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"Encounters: iMusic5 – Theatrical Multimedia Production and Symposia Celebrating the Humanities"

Spring 2012

The University of Delaware Master Players Concert Series (MPCS) is creating new traditions in the spring of 2012, to culminate with a multi-disciplinary production: "Encounters – Qing and West," April 20 & 21, 2012, at 8 pm in Mitchell Hall. Concert and ticket information

"Encounters – Qing and West" celebrates the humanities and their diversity through the intersection of theater, literature, history, preservation, music and technology. This production will transport the audience to the Qing Dynasty (1644–1912), the final golden period of imperial China. Through visual presentations, drama, lectures and live music, the audience will experience the impact of the encounters between cultures, as artistically interpreted by experts in multiple disciplines worldwide. A symposium series -- April 13, 19, and 20--in advance of the concerts will engage a broader audience in this celebration of the humanities. (See IHRC "Calendar" for more information.)

Xiang Gao, violinist, creator and producing director

Recognized as one of the world's most successful performing artists of his generation from the People's Republic of China, Xiang Gao is cited by the New York Times as "a rare and soulful virtuoso." He has performed for many world leaders, and his musical integrity and virtuoso technique have gained accolades from audiences and reviewers around the world. Recent engagements include: the 2011 world premiere of Kristin Kuster's "Two Jades" for solo violin and symphony band, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles and the National Center for Performing Arts, Beijing, China; solo performances with the Detroit Symphony, the Czech Philharmonic, the Gothenburg Symphony-National Orchestra of Sweden, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic of Russia, and the Estonia National Symphony.

As a crossover musician, songwriter and composer, Gao is a founding member of the "China Magpie" ensemble established by Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Project, and the "6ixwire Project," crossover duet he and erhu soloist Cathy Yang formed in 2009. Xiang is frequently featured on China's leading TV station CCTV's live concerts, which reach more than one billion TV viewers worldwide. Gao is also the founding director of the UD’s "Master Players Concert Series" and the ZiJiang Professor of Music at East China Normal University, Shanghai. In 2007, the Stradivari Society in Chicago selected Gao to be a recipient of Stradivarius violins for his international solo concerts.

Jeanne Murray Walker, playwright

Jeanne Murray Walker’s theatre scripts have been produced by UD’s Professional Theatre Training Program as well as by theatres in Boston, Washington, Chicago, throughout the Midwest, and in London. Among her script awards are The Charlotte Repertory Theatre New Plays Prize and two William and Arlene Lewis Playwriting Awards. Her poems and essays have appeared in many periodicals, including The Atlantic Monthly and Best American Poetry. Her latest book of poetry is New Tracks, Night Falling. Among her awards are an NEA Fellowship, eight Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowships, The Prairie-Schooner Glenna Luschei Prize, and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. She teaches English at UD, where she heads the creative writing program. She is also a mentor in the Seattle Pacific University Low Residency MFA Program and a frequent speaker at poetry festivals, conventions, churches and universities.

Presently Chief Curator and Head of Collection Development and Exhibitions, Marcia Reed has been at the Getty Research Institute since its establishment in 1983. As the first GRI curator of rare books, she acquired the special collections which feature illustrated books, prints and maps on the encounter of China and the West. Her research and publications focus on the literature of art history and collecting, with particular interest in 17th and 18th century travel and the China trade. Her past Getty exhibitions include The Edible Monument: the Art of Food for Festivals; Naples and Vesuvius on the Grand Tour; The Magnificent Piranesi; and China on Paper, with an illustrated catalogue of the Getty collections.

Stephanie Mayer-Sattin is a professional musician and music educator who became a Tai Chi educator in the U.S. She has traveled to Wudang Mountain, the birthplace of Tai Chi, in China to learn Tai Chi and Qigong martial arts forms directly from Master Xiugang Yuan, 15th generation San Fang Pai and Daoist priest. (People in the West may recognize Master Yuan from his recent cameo appearance in the Jackie Chan film, Karate Kid.) In collaboration with Master Yuan, a renowned singer of Daoist liturgy, Mayer-Sattin has developed techniques that incorporate elements of Tai Chi and Qigong into the warm-ups of music students and professionals, presented in Beijing at the International Society of Music Education World Conference in August 2010.

Mayer-Sattin will return to Wudang Mountain, China, in March of 2012, where she will be formally accepted in a special ceremony as a 16th generation San Feng Pai disciple of Master Yuan Xiu Gang. Only since the late 1980's has the knowledge of the San Feng Pai been shared with the outside world rather than practiced in secret at night: Mayer-Sattin is the first woman in the United States to become an official 16th generation San Feng Pai disciple and lineage holder.

The internationally acclaimed erhu virtuoso Cathy Yang is also a guzheng (Chinese zither) soloist and a professor of music at the China Contemporary Cultural Academy. As an international concert soloist and a member of the acclaimed 6ixwire Project (East-West crossover duet from classical to rock), Yang has performed as a soloist at Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center among other major concert halls in the U.S. In addition to her frequent concert appearances in China, she has performed as an erhu and guzheng soloist in Nike Morris's Wheel of Life in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the West End's Peacock Theater in London.  Yang has served as a Chinese cultural ambassador, with performances in Vienna, Frankfurt, Munich, Los Angeles and in May 2008, as a soloist before thousands of New York Mets fans. She was also a featured soloist during the 2008 Spoleto Music Festival (Charleston, South Carolina).

Yang has received many honors and awards in her native China, including top prizes at the Long Yin Instrumental Competition, the Tian Hua Erhu competition, the Chinese Ministry of Culture Annual Music Competition, and the Chinese National Cultural Foundation award. She is the 2011-2012 artist-in-residence for the UD Master Players Concert Series, funded in part by the IHRC grant. During her visit, she will be participating in the Encounters Symposium by giving talks and perform Chinese traditional instruments. She is also the music director for the production "Encounters-iMusic5".

John Shun-Chieh Wang was born into a scholarly family in Taiwan in 1947. His father Wang Jing-yang (1905-1959), a master calligrapher and painter, began teaching him calligraphy at the age of six. By twelve, Wang’s calligraphy started to receive awards. At twenty-one, he began training as a seal carver. While calligraphy and seal carving were always his preoccupation, Wang studied earth sciences at the Chinese Culture University in Taipei and Japanese language at Takushoku University in Tokyo. In 1980, Wang settled in the Washington, D.C., area, where he is recognized as a master calligrapher and seal carver.

Wang's work, at once deeply rooted in tradition and rich with personal interpretation, has garnered accolades in exhibitions in China, Japan, France, South Korea and many U.S. states. In 2010, he was awarded The Sixteenth Global Chinese Culture & Arts Award for his contribution in promoting Chinese Calligraphy arts. Wang currently teaches calligraphy for the education department at the Freer and Sackler Galleries and at George Washington University.

The past is vanishing all around us – if we let it. The Department of Art Conservation at the University of Delaware provides the resources to prepare and educate future generations of conservators, who are actively engaged in slowing the effects of passing time on cultural heritage. Students, alumni and faculty have played critical roles in the preservation of archaeological resources, art, books, photographs and structures throughout the world. This commitment to conservation will be featured in a multi-media concert presented by Xiang Gao, world-renown violinist and UD professor. Please join us as we explore on stage Eastern-Western relationships during the Qing Dynasty.