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An-Lun Huang graduated from the Middle School attached to the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, but the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s interrupted further formal academic study. Nonetheless, he became resident composer and assistant conductor at the Central Opera House in 1976. In 1980 he immigrated to Canada – where he now lives – to study composition at the University of Toronto, with subsequent study at Trinity College in London and Yale University.

Saibei is a region of northern China, including part of Mongolia. This dance is from the Saibei Suite No. 2, composed in 1975. It does not quote actual folk tunes, but the leaping melody and brash winds and percussion reflect traditional music of the area, albeit in a bright and vigorously jazzy Gershwinesque mode.

— John Henken