Cheng Yu (musician)

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Cheng Yu
Dr Cheng Yu playing the P'ipa

Cheng Yu is a Chinese musician. She is internationally renowned as a performer of the pipa, a Chinese four-stringed lute, but also plays the guqin, a seven-stringed zither, and is a virtuoso, scholar and specialist of Chinese music.

She gained a BMus in China and an MMus in the United Kingdom. She completed her PhD studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London on Ancient Xi'an Music and regularly performs throughout the UK.

She plays, records and researches widely on traditional and contemporary Chinese music as well as cross-cultural music collaborations in the UK, Europe and other places. In her recent project in 2005, she successfully re-created a modern version of the lost Tang Dynasty five-stringed pipa, based on the study of old Tang dynasty pipas and lutes from the East Asian cultures.[1]

She is the founder of the UK Chinese Ensemble in 1994 and the London Youlan Qin Society in 2003.


Cheng Yu was born in Beijing, but grew up in Gansu Province in Northwest China when her family was exiled during the Cultural Revolution. She studied the southern Pudong style of pipa with her father from the age of seven and was further trained by pipa masters in the north-western Pinghu style later. She also studied and graduated with distinction in the Xi'an Conservatory of Music in 1987 for the guqin. She won the "outstanding pipa player" award in China in the same year she was selected as a pipa soloist in the China Central Orchestra of Chinese Music in Beijing.

She moved to London in the 1990s and currently teaches pipa and guqin as well as research at SOAS, University of London.

Collaborations and projects[edit]

See also[edit]

Please see: References section in the guqin article for a full list of references used in all qin related articles.


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-08-31. Retrieved 2006-10-17.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]