Xu Fengxia was 5 years old she started to learn instruments. She first played the Chinese lute "Pipa", but when she started to study at the Shanghai Music Conservatory she focussed on the "Sanxian" (usually a plucked instrument, but as you can see it also is possible to use a bow!). The picture was taken during her first solo concert at the Conservatory. She mastered four instruments: guzheng, guqin, sanxian and a small lute called liuqin. After her graduation Xu Fengxia joined the famous Shanghai Orchestra of Chinese Music. She worked there as a soloist on the sanxian. Some of her early solo work has been documented on a Hugo Records (Hongkong) sampler. Meanwhile Xu Fengxia also played solo music of Paganini and was the soloist in a contemporary concert for sanxian and symphony orchestra.
The Shanghai Years II The 80s brought new cultural influences to China. Young people got interested in Rock and Pop music from abroad. So, Xu Fengxia started to play the bass in Shanghai`s first Ladies Rockband. They played also possible venues from bars to football stadiums.
Bringing Chinese Music to Europe In the 90s Xu Fengxia began to live in Germany. She joined the Gufeng Ensemble which was the most famous group for traditional Chinese music in Europe. The Gufeng ensemble still exists: On the picture you can see ( from left: Zhang Zhenfang, Dong Ya, Xu Fengxia, Lao Ran)
First contacts with jazz and impro Xu Fengxia had been playing the first concert with musicians of jazz and improvised music 1990 in Shanghai (with flutist Albert Preisfeld and violinist and composer Lutz Wagner). The 90`s brought a band called Shanghai Connection. It began as a trio with Xu Fengxia, Albert Preisfeld and Lutz Wagner. Later it was a sextet with Rolf Sudmann (piano), Zhang Zhenfang (erhu), Rudi Mahall (clarinet), Roland H.H.Bisswurm (drums), Li Jing Xia (pipa) and Xu Fengxia. They played compositions of Lutz Wagner. This was the first time when Xu Fengxia "got mad" and started improvising.
Working with Peter Kowald In the mid 90`s Xu Fengxia began an intensive collaboration with the late Peter Kowald, one of the main figures in improvised music worldwide.With Gunda Gottschalk (violin) and Peter Kowald (bass) Xu Fengxia performed worldwide. The trio which was called "Global Village" played at the Vision Festival in New York, at the Poschiavo,Lucerne and Taktlos festivals in Switzerland. With Peter Kowald and reed player Alfred Harth Xu Fengxia played the Moscow Pushkin Festival. When she had duo concerts with Peter in Boston and New York in september 2002 he all of the sudden died of a heart attack.Xu Fengxia describes Peter Kowald as her main influence to open up for new musical horizons. Also, Peter was a wonderful person and a good friend.The picture was taken after a concert in Hagen/ Germany
Xu Fengxia works with composers and orchestras Until now, Xu Fengxia often plays solo parts in the compositions of Chinese Composers like Tan Dun, Qu Xiaosong, Kee Yong, Xu Shuya, Qin Wencheng and many more. She cooperated with the Nieuw ensemble Amsterdam, the Flemish Symphony Brugge, Ensemble Recherche, Staatstheater Saarbruck and others.