B i o g r a p h y
Henry Liang (B.Mus, L.Mus.A, F.Mus.A) is a flute and piccolo player in the Royal Australian Navy Band, freelance shō artist, and the founder of the Mornington Music Series. With over 100 concert appearances each year, Henry performs in Australia and abroad at official diplomatic ceremonies/functions, school music education programs, large sporting events, and public concerts. Recent appearances include ANZAC Day commemorations in France, International Navy gatherings in India and China, touring Germany as a soloist with the Chamber Philharmonia of Cologne, and public recitals in Sydney, Tokyo, and New York.
Born in China, Henry began playing the dizi (Chinese bamboo flute) at the age of six before taking up the 'Western' flute two years later. Henry had his first taste of orchestral music with the Guangzhou Youth Orchestra, but after only one performance, Henry's family decided to move to Australia, where he continued his music education with Alex Manton in Sydney.
Henry’s passion for music grew throughout secondary school under the baton of many inspirational educators such as Richard Gill and Steve Williams. He then completed a Bachelor of Music (Performance) degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, mentored by James Kortum and Alexa Still. During this time, Henry participated in masterclasses presented by world-renowned flautists including Emmanuel Pahud, Michael Cox, and Denis Bouriakov.
On September 16, 2013, Henry enlisted to join the Royal Australian Navy as a musician on the flute and piccolo. Coincidentally, his first tour away with the band brought him back to his hometown in China whilst they were en-route to the Qingdao International Naval Symposium. Highlights of being a musician in the Navy include performing at the Villers-Bretonneux dawn service, flying to India on a Lockheed C-130 Hercules over 3 days (each way), sharing the stage with Prince Harry at the Invictus Games Opening Ceremony in Sydney, and playing a solo piece on the dizi for the RAN Band Album "Spirit of Place", which pays respect to our diverse Australian culture.
In 2015, Henry was offered by Columbia University of New York to attend a 7-week residency in Japan to learn the shō, a 7th-century free-reed bamboo instrument used in gagaku - ancient imperial court music of Japan. Mentored by shō masters Mayumi Miyata and Remi Miura, Henry took the opportunity to immerse himself in regular rehearsals with the Ono Gagaku Society in their shrine, and attended music lectures at the Kunitachi School of Music before concluding the residency with a solo recital in Tokyo, where he gave world premieres to two new solo flute pieces by Japanse composer Chatori Shimizu and Thai composer Teetawat Boonchuailea respectively. Henry traveled to New York the following year to perform the shō with students from The Institute of Medieval Japanese Studies at Columbia University, followed by a recital at the New York National Opera Center with Broadway flautists Lish Lindsey and Todd Groves. In 2018, Henry joined shakuhachi master Bronwyn Kirkpatrick and retired Sydney Symphony Principal Piccolo Rosamund Plummer to form TrioBamboo. They gave their debut concert at the 2019 Australian Flute Festival, performing contemporary, traditional, and commissioned works for their eclectic blend of bamboo instruments.
Aside from his performing engagements, Henry is actively involved in the wider music community as a guest conductor, adjudicator, and Master of Ceremony for various community organisations, including being the President of the Flute Society of New South Wales from 2015-17.