Who is Han Mei?
She was born into a military family in Beijing, the youngest of four children. Her father came from Shanxi, and her mother, who is half Miao, came from Hunan. Her maternal grandfather was a scholar, calligrapher, and educator named Long Zhancen.
Han's primary instrument is the 21-string zheng, but she also plays zheng with 16, 23, and 26 strings, as well as the liuqin, a high pitched small lute. She performs in traditional, contemporary, and cross-cultural contexts. She studied guzheng with Zhang Yan and Gao Zicheng. She has recorded with Paul Plimley, Orchid Ensemble and Randy Raine-Reusch and performs internationally with her Chinese instrumental quartet Red Chamber, which was established in 2005. With Red Chamber, she recorded an album called Redgrass, which combines Chinese music with elements of bluegrass.
She holds two master's degrees in ethnomusicology: from the Musical Research Institute of the Chinese Arts Academy in Beijing and from the University of British Columbia. She wrote the "Zheng" article for the second edition of the The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.