Suzhou Pingtan, storytelling and ballad singing in Suzhou dialect is the general name of Suzhou Pinghua and Suzhou storytelling to the accompaniment of stringed instruments. It is the traditional opera drama singing in Wu dialect. It is produced and popular in Suzhou, as well as other areas in provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang and Shanghai city.
Pingtan enjoys a long history and was quite popular during the Emperor Qianlong period in Qing Dynasty. The most renowned artist Wang Zhoushi used to sing for the Emperor Qianlong. And later, during the periods of Jiaqing and Daoguang in Qing Dynasty, there were four famous masters: Chen Yuqian, Mao Changpei, Yu Xiushan and Lu Ruiting. During the periods of Xianfeng and Tongzhi, there were many artists including: Ma Rufei, Zhao Xiangzhou and Wang Shiquan, etc. Many famous schools and masters appeared in the following years, which made Suzhou Pingtan art spread across 200 years ago.