Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



First Committee Member

Mykola Suk

Second Committee Member

Timothy Hoft

Third Committee Member

Richard Miller

Fourth Committee Member

Ambroise Aubrun

Fifth Committee Member

Margot Colbert

Number of Pages



The Yellow River Piano Concerto (1969) by Yin Chengzong (1941–present) and other committee members (Chu Wanghua, Liu Zhuang, Sheng Lihong, Shi Shucheng, and Xu Feixing), the most popular piano concerto in China, was composed at the time of the Cultural Revolution. It was written as an arrangement of the Yellow River Cantata composed by Xian Xinghai (1905–1945) in 1939 at the height of the Anti-Japanese War (1937–1945). Yin and his work played a critical role in making the piano the most popular instrument among a new generation of Chinese performers and composers. I examined some articles, journals and dissertations form both America and China. In addition to focusing on the political field, this DMA document also analyzes the composition, exploring the importance and performance difficulties from the standpoint of a pianist. This document has three chapters and a conclusion. The first chapter introduces the historical background of twentieth-century China, especially music during the Cultural Revolution. For the second chapter, I discuss the Yellow River Cantata and the birth of the Yellow River Piano Concerto, covering all six composers involved in the two works. For chapter three, I analyze the music score, focusing primarily on the piano part. Then I combine my practical experience to explore the difficulties of performance.


Yellow River Concerto



File Format


File Size

6300 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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