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Alfred University’s Daisy Wu performs at United Nations ceremony

Alfred University | 4/23/19

Daisy Wu performs on guzheng at the United Nations headquarters.
Daisy Wu performs on guzheng at the United Nations headquarters.

Daisy Wu, Visiting Associate Professor of Music at Alfred University and director of the University’s Confucius Institute, performed on the guzheng – a traditional Chinese stringed instrument – at the 2019 United Nations Language Day Celebration, held April 18 at the UN headquarters.


Daisy Wu, Visiting Associate Professor of Music at Alfred University and director of the University’s Confucius Institute, performed on the guzheng – a traditional Chinese stringed instrument – at the 2019 United Nations Language Day Celebration, held April 18 at the UN headquarters.

United Nations Language Day was established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2010, seeking “to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six of its official working languages throughout the organization.”

The six United Nations official working languages are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. The Chinese Language Day celebration paid tribute to Cang Jie, a mythical figure who is presumed to have invented Chinese characters about 5,000 years ago.

The theme of 2019 Chinese Language Day Celebration was “In Pursuit Peace.” The Opening Ceremony started with Wu’s guzheng solo piece “High Mountains and Flowing Water,” which consider as one of the most historically famous Chinese musical compositions. This piece described the magnificence of high mountains, the power of moving water and the harmony between the flowing water and the mountain. Wu said the tune was based on the legendary friendship between guqin master Yu Boya and Zhong Ziqi. Wu said that the music is about understanding and it’s represents cherished friendship in Chinese culture.

Wu is an award-winning guzheng artist, founder and artistic director of the Alfred University Guzheng Ensemble, and judge of New York International Chinese Instruments Competition. She has held more than 200 concerts and lectures in China, the United States and Canada, and has performed in remarkable settings such as China Central Television (CCTV) and Carnegie Hall.

Among the UN officials at the April 18 event were: Ms. Alison Smale, under-secretary-general for Global Communications; Zhenmin Liu, under-secretary-general for Economic and Social Affairs; Movses Abelian, assistant secretary-general of the Department of General Assembly and Conference Management; and Ambassador Haitao Wu, deputy permanent representative of China to the United Nations. More than 100 distinguished guests and United Nations officials attended the ceremony.