Features Overview

Illustration and photo:: Anne Spudvillas

Illustration and photo:: Anne Spudvillas


Flute (1) / Oboe (1) / Clarinet in Bb (1) / Bassoon (1)

Horn in F (1) / Trumpet in Bb (1), Trombone (1) / Tuba (1)

Timpani + 2 percussion



Strings (

About the Work:

This work narrates with words and music, the inspiring story of Li Cunxin’s childhood and follows his subsequent journey to become one of the world’s greatest ballet dancers. The Peasant Prince is based on his best selling memoir Mao’s Last Dancer and uses the text from the book The Peasant Prince (Dancing to Freedom (North American market)).

There are four primary musical themes in the work that are based around a kite (freedom), a frog trapped in a well (the drive to be free), hope and family love/bonds.


2009: Adelaide Symphony Orchestra/ Northey ( 5 performances)

2014: Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra/Northey (3 performances)

2015: January Music Festival for Children/Kelly (1 performance)

2019: Beecroft Symphony Orchestra/Drimatis (1 performance)

2020: Queensland Symphony Orchestra (tba)


Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra/Northey with ABC Classics (March 2020 release)

Illustration: Anne Spudvillas

Illustration: Anne Spudvillas

Illustration and photo: Anne Spudvillas

Illustration and photo: Anne Spudvillas

Resources available for The Peasant Prince (classroom and Symphony Orchestra Education/Community/Family programs):