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Confucius Institute, Performing Arts host Chinese music night
9/03/12

The Division of Performing Arts and the Confucius Institute at Alfred University (AU) are teaming up to co-host an evening of Chinese music at Miller Theater on Friday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m.

Earlier in the day, at 3 p.m., there will be a workshop on Chinese music in Room 302 of the Miller Performing Arts Center.

Both events are free and open to the public.

 The evening performance will include musicians from Alfred University, Binghamton University (State University of New York, SUNY), and the Chinese Music Ensemble of New York City. Founded in 1961, The New York ensemble is the oldest and largest Chinese orchestra in the United States.

The afternoon workshop will be presented by Zhang Hong, senior instructor of Chinese at Binghamton University and founder and director of Song of Silk, a performance group that aims to bridge East and West. An active soloist, Zhang has participated in many concerts and groups, including the Shanghai Philharmonic Society, the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus, the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Eastern Silk.

Zhang gives lectures and recitals on Chinese vocal music and culture and workshops on Teaching Chinese through Song nationwide.

She earned a master of music degree in voice performance from Binghamton University and a bachelor of music degree in voice performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Zhang has received SUNY awards for Excellence in Teaching and been recognized for Outstanding Contribution in Chinese Language Education from the Chinese Language Teachers Association.

In addition to Zhang, the evening program will include Wu Zhongbei (Daisy), a Guzheng (Chinese zither) artist and instructor in the Confucius Institute at Alfred University.

Wu is an associate professor of the art center of Hunan University of Commerce. She is an examiner of the National Guzheng Performance-level Examination in China and the deputy chair of the Guzheng Branch of the Hunan Province Musicians Association.

She earned a master of art degree in musicology from the Graduate School of the Chinese National Academy of Arts and a bachelor of arts degree in music education from the Hunan Normal University. She has received multiple excellence in teaching awards.

Joining Zhang and Wu on the program will be Hu Jianbing, a traditional Chinese wind musician. He has earned wide recognition for his artistry as a sheng soloist and composer. Upon graduating from the Chinese Central Conservatory of Music, he joined the National Traditional Orchestra of China. He performs regularly with the legendary Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, and has premiered concertos with many orchestras, most recently with the Seattle Symphony.

In 1998, he moved to New York and founded the Chinese Performing Arts of North America. Said the Boston Globe of Hu’s recent work, “he has an impressive command of the sheng and a broad range of classical, folk, and modern musical literatures.”

Also on the evening’s program is Bao Jian, a graduate of the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing who has gained attention as a performer of the guanzi, a double-reed folk instrument of ancient Chinese origin. His numerous awards include the 1998 Pro Musicis International Award and First Prize in the 1995 “International Chinese Ethnic Instrumental Competition” in Beijing.

With knowledge of classical and folk Chinese music, Bao is also acclaimed as a major innovator of contemporary works. UNESCO chose his recording of the song of “Three Layers of Yang Guan” to be internationally published. His performance of “Lin Li” concerto with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra set new standards for the guanzi. He is currently an artistic director of the Chinese Performing Arts of North America.

The Confucius Institute at Alfred University (CIAU) was established in 2008 with the support of the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban). It is part of an international network of Confucius Institutes dedicated to promoting the study of Chinese language, culture, ethics, and philosophy, and furthers the understanding of China today.

CIAU is affiliated directly under the Provost’s Office at Alfred University. It is an educational resource for teachers, parents, and students throughout western New York. In addition to being a full professional development and workshop center, CIAU has a resource library with more than 3,000 print and media materials for educators and students.