(b Shanghai, 12 March 1908 or 21 Feb 1909; d 1998). Chinese pipa (plucked lute) and qin (seven-string zither) player. Wei Zhongle was an early member of the influential Datong Ensemble, a group of Chinese musicians who met in Shanghai to improve their own performance skills and to develop from traditional and Western elements a new repertory of ‘national music’ (guoyue). Other than pipa and qin, Wei also learnt several instruments. From the 1930s onwards Wei held a succession of music teaching and performing posts at universities and colleges in Shanghai, one of the most notable of which was his founding of a traditional instruments department at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in the early 1950s.
See alsoChina, §IV, 4(iii).
and other resources
Xu Lisheng: ‘Rang Zhongguo de minzu yinyue zou xian shijie: ji pipa yanzoujia, yinyue jiaoyujia Wei Zhongle’ [Let Chinese national music reach the world: a record of pipa musician and music educator Wei Zhongle], Youmei de xuanlü piaoxiang de ge – Jiangsu lidai yinyuejia, ed. Yi Ren (Nanjing, 1992), 180–84
Zhongguo yinyue cidian, xubian [Dictionary of Chinese music, supplementary vol.], YYS pubn (Beijing, 1992), 190
Zhongguo guanxian yuetuan, ed.: Wei Zhongle pipa yanzou quji [Collected pieces played on the pipa by Wei Zhongle] (Shanghai, 1994)
Chinese Classical Music: Professor Wei Chung Loh, rec. c1938, Lyrichord LL72 (c.1950)
Special Collection of Contemporary Chinese musicians, Wind Records CB-07 (1996)
Traditional Instrumental Pieces of Wei Chung-loh, rec. 1930s–1960s, ROI Productions, Hong Kong RB-961010-2C (1996)
JONATHAN P.J. STOCK
(b New York, 27 Feb 1904). American singer and actress. Although she found greater personal and artistic freedom in Paris and London than in her native United States, she was relentlessly stereotyped as a black singer. The titles of her shows Black Birds of 1928 (Paris and New York) and Dark Doings (London, 1933) typified the restrictions of the time. Encouraged by Paul Robeson (with whom she appeared in the films Songs of Freedom and Big Fella) to stand up for her race, she somewhat acerbically pointed out that her father was part Native American and part Negro while her mother was a Scot with an Irish background, so the issue was not a simple one. Cole Porter recognized her abilities and gave her a major success with the sultry song ‘Solomon’ in Nymph Errant (London, 1933), and Ivor Novello included her in Glamorous Night (London, 1935), writing a role for her that had nothing to do with the plot, but provided a showcase for her talent particularly with the song ‘Shantytown’. She also appeared in Novello’s Arc de Triomphe (1943), introducing ‘Dark Music’.
After the war Welch appeared in various of Laurie Lister’s shows (Tuppence Coloured, Oranges and Lemons, Penny Plain), and appeared as Sweet Ginger in The Crooked Mile (1959), a musical set among the bohemian life of Soho and in which she sang ‘If I Ever Fall in Love Again’. She also appeared in cabaret in London and New York. She was brought to a new audience with her performance of Stormy Weather in Derek Jarman’s film of The Tempest (1979), and in 1987, at the age of 78, she appeared in her one-woman show at the Almeida Theatre, London.
Welcher, Dan (Edward)
(b Rochester, NY, 2 March 1948). American composer and conductor. After training as a pianist and bassoonist, he studied composition with Warren Benson and Samuel Adler at the Eastman School of Music (BM 1969) and with Ludmila Ulehla at the Manhattan School of Music (MM 1972). From 1972 to 1978 he served as principal bassoonist of the Louisville Orchestra, while teaching theory and composition at the University of Louisville. In 1978 he joined the composition faculty of the University of Texas, where he created the New Music Ensemble. During his time as composer-in-residence with the Honolulu SO (1990–92), he wrote his Symphony no.1 and Haleakalā: How Maui Snared the Sun, a vibrantly scored piece for orchestra and narrator based on Hawaiian legends. Among his many awards and prizes are a Guggenheim Fellowship (1997) and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the MacDowell Colony and the American Music Center. His work has been performed by the BBC SO, the Chicago SO, the St Louis SO, the St Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Dallas SO, among others. He has also served as assistant conductor of the Austin SO and the Honolulu SO, and appeared frequently as a guest conductor with other ensembles. Rhythmically exuberant and graced by a lyrical undercurrent, Welcher’s music encompasses occasional strains of jazz and rock within a highly structured context. His work is particularly distinguished by its masterful orchestration: a vivid sense of instrumental colour infuses both his many chamber works and orchestral scores such as The Visions of Merlin (1980) and the Clarinet Concerto (1989).
Orch: Walls and Fences, wind orch, 1970; Episodes, 1971; Fl Conc., 1974; Conc. da Camera, bn, chbr orch, 1975; Dervishes, 1976; The Visions of Merlin, 1980; Arches, concert band, 1985; Prairie Light, 1985; The Yellowstone Fires, wind orch, 1988; Castle Creek, 1989; Cl Conc., 1989; Sym. no.1, 1991; Haleakalā: How Maui Snared the Sun, nar, orch, 1991; Bridges, str, 1991; Vn Conc., 1993; Pf Conc. ‘Shiva’s Drum’, 1993–4; Zion, wind orch, 1994; Sym. no.2 ‘Night Watchers’, 1994; Bright Wings, 1996
Vocal: Little People (C. Sandburg), medium high v, pf, 1967–8; Black Riders (S. Crane), medium high v, cl, va, vc, pf, 1971; The Bequest, vv, fl, 1976; Abeja blanca (P. Neruda), Mez, eng hn, pf, 1979; 7 Songs (e.e. cummings), medium high v, pf, 1981–90; Vox Femina, S, fl, cl, vn, vc, pf, 1984; Evening Scenes (J. Agee), T, fl, cl, vn, vc, pf, perc, 1985; Della’s Gift (op, 2, P. Woodruff, after O. Henry: The Gift of the Magi), 1986
Chbr and solo inst: Nocturne and Dance, tpt, pf, 1966; Wind Qnt no.1, 1967, rev. 1972; Elizabethan Variations, 4 rec, 1968; Sonatina, pf, 1972; Felinus, ob, pf, 1973; Sonata, vn, vc, 1974; 3 Short Pieces, pf 4 hands, 1975; Pf Trio, 1976; Wind Qnt no.2, 1977; Dance Variations, pf, 1979; Partita, hn, vn, pf, 1980; Brass Qnt, 1982; Fantasy: In memoriam Anwar Sadat, carillon, 1982; Qnt, cl, str, 1984; Hauntings, tuba ens, 1986; Listen Up!, wind qnt, 1986; Pachel’s Bells, pf, 1986; White Mares of the Moon, fl, hp, 1986; Chameleon Music, 10 perc, 1987; Firewing, ob, perc, 1987; Reversible Jackets, fl, cl, 1987; High Tech Etudes, pf, 1988; Str Qt no.1, 1988; Stigma, db, pf, 1990; Zephyrus, fl, vn, va, vc, 1990; Tsunami, vc, perc, pf, 1991; Str Qt no.2 ‘Harbor Music’, 1992; All the Words to All the Songs, fl, pf, 1996; Dante Dances, cl, pf, 1996; Phaedrus, cl, vl, pf, 1996