A Discussion of Shiguang Cui’s Piano Concerto No. 2, Focusing on a Stylistic Analysis and Traditional Chinese Musical Elements
Date of Award
Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)
Committee Chair Department
Committee Member 2
Committee Member 2 Department
Committee Member 3
Committee Member 3 Department
Committee Member 4
Committee Member 4 Department
Shiguang Cui (崔世光) (b. 1948) is a Chinese composer and pianist. To celebrate the 2008 Summer Olympic Games held in Beijing, his work Concerto for Ten Concert Grand Pianos and Orchestra was commissioned by the Dean of the National Center for the Performing Arts, Mr. Ping Chen. Ten internationally-renowned pianists were invited to give the world premiere on August 19, 2008. The pianists were Claude Frank, Phillippe Entremont, Vladimir Feltsman, Louis Lortie, Yunyi Qin (秦云轶), Shikun Liu (刘诗昆), Lang Lang (郎朗), Cyprien Katsaris, Guillermo Gonzalez, and Sha Chen (陈萨).1
This piece was originally conceived as Concerto for Ten Concert Grand Pianos and Orchestra, and was composed in 2008 with the title China Jubilee (喜庆中国). The original concerto for ten pianos was never published. The only published edition of this work is for two pianos, with the second piano serving as the orchestral reduction, with a different title: Piano Concerto No. 2.2 The work contains four movements.
My dissertation contains four chapters. Chapter I, a brief history of the development of keyboard instruments in China, includes information about several important pianists who contributed to the development of the piano and to Chinese piano music. Chapter II gives an overview of Shiguang Cui’s career as a composer, his works for the keyboard, and background information on the Piano Concerto No. 2. Chapter III contains a stylistic analysis of the Concerto No. 2, including pentatonic scale techniques, use of the interval of a fourth, and the employment of traditional Chinese textural techniques as well as Western rhythmic and textural compositional techniques. Chapter IV discusses the influence of Chinese traditional musical elements in the Piano Concerto No. 2. These include Chinese folksongs and dances, quotation from Chinese operas, and the influence of Chinese instruments. Piano Concerto No. 2 is an important contribution to the genre and to the development of Chinese piano music. My hope is that more Chinese works will be composed, and that more pianists will be inspired to learn and perform Cui’s Piano Concerto No. 2 as well as his solo piano music.
1Shiguang Cui, “China Jubilee–Concerto for Ten Concert Grand Pianos and Orchestra,” unpublished article by the composer, Hong Kong, December 30, 2008.
2016, Yuting Ji
Ji, Yuting, "A Discussion of Shiguang Cui’s Piano Concerto No. 2, Focusing on a Stylistic Analysis and Traditional Chinese Musical Elements" (2016). Dissertations. 903.
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