Eight members of the Eastman School of Music community will travel to China this month, meeting with their composing and performing counterparts to foster the promotion of new music written on both sides of the Pacific Ocean.
The “China Connection” project is the brainchild of doctoral student Liu Liu, a pianist who has previously accompanied faculty to China for their presentations and performances. For this collaboration, she has arranged a 12-day tour of four Chinese conservatories that will include concerts of new music written by Eastman and Chinese composers; lectures and master classes given by Eastman faculty; and informal meetings between Eastman and Chinese students.
“The purpose of ‘China Connection’ is to serve as a bridge in creating a unique opportunity for musicians, especially for young musicians, to experience the first-hand musical impact of cross-cultural dialogue, and at the same time, to spread or strengthen their international influence,” she said.
In addition to Liu Liu, other students participating in the collaborative project are Anne Stevens, a doctoral student in percussion; Adrian Sandi, a doctoral student in clarinet; and YiXuan Song, a master’s student in violin.
They will be accompanied by Douglas Lowry, dean of the Eastman School, whose work for piano titled “Fourteen Days” will receive its world premiere in China; Professor of Flute Bonita Boyd; Douglas Humpherys, chair of the Piano Department; and Associate Professor of Theory Steven Laitz, who is also an affiliate faculty member of the chamber music department.
“We now live in a global music community, and it’s more important than ever to foster strong ties and productive relationships across borders,” said Lowry. “This tour provides tremendous opportunities to share ideas, celebrate both American and Chinese musical culture, and create a foundation for future exchanges.”
Beginning May 25, project participants will spend three days each at XingHai Conservatory in the city of GuangZhou in southeast China; at Xi An Conservatory in Xi An, one of the oldest cities in Chinese history; the ShenYang Conservatory in ShenYang, an important industrial city in northeast China; and the China Conservatory in the capital city of Beijing.
Each stop includes a performance of works by Lowry, Eastman faculty members David Liptak and Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, Eastman graduate student composers Jennifer Bellor and FengHsu Lee, and Eastman alumna Katherine Hoover. The concert at the China Conservatory will include music by three well-known Chinese composers and conservatory faculty members, Wan Tong Jian, Ning Wang, and JiHao Quan. At the XingHai Conservatory, works by faculty member YiBoTao, another Chinese composer, will be featured.
Along with Eastman and the four Chinese conservatories, the China Society for People’s Friendship Studies is also partnering in the “China Connection” project. Soprano Ai Ze Wang of the Society is also scheduled to perform during the tour.
“In the long-term, we hope to foster a collaborative relationship between the music schools that will provide opportunities for American and China musicians and composers to share their culture with a passion and to promote new music efforts,” said Liu Liu.
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