©The UK Chinese Ensemble 1998-2010

Silk & Bamboo Ensemble

"...perfect, vibrant performances... technical perfection and brilliant playing..." Songlines.

The Silk and Bamboo (sizhu) Ensemble is a world renowned string and wind group based in the UK, and represents a typical, traditional Chinese musical form. Like Shanghai Tea-house and Cantonese music, it often includes strings such as erhu and gaohu fiddles, pipa and yueqin lutes and the yangqin dulcimer as well as the dizi flute, sheng mouth-organ and percussion instruments such as the ban and gu clapper and drums. Our Silk and Bamboo Ensemble varies in size and instrumentation, and can have from 3 or 4 up to 12 musicians. The group features wonderful expert musicians and plays regional, traditional and contemporary music as well as enjoying cross-culture and cross-genre musical ventures.

Since 1998, the Ensemble has performed extensively in the UK and Europe, has been in demand for media and film recordings and has delivered tailor-made educational programmes. The group has been featured in the Purcell Room and Queen Elisabeth Hall at London's Southbank Centre, and has appeared at festivals including the City of London, Cambridge Folk Music and Edinburgh Festivals. During 2001-2003, the musicians toured over a dozen countries in Europe, the Middle East and the USA with the Shaolin Monks musical theatre production Shaolin: Wheel of Life. The group has also performed at the WOMAD (Canada and Sweden), Spoleto (Italy), and Masala (Germany) festivals.

Audio and video samples


Full of Joy (Xi Yang Yang)

Moving Up (Bu Bu Gao)

Jasmine Flower(Moli Hua)

Journey to Suzhou (Gusu Xing)

Main Musicians

Chen Dacan - erhu, gaohu, jinghu fiddles (former erhu professor at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and expert on the Daoist religion and its music)

Cheng Yu - pipa, zhongruan lutes

Hu Bin - erhu

Hu Ruijun - dizi and xiao bamboo flutes

Li Ming - yangqin dulcimer

Liu Haishuo - ban and gu percusion

Liu Xiaohu - sheng mouth organ