Hello Gold Mountain (MAP 2018)


chatterbird, photo by Kaitlyn Raitz



Hello Gold Mountain is an original work by Wu Fei, for chamber orchestra, which explores the tragedies, comedies, and dreams of emigrés and refugees, and the anxieties that migrants and immigrants feel. In February 2019, composer and guzheng artist Wu Fei will premiere the work with chatterbird, a contemporary chamber ensemble, and oudist Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz.

The piece is inspired by stories of Jewish refugees who fled to Shanghai from Europe during World War II. From 1933 until the end of the war, Shanghai was often the only port at which Jewish refugees fleeing Europe could disembark without a visa. In the early 1940s, more than 20,000 Jews lived in Shanghai, starting businesses, schools, and medical clinics while making contributions to China’s cultural life.

But the Jews could not stay. As China’s bloody civil war came to a close in 1949, most fled. Many emigrated to the US, often arriving at the port of San Francisco, or Old Gold Mountain.

What musical possibilities were lost because the times did not allow neighbors from  different cultures to grow old together, sharing songs and stories? Hello Gold Mountain is a requiem for lost possibilities of the Jewish community of Shanghai.

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Shanir Blumenkranz
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