Xuefei’s theme for this engagement is “East meets West.” Her programme is strongly coloured by a consideration of the reciprocal ways in which Eastern and Western music have influenced each other. One particular example of this is her pairing of Debussy with the Japanese composer Tore Takemitsu; Debussy’s work was heavily influenced by the oriental music and art at Paris’ 1889 World Fair; his composition La Mer was inspired by a woodblock print by Hokusai from the Edo-period. This exchange of ideas is completed by Takemitsu’s acknowledgement of Debussy as his “first teacher.”
Xuefei is also keen to demonstrate the depth of repertoire written specifically for the guitar. This includes the Takemitsu, but is also reflected in Xuefei’s choice of a piece by Stephen Goss, inspired by Chinese culture and specifically composed for her.
The theme of East meets West is completed by an exploration of music written in a Turkish context. Carlo Domeniconi’s Koyunbaba is a composition for guitar recognised by many Turkish people as being an authentic representation of their culture’s unique amalgamation of Eastern and Western influences.
Along with numerous engagements in the UK, Xuefei will be embarking on a tour of the USA in October, which will include engagements in San Francisco, Houston and Baltimore. Following this trip, she will appear at London’s Wigmore Hall on the 3rd November
, where she will give a recital featuring music by Britten, Schubert and Walton, and the world premier of a piece by Chen Yi – the very first piece Fei has received from a Chinese composer.