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Lunar New Year Concert Featuring Rabia Brooke

February 11, 2024 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall
78 E Washington St
IL 60602
The Chinese Fine Arts Society

Join us for a matinee concert featuring violinist and Music Festival in Honor of Confucius alumni Rabia Brooke performing the world premiere of Lei Liang’s “Mongolian Suite for Violin” and a performance of Mongolian folk-fusion music from Tuvergen band. Rabia and Lei will also sit down for a pre-concert Q and A to discuss the commissioning and composition process, the inspiration for this new work, and much more! Presented in partnership with Choose Chicago and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. 

Sunday, February 11, 3:00pm
Pre-concert Lecture at 2:00pm.
Chicago Cultural Center’s Preston Bradley Hall
78 E Washington St.

Free Admission

About Rabia Brooke

Praised as a “violinist with emerging melodies both ardent and airy” (New Eastside News), Rabia Brooke is equally at home as a solo, chamber, and orchestral player. She is known for her passion and sincere artistry that has captivated audiences worldwide. Ms. Brooke has collaborated with some of today’s most compelling musical voices including commissioning projects with composers Jennifer Higdon, Clarice Assad, Chen Yi, Lei Liang, Juhi Bansal,
Elizabeth Younan, Stacy Garrop, and Mischa Zupko.

Most recently as a soloist Ms. Brooke has appeared in Carnegie’s Weil Hall, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, and at the RAVINIA Festival alongside Maestro George Stelluto and Jaimie Bernstein performing the Berstein Serenade celebrating the Legacy of her father Leonard Bernstein. Rabia’s collaborations as a chamber musician include Rachel Barton Pine, Black Oak Ensemble with pianist Pallavi Mahidahra, Formosa Quartet, principal players from London’s Royal Philharmonic and Royal Orchestras, Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra, and 5th House Ensemble.

Ms. Brooke has been a laureate of numerous competitions, including the Cooper International, Fischoff National Chamber Competition, and the Musicians Club of Women where she garnered the Farewell Trust Award. In addition, Ms. Brooke has been a frequent performer on Chicago’s WFMT Radio Programs.

Ms. Brooke has appeared at the Kronberg Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Orford Musique Festival, Vivace Festival, Sounding Point Academy Festival, Musique Dans la Gers, Tibor Vara Academy and Masterclasses, and the Curtis Institute of Music of Young Artists Program serving as concertmaster under the baton of Joshua Gersen of the New York Philharmonic. Other projects include collaborations with Daniel Rowland for the filming of Beethoven Documentary and an appearance with Grammy-nominated banjoist Noam Pikelny and bluegrass band, Special Consensus. Rabia was featured on a special episode with renowned violinist Gil Shaham on

A Chicago native, Ms. Brooke holds a BM from the Juilliard School of Music where she studied
with Joseph Lin and Cathy Cho.


About Lei Liang 

Lei Liang (b.1972) is a Chinese-born American composer whose works have been described as “hauntingly beautiful and sonically colorful” by The New York Times, and as “far, far out of the ordinary, brilliantly original and inarguably gorgeous” by The Washington Post.

Winner of the 2011 Rome Prize, Lei Liang is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Aaron Copland Award, a Koussevitzky Music Foundation Commission, a Creative Capital Award, and the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His concerto Xiaoxiang (for saxophone and orchestra) was named a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in Music. His orchestral work, A Thousand Mountains, A Million Streams, won the prestigious 2021 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition. 

Lei Liang was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic for the inaugural concert of the CONTACT! new music series. Other commissions and performances come from the Taipei Chinese Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, the Heidelberger Philharmonisches Orchester, the Thailand Philharmonic, the Fromm Music Foundation, Meet the Composer, Chamber Music America, the National Endowment for the Arts, MAP Fund, Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, the Manhattan Sinfonietta, Arditti Quartet, Shanghai Quartet, the Scharoun Ensemble of the Berlin Philharmonic, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, New York New Music Ensemble and Boston Musica Viva, pipa virtuoso Wu Man, violinist Cho-Liang Lin, among others. 

Lei Liang’s ten portrait discs are released on Naxos, Mode, New World, BMOP/sound, Albany, Encounter and Bridge Records, along with more than a dozen compilation discs. As a scholar and conservationist of cultural traditions, he served as editor and co-editor of seven books, and published more than forty articles. In 2020, Shanghai Conservatory of Music Press publishes a biography of Lei Liang, with essays by composers, musicologists, ethnomusicologists, performers, music critics, literary scholars, poets, and scientists. The book was edited by Prof. Qin Luo of Shanghai Conservatory.

From 2013-2016, Lei Liang served as Composer-in-Residence at the Qualcomm Institute where his multimedia works preserve and reimagine culture through combining advanced technology and scientific research. In 2018, Liang returned to the Institute as its inaugural Research Artist-in-Residence. In 2023, the Institute launched “Lei Lab” where he continues to collaborate with engineers, geologists, oceanographers and software developers, to explore what he calls “the unique potential for learning offered by creative listening.” 

Lei Liang’s recent works address issues of sex trafficking across the US-Mexican border (Cuatro Corridos), America’s complex relationship with gun and violence (Inheritance), and environmental awareness through the sonification of coral reefs. 

Lei Liang studied composition with Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Robert Cogan, Chaya Czernowin, and Mario Davidovsky, and received degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music (BM and MM) and Harvard University (PhD). A Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, he held fellowships from the Harvard Society of Fellows and the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships. Lei Liang taught in China as a distinguished visiting professor at Shaanxi Normal University College of Arts in Xi’an; served as honorary professor of composition and sound design at Wuhan Conservatory of Music and as visiting assistant professor of music at Middlebury College. He is Chancellor’s Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego where he served as chair of the composition area and Acting Chair of the Music Department. Starting from 2018, Lei Liang serves as the Artistic Director of the Chou Wen-chung Music Research Center in China. Lei Liang’s catalogue of more than a hundred compositions is published exclusively by Schott Music Corporation (New York).


About Kuang-Hao Huang 

Commended for his “perceptive pianism” (Audiophile) and “playing that is sensitive and wonderfully warm” (American Record Guide), Chicagoan Kuang-Hao Huang is a highly sought-after collaborative pianist whose performances have taken him throughout North America, Europe and Asia. He has performed in New York City’s Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Merkin Hall; in Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center and NPR’s Tiny Desk; and at every major venue in the Chicago area, including the Harris Theatre and Symphony Center. He is often heard live on WFMT and has also performed on WQXR and on Mr. Huang has recorded for Aucourant, Cedille, Innova and Naxos, including a CD of flute fantasies with flutist Mathieu Dufour, a premiere recording of early songs by Alban Berg with mezzo-soprano Julia Bentley, and a survey of songs by Chicago composers with baritone Thomas Hampson. Beginning in 2022, Mr. Huang will be heard with violinist Augustin Hadelich on the official recordings for Suzuki Violin Books 4-6.

A strong advocate of new music, Mr. Huang is a core member of Fulcrum Point New Music Project and Picosa. He has premiered numerous works, including pieces by Laurie Altman, Mason Bates, Jacob Bancks, Randy Bauer, Kyong Mee Choi, Stacy Garrop, John Harbison, Daniel Kellogg and Shulamit Ran. Mr. Huang gave the world premiere performances of works by Louis Andriessen and Chen Yi at Weill Hall as part of Carnegie Hall’s Millennium Piano Book Project. He has appeared on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW series.

A dedicated teacher, Mr. Huang serves on the faculties of the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and Concordia University-Chicago. He has also taught at the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University.

From 2014-2021, Mr. Huang was the driving force behind Make Music Chicago (, a citywide celebration of music every June 21st. He also founded the organization’s Pianos in the Parks program, which partners with the Chicago Park District to give all Chicagoans access to outdoor pianos as well as free lessons. Currently, Mr. Huang serves on the Advisory Council for the Make Music Alliance and also serves on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra.


About Tuvergen Band

“A Mongol without a horse is like a bird without wings.” That proverb comes close to articulating the importance of horses in Mongolia, whose people are outnumbered by its horses. Were it not for horses, Mongolian/American folk-fusion trio Tuvergen Band (“galloping” in Mongolian) may not exist, either. Tamir Hargana (lead vocals, folk lutes, morin khuur), Naizal Hargana (morin khuur, vocals), and Brent Roman (percussion, didgeridoo, vocals) first met in Lexington, where Tamir and Naizal moved in part because of the horse culture surrounding the Kentucky Derby. Years later, the three musicians reunited in Chicago, where they are now based, to play what they call “modern nomadic music”—an exhilarating sound indebted to Mongolian and Tuvan traditions but inflected with bluegrass sensibilities, blues instrumental flourishes, hard-driving rock rhythms, and more.

Hailing from Hulunbuir, Inner Mongolia, Tamir and Naizal are both virtuosos on the two-stringed, cello-like morin khuur, colloquially called a horse-head fiddle and one of Mongolia’s most iconic instruments. Tamir is also an internationally renowned specialist in Mongolian and Tuvan khoomii (throat singing) and plays a variety of folk lutes, such as the three-stringed, banjo-like Tuvan doshpuluur and West Mongolian tovshuur.

An ethnomusicologist who has studied Asian percussion his entire career, Roman augments these sounds with a custom hybrid drum kit of twenty global percussion instruments and didgeridoo, the latter’s overtone-rich timbre paralleling khoomii. Tuvergen Band uses this rich instrumental palette to reinterpret Mongolian and Tuvan folk songs on subjects as varied as horse culture, nature, and everyday life in the steppes.

Since debuting in 2020, Tuvergen Band has become a repeat headliner at Chicago’s Lunar New Year celebrations at Navy Pier and performed under the auspices of some of the city’s premier arts presenters, including the Chicago World Music Festival, the Chicago Cultural Center, and the Old Town School of Folk Music. The band has appeared at music festivals around the U.S., most recently at the 2023 Festival International de Louisiane. Their debut studio album is forthcoming in 2024.

For more information, visit
or follow them on Facebook and Instagram @tuvergen_band.

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