One of China’s few First Class Traditional Artists who has embraced an international career, renowned Erhu virtuoso, professor and composer Ma Xiaohui speaks with the world through her Erhu (Chinese violin).
Ma Xiaohui is perhaps best recognized for her famous duet with cellist Yo-Yo Ma on Tan Dun’s Oscar-winning soundtrack for the film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” in 2000. This soundtrack introduced the beauty and depth of Erhu music to the West. Since then she has worked closely with many famous conductors such as Tan Dun, Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel, David Stern, etc. And she has performed around the world with top orchestras such as: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, French National Symphony Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Ensemble, Norway Stavenger Symphony Orchestra, Capetown Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Buenos Aires National Symphony Orchestra, etc.
Ma Xiaohui has received numerous honors and awards, such as the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage “Best Performance” award in Washington, D.C. Notably, she was selected to play for 21 presidents during the 2001 APEC World Summit in Shanghai.
Ma Xiaohui originated “Erhu Holding Hands with the World” in 2003 – a unique multicultural musical phenomenon that has thrilled audiences around the world. In 2008, she performed “Erhu Holding Hands” in Carnegie Weill Recital Hall, Lincoln Center, a performance that was “rapturously received” and “conquered the audience” according to the New York City media. She has since expanded her repertoire to include an interactive lecture-concert titled “The Psychology of Music Healing the Soul,” as well as Master Classes for universities. Overall she has performed thousands of times in countries all over the world, invariably to rave reviews. In 2023 she produced her “New Style World Music Tour” promoting “Beauty, Love & Peace.” The tour was launched in New York City on stage at the United Nations Headquarters.
Ma Xiaohui has composed and arranged over 100 pieces, produced over 20 CDs, and contributed to many others. A new CD recorded in Nashville, combining east-west musical instruments and sounds, is scheduled for release in 2023.
As a Distinguished Visiting Professor Ma Xiaohui has served on or presented to many faculties, including Columbia University, Indiana University, Notre Dame University, University of Michigan, Northwest University, Claremont University, Baylor University, Northwestern University, USC, etc.
Media around the world have sung the praises of Ma Xiaohui. The Oxford Times Weekend wrote after hearing her perform: “Ma Xiaohui drew a kind of alto human voice bereft of words, but given song. It sounds so culture-free and universal that Ma Xiaohui’s gift, and vibrant musicality, shone out on us like light.” The Munich Press stated: “The very best promotion of China was the soloist Ma Xiaohui. The magic of this charming lady with the erhu touched the audience. With nimble virtuosity, she presented ‘Shepherdess in the Tianshan Mountains’ in such a persuasive manner that we fully believed again in music as a universal language.”
Ma Xiaohui says that her desire is to spread beauty and harmony throughout the world through the spirit and love of her Erhu music – one soul at a time.