Chinese Musician

Chinese Community

Artist: John Xu
Title: Schubert Serenade
Instrument: Erhu

Artist Bio and Instrument Description

John Xu was born in China and learned erhu in his childhood. He studied science in Lehigh University and became a scientist in his career. He plays erhu as a hobby and attended various performances in his spare time. Besides erhu, John also performs Beijing opera and participated in club activities in Washington DC, Philadelphia, and New Jersey. John is also conductor of the Richmond Chinese Chorus.

Erhu is a Chinese traditional string instrument, sometimes referred to as “Chinese violin”. Erhu plays a central role in Chinese music, similar to violin’s role in western music. However, unlike the western violin, Erhu only has two strings, tuned to the notes D and A. Another difference from the western violin is that there is no fingerboard, which gives flexible sounding style but makes accurate intonation difficult. It takes years of hard practice to master Erhu playing.