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Title: About Jiebing

Life in Pictures: Childhood

Jiebing was born in Shanghai, China in an intellectual family. Both her parents were college educated and her father taught history at University. She has four sisters and one brother. Her oldest sister is a Doctor, while the other three sisters and her brother became professional musicians.

When Jiebing was four years old, the Chinese Cultural Revolution began. The future looked very uncertain. Jiebing's father, Weixian Chen, believed that children who learn music will develop a good character and will have a good skill for life. So he decided that the children should study music. But because of the Cultural Revolution, schools were closed and private musical study was forbidden. In spite of these rules, Weixian Chen built homemade musical instruments and obtained secret lessons from musicians.

Jiebing began to study the Erhu when she was five years old. Because music was forbidden, Jiebing had to play with the strings muted so the neighbors would not hear. In spite of these precautions, Weixian Chen was "struggled against", where crowds of people publicly criticized and humiliated him, partly for teaching music to his children. Despite these considerable public pressures, the Chen children continued their musical studies. All the children, except the oldest sister, went on to successful musical careers. Jiebing showed early and exceptional talent for the Erhu. After two years, some music became permissible, allowing Jiebing to give her first performance at the age of six. Intellectual families were persecuted during the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

Jiebing's family became "politically correct" when she joined the Chinese Navy Orchestra at the age of nine.

Jiebing at the age of 5, just after she started Erhu lessons. Notice the correct form and hand placement! Jiebing at the age of seven practicing the Erhu. Jiebing's Mother holding Jiebing's niece.
Jiebing at 12 years old and her niece Yi Qiu. Jiebing (left) at 13 and her sister Xuebing. Jiebing (center) at 17 years old and two of her sisters: Roulai (left) and Xiaolai (right).
Jiebing with three of her sisters. Jiebing's Mother, Cuihua Ji.


Double Concerto for Erhu and Violin

by Gang Situ

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Moon Reflecting on Er Chuan Spring

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Click here for an introductory lesson in holding and bowing the erhu.

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