Lan Tung performs Canadian compositions with symphony orchestras.


Lan Tung as the soloist rehearsed with Symphony Nova Scotia, conducted by Bernhard Gueller


Heartland (2009)

Originally written in 1999 for the trio of erhu, zheng and marimba, the composer has re-arranged this 3-movement piece to feature the ensemble as soloist(s) with symphony orchestras. A number of versions are available:

1 soloist: erhu concerto with the symphony

2 soloists: erhu and marimba double concerto with the symphony

3 soloists: erhu, zheng and marimba with the symphony. (The zheng part can also be substitued with the western harp).


orchestrations: double wind orchestra, double wind without trombone and harp, or string orchestra.

length: 10 minutes


The three movements:

meditation – a musical exploration of our inner world during meditation, focusing on sparse textures and breathing rhythms

gentle wind – features the zheng weaving a thingly ornamented melodic line over a graceful lilting rhythmic accompaniment

streams of light – a fully textured accompaniment played on marimba and zheng, supporting the warmth and compassionate lyricism of the erhu melody


composer – Mark Armanini

ArmaniniArmanini, a native Vancouverite, studied composition with Elliot Weisgarber and piano with Robert Rodgers at UBC, graduating with a MMus. in 1984. In 1990, Mark began composing for various combinations of Oriental and Western instrumentation: the crowning achievement being four concerti recorded with the Latvian National Symphony with Vivian Xia, Heidi Krutzen and the Khac Chi Ensemble as soloists under the direction of John Zoltek, released as Rain in the Forest on the Centredisc’s label.

In 2000, Mark traveled to Taipei, in 2003 to Beijing and Shanghai as part of composer exchanges, in 2006 to the Nanjing Jazz Festival, and in 2007 to Wuhan to study the Marquis Yi Bell Set, with performances and meetings in each city. With an extensive catalogue of over 60 works, Mark celebrates his musical association with intercultural ensembles, among them the Orchid Ensemble, who named their debut CD Heartland after its title track, written by Armanini. Mark is presently the acting Artistic Director of the Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra and Project Co-ordinator with the BC Chinese Music Ensemble.



“I was very glad to discover this beautiful piece of Mark Armanini with Lan Tung as the erhu player with the Nova Scotia Symphony Orchestra. The subtle presence of the erhu evolving along the three movements to become really active and in interaction with the orchestra gives the audience a very interesting approach to the mixture of the chinese instrument and the orchestra. One does not feel any compromise also, which gives to the piece its authenticity and integrity. Very well played, it is a quite exquisite musical experience. The piece should be played again and again and also recorded for the pleasure of all.” – Mireille Gagne, Director,  Canadian Music Centre (Directrice, Centre de Musique Canadienne)


“I wanted to tell you how moved I was by your performance of Mark Armanini’s composition “Heartland”, a concerto for Erhu and orchestra that you played on January 7th here in Halifax with Symphony Nova Scotia. I was particularly impressed with your ability to create  an entire universe of expression out of the simple performance of 3 repetitions of the same note. You have a remarkable ability to shape tone, vibrato, and slight pitch variations into an astonishing package of rich, musical colour”. – Jeff Reilly, Producer, CBC Radio.


Posted on

August 21, 2014