Piano and Erhu Project
Corey Hamm, Piano
Nicole Li, erhu

“A very worthwhile musical adventure featuring two exceptional musicians in an eclectic series of works.”

— Fanfare Magazine

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About PEP

Erhu player Nicole Ge Li and pianist Corey Hamm are the masterminds behind PEP (Piano and Erhu Project). The erhu is a 1,000-year-old bowed, two-string Chinese instrument, and in the 21st century it finally has been given occasion to meet the piano. The marriage of the two is profoundly agreeable: Li and Hamm’s music is lithe, transportive, even funky. 

PEP has commissioned over 75 works by composers including Gao Ping, Royden Tse and Gabriel Prokofiev, as well as released two albums. (They have two more forthcoming.) In spring of 2018, they premiered the first concerto for erhu and piano ever written with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra: Dorothy Chang's Gateways. Five years in, PEP's pairing of two iconic Eastern and Western instruments has proven an unqualified success.

Nicole Ge Li et Corey Hamm, respectivement virtuoses de l’erhu et du piano, ont créé le Projet Piano et Erhu (PEP) pour explorer l’alliage fascinant de ces deux instruments iconiques de l’Orient et de l’Occident. Cette union s’accomplit musicalement et à travers la rencontre des sonorités, mais aussi par un dialogue des cultures. 

Depuis leur création il y a cinq ans, PEP a commandé plus de 75 œuvres de compositeurs dont Gao Ping, Roland Tse et Gabriel Prokofiev pour établir les bases d’un nouveau catalogue d’œuvres pour le duo. Deux volumes d’enregistrements de ces œuvres commandées ont déjà été publiés sur le label Red Shift. Les deux prochains volumes paraîtront dans les saisons à venir. Au printemps 2018, PEP a joué en primeur le premier concerto pour erhu et piano jamais écrit avec le Vancouver Symphony Orchestra : Gateways de Dorothy Chang. L’union de ces instruments emblématiques des cultures occidentale et orientale s’est montrée grandement fructueuse jusqu’à présent.

Programmes and projects

This Piano Erhu Project is familiarly known as PEP. The composers for the project come from China, Japan, Canada and the United States. The result is a new and flourishing catalogue of works for the piano and the erhu composed in the musical languages of the 21st century. This combination of instruments bringing together two of the world’s great musical traditions, now has a unique collection of works for Ms. Nicole Ge Li and Mr Corey Hamm as well as other musicians, to draw from for audiences of the 21st century. They have released some of these works on their PEP CDs, Vols. 1 and 2 (Redshift TK437 and 440.)

In April 2018, PEP premiered the first ever double concerto for piano and erhu, "Gateway" by Dorothy Chang, with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Chang says of the piece that it is "Woven into the three movements are references to a 90’s Chinese pop song, a children’s rhyme, opulent Romanticism, American minimalism, and other influences both subtle and not."




“A very worthwhile musical adventure featuring two exceptional musicians in an eclectic series of works.” 

—  Lynn Rene Bayley



“PEP sets our expectations of New Music against sounds often associated with traditional music and in doing that provides something that is as fresh as it is unique.” 

—  Jason Hall


“Li and Hamm possess a symbiotic connection, something that has no doubt grown in the nine years they've performed together.” 

—  December 2020





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