The Guzheng is the 21 stringed Chinese long zither that has a history that can be traced back some 2,200 years. It has a sound that captures the essence of Chinese traditional music. Such music is based on amazing musical dexterity, but as with all 'timeless' music, allows for the individual expression of the performer. Such an ancient tradition could hardly be in more capable hands than that of Jian Xiao-qing. She began studying at a very early age under the most famous teachers of the tradition. She was awarded first prize at a national competition for young people at national young people's competition for performance on Chinese instruments. She visited the United States in 1986 with a party of artists sponsored by the Chinese government. She later came to study in Japan, performed on the soundtrack to the film the Last Emperor and performed live in Japan and New York with Ryuichi Sakamoto.The tunes on this compact disc are all traditional Chinese with the exception of Ryuichi Sakamoto's, The Last Emperor. Jiang Xiao Qing performs solo with the exception of one piece on which she is accompanied by erhu, or the Chinese violin. This CD, mainly recorded in Japan in May of 1997, is perhaps the finest example of Guzheng music currently available, and is an important disc to further introduce one of the world's richest cultures to the outside world.