©The UK Chinese Ensemble 1998-2010

Film, Television and Radio

The UK Chinese Ensemble has recorded music for a number of major films and television programmes:

Music recording for the Disney film "Born in China"

October, 2015: Musicians from our Ensemble once again recorded music composed by Barnaby Taylor, this time for the Disney film "Born in China". It will be out in early 2016.

See our Facebook page for more photos.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, May 2008

10-12 May, 2008: Having recorded music for Shanghai Noon, Shanghai Knights and Balls of Fury, the musicians from the UK Chinese Ensemble have once again been working with US composer Randy Edelman on another major Hollywood film - The Mummy. This is the fourth film music project on which our musicians have worked with the same composer. The music is significant in the film and "is longer then the actual film, with over 140 minutes music" said Randy. This Hollywood major blockbuster action film will be released in August to coincide the China Olympic 2008. Starring: Jet Li, Maria Bello, Brendan Fraser, John Hannah, Michelle Yeoh, Russell Wong, Luke Ford, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, Isabella Leong, Tian Liang

Director: Rob Cohen
Release Date: August 1, 2008
Studio: Universal Pictures

Synopsis: In the Far East, trouble-seeking father-and-son duo Rick (Fraser) and Alex O'Connell (Ford) unearth the mummy of the first Emperor of Qin (Li) - a shape-shifting entity who was cursed by a wizard (Yeoh) centuries ago.

Official web site: http://www.themummy.com/
See also: http://www.killermovies.com/m/themummy3/

Music for BBC Bristol 6 episode TV documentary series "Wild China"

Having recently recorded the hunting music for the film Ghosts, directed by Nick Brookfield, about the 23 Chinese drowned while cockling in dangerous Morecambe Bay, Cheng Yu and the UK Chinese Ensemble musicians worked with composer Barnaby Taylor in November and December 2007 to create music for the 6 episode BBC TV documentary "Wild China", broadcast in 2008. It was very popular in China as well as in the UK.

See the Projects page for more information.

Balls of Fury

2007: The musicians of the UK Chinese Music Ensemble has successfully recorded music for the film Balls of Fury at Abbey Road Studios, London. This is be the third Hollywood film music project after Shanghai Noon and Shanghai Knights on which the UK Chinese Music Ensemble has worked with composer Randy Edelman. The musicians worked from written scores and improvised. The instruments used included the pipa lute, guqin zither, guzheng zither, erhu and gaohu fiddles, dizi and xiao flutes, sheng mouth-organ and guanzi pipe.

The Boat People, 23-25 January, 2006

Cheng Yu composed and improvised with composer and blues guitarist Neil McArthur and film director Rob Curry to provide music for the new film "The Boat People". The film will feature classical/traditional guqin (7-stringed zither) music and improvisations as the main music of the film. For details about the film please visit: http://www.fifthcolumn.org.uk.

Two Brothers

2004: This film about two tigers from the China/Cambodia border is currently being co-produced by British and French film companies. The UK Chinese Ensemble worked with composer Stephen Warbeck.

Around the World in 80 Days

2004: This is the fourth film the ensemble has recorded for Disney, the others being Mulan, Shanghai Noon and Shanghai Knight (see below). This was the second time time the group worked with composer Trevor Jones.

Warriors of Heaven and Earth

2003: The UK Chinese Ensemble worked with composer A. R. Rahman to create music for this film.

Shanghai Knights

2003: the ensemble worked for a second time with composer Randy Edelman. Jackie Chan starred in this film.

From Hell

2002: The UK Chinese Ensemble worked with composer Trevor Jones to produce music for this film.

Shanghai Noon

2000: the ensemble worked with composer Randy Edelman for this film, which starred Jackie Chan.


1998: The UK Chinese Ensemble recorded music for this animated film by Disney.


  1. BBC Radio 4 broadcast an interview with Cheng Yu on her 5-stringed pipa music.
  2. BBC Radio 3, WOMAD Festival broadcast a live performance on the pipa.
  3. BBC World Service programme Arts Review had a special feature on her 5-stringed pipa premieres.
  4. BBC 5 programme Every Woman had special feature on her 5-stringed pipa music.
  5. BBC Radio 4 programme Woman's Hour featured the 5-stringed pipa project.
  6. BBC World Service programme The Ticket featured the 5-stringed pipa music.


  1. Half hour television documentary Classic Challenge with composer Karl Jenkins on Channel 4.
  2. Worldwide Television television series UK Today featured a profile of Cheng Yu. Broadcast monthly in more than 150 countries and by major airlines.
  3. The Chinese television series Across England devoted a half hour programme to feature Cheng Yu. Broadcast by CCTV in China.
  4. Howard Goodall's Big Bangs on Channel 4.