Among Western film composers, a few are especially recognizable, sometimes from mere repetition of their names: John Williams, Alf Clausen, Danny Elfman. But if you’ve heard of a single Asian film composer, that name is probably Zhao Jiping.
Zhao Jiping has scored a number of popular contemporary Chinese films, including “To Live”, “Farewell My Concubine”, “Ju Dou”, “Raise the Red Lantern”, and “The Emperor and the Assassin”, all the while writing in a style that represents a “tasteful fusion of Chinese folk and Hollywood Golden Age movie music, flavored with occasional touches of Chinese opera,” according to Dr. Christopher Coleman, Composition Coordinator in the Department of Music and Fine Arts at the Hong Kong Baptist University.
If you’re not familiar with Zhao Jiping, you can read more about him and his music first.
Finally, for an introduction to his music, rather than buying all his soundtracks at once, may we recommend starting with a sort of “Best of Zhao Jiping” collection: