Norfolk Chamber Music Festival–Yale Summer School of Music

Musical Bridges Project | 2022

The Commission

ANGEL LAM  The heart is deeper than the ocean
Premiered: Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Wu Man  pipa
Cheng Allen Liang  cello
Melvin Chen  piano

The second in our continuing series of commissions bridging music of different cultures with traditional Western classical chamber music features Wu Man― GRAMMY-nominated pipa virtuoso and founding member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road project―in a new work by celebrated composer Angel Lam for pipa, cello, and piano.

During the evening you will first hear the work performed, followed by a discussion of the work between the composer and artists, and then lastly a recap performance when you'll have to opportunity to hear the work again, but with a different perspective.

Musical Bridges and this performance is made possible through the generous support of the Desai Family Foundation.

About the Composer

GRAMMY-nominated composer Angel Lam uses the beauty of sounds, songs, instrumentation, and written language to express detailed emotions and her passion for life. She tells intimate stories about life and death, growing up, inspirations and relationships. Her compositions are praised as  “both poignant and important.” (Yo-Yo Ma)

Lam has a background in both classical and folk music, learning zheng and qin (ancient Chinese zithers) as a child. Her work combines evocative songs, deeply felt, hidden memories, an exploration of human experiences, and her immersed sensitivity to spirituality. She writes short stories for her compositions, which are an inseparable component of her creative process.  MORE

What is a pipa?

Pipa virtuoso Wu Man explains more about this lute-like instrument with a history of more than two thousand years.

wu man silk road
Artist Interview

Wu Man: The Power of the Pipa

Wu Man is a one-woman pipa promoter. The renowned GRAMMY-nominated pipa virtuoso travels the world playing this ancient Chinese instrument with orchestras, in chamber groups and as a soloist. You can hear her in everything from Kung Fu Panda 3 to a solo performance with the China National Centre for Performing Arts Orchestra in Beijing.
angel lam
artist interview

Composer Angel Lam: Music and Stories

Composer Angel Lam, the Festival’s second commissioned composer of the Musical Bridges project, often starts considering a composition not with specific musical sounds but with words or a story. She gives an example of something she wrote while composing a piece for solo guitar called little snow:

“My daughter was born on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the lunisolar calendar, the day of “little snow”...