PEP

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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Biography

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. 

In their five-year history 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. 

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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."

Reviews

FANFARE MAGAZINE

 

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

—  Lynn Rene Bayley

VANCOUVER OBSERVER

 

“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

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