Growing up in Southern California, from an early age Alan Yip possessed an interest in the traditional Chinese arts. He studied guqin (seven string zither), erhu (Chinese two string fiddle), and traditional Chinese painting, under masters in the United States and China. His own interests in orchids and plants also lead him to graduate studies, earning his Master’s in Horticulture and Agronomy from the University of California, Davis.
Intrigued by its unique sound and long history, Alan sought out a teacher for the guqin in Southern California. Fortuitously, he found and became a pupil to famed pipa and Mei’an guqin school virtuoso, Lui Puiyuen. Alan inherited the melodic lyrical style of the Mei’an Guqin School; evident in his natural use of the Mei’an vibrato and in each slide and note he plays on the guqin. Eager to broaden his technique and aesthetics on the guqin, he traveled around the United States and China, studying with a diverse group of masters including Seattle’s Wu Ziying, Beijing’s Chen Changlin, and Shanghai’s Gong Yi and Dai Xiaolian. Under the tutelage of these masters Alan continues to further his appreciation and skill on the guqin, developing his own voice while carrying on the ancient traditions.
Studying the erhu under acclaimed Cantonese maestro, He Wangbao, Alan has over a decade of erhu performance experience, actively delving into the many regional and contemporary styles of playing, ranging from solo instrumental, orchestral, and small ensemble to traditional Cantonese music and Cantonese opera, where the musician has to adapt and accompany the vocalists.
His passion for the traditional Chinese arts, besides the music, includes painting where he was able to study the meticulous court style of painting under the tutelage of Puxian Aisin-Gioro, cousin of the last emperor of China, Puyi. Alan actively teaches and performs at various schools and community culture centers throughout California and has also been invited to perform in numerous concerts in the US, China and Malaysia, showcasing his passion and talent for the traditional Chinese arts.