The 2011-12 Master Players Concert Series will celebrate Asian History Month with a theatrical multimedia production and symposium on China's Qing Dynasty.

iMusic5 Encounters

China's Qing Dynasty theme for Master Players concert, symposium

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12:31 p.m., April 2, 2012--The 2011-12 University of Delaware Master Players Concert Series will celebrate Asian History Month with the theatrical multimedia production iMusic 5: Encounters with performances at 8 p.m., Friday, April 20, and Saturday, April 21, in Mitchell Hall.

The presentation, for those ages 4 and older, will focus on China's Qing Dynasty and the cultural interchange between East and West, and will be held in conjunction with a three-session symposium with sessions April 13, 19 and 20.

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Sept. 26-27: Chinese culture celebrations

In celebration of the fourth anniversary of the Confucius Institute at the University of Delaware, a pair of special events will be held on campus on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 26-27.

Created, produced and performed by UD's Xiang Gao, featuring MPCS guest artists, written by Jeanne Walker, and directed by Anne Marie Cammarato, iMuisc 5: Encounters celebrates the humanities and their diversity through the intersection of music, theater, literature, history, preservation and technology.

The production will transport the audience to the Qing Dynasty (1644–1912), the final golden period of the imperial China. Through live music, drama and visual presentations, the audience will experience the impact of the encounters between cultures, as artistically interpreted by experts in multiple disciplines worldwide.

Under the artistic direction of Gao, professor of music and director of MPCS, a creative team of encompassing musicians, writers, art conservators, historians, art historians, philosophers, visual artists, sound designers, actors, directors, stage directors and designers will collaborate to create significant rapport among scholars, artists and audience. 

The free symposium prior to the concert production, sponsored by UD's Interdisciplinary Humanities Research Center, will engage a broader audience in this celebration of the humanities. 

During the symposium, designed and hosted by Gao, many of the acclaimed scholars and artists who contribute to the concert production will meet with the audience in an open conversation setting to share their invaluable knowledge through decades of professional research on the cultural exchange between the East and West during the Qing Dynasty. 

The symposium is created to promote deeper understanding of Chinese culture and prepare the audience for the world premier of the interdisciplinary production “Encounters”. 

This program is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

Concert tickets cost $25 for the general public; $20 for senior adults, UD faculty, staff and alumni; and $10 for students with ID. Tickets are available at the REP box office in the Roselle Center for the Arts, telephone 302-831-2204. For more information about the Master Players Concert Series, see the website.

Symposium presentations -- with a creative team encompassing writers, art conservators, historians, art historians, philosophers, musicians, visual artists, sound designers, actors, directors, stage directors and designers  -- are planned as follows:

• Friday, April 13, 3:30-5:30 p.m., Gore Recital Hall, Roselle Center for the Arts, "The Qing Dynasty's Encounters with the West and the Untold Stories of Chinese-Americans in the 19th Century." Panelists will be UD faculty members David Pong; Jean Pfaelzer, award-winning author of Driven Out: The Forgotten War Against the Chinese Americans; and Jonathan Russ.

• Thursday, April 19, 4:30-6:30 p.m., 109 Willard Hall Education Building, "Conserving the Qing Dynasty on Paper." Panelists will be Marcia Reed, chief curator, Getty Research Institute; Vimalin Rujivacharakul of the UD faculty, architectural historian and member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University; and Caitlin R. O'Grady, Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Conservation Education in UD's Department of Art Conservation.

• Friday, April 20, 1:25-3 p.m., Gore Recital Hall, Roselle Center for the Arts, "The Healing Power of Music and Tai Chi from the Qing Dynasty." Panelists will be Russell Murray, music history, of UD's Department of Music; Cathy Yang, artist in residence; Alan Fox of the Department of Philosophy; and Stephanie Mayer-Sattin, master of tai chi and martial arts.

Directors’ biographies 

Xiang Gao is recognized as one of the world's most successful performing artists of his generation from the People's Republic of China, and has been cited the The New York Times as "a rare and soulful virtuoso." His musical integrity and virtuoso technique have gained accolades from audiences and reviewers around the world.

Highlights of the recent season's engagements the 2011 world premier of Kristin Kuster’s Two Jades for solo violin and symphony band in Disney 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, the Estonia National Symphony and others.

Gao frequently appears at Carnegie Hall, the Finlandia Hall in Helsinki, the Shanghai Grand Theatre, the Aspen Music tent, the Smetana Hall, the Prague Spring International Music Festival, the Singapore International Music Festival, the David Oistrakh International Music Festival, the Spoleto Music Festival, and the Tallinn International Festival.

As a multifaceted musician and singer songwriter, Gao composes, arranges and performs in the styles of jazz, funk, bluegrass, Asian folk, pop and Latin American music. 

As a member of the China Magpie ensemble established by Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Project, and the 6ixwire Project, a crossover duet he and Erhu soloist Cathy Yang formed in 2009, Gao is frequently featured on major television stations in Asia performing lives concerts for more than 1 billion television viewers worldwide. Both crossover ensembles combine multiple styles, from Chinese folk to Western classical and rock music.

Gao is the youngest professor of music at UD, the ZiJiang Professor of Music at the East China Normal University in Shanghai, and the Distinguished Visiting Professor of Music at the FuJian Normal University in FuZhou, China. In 2007, the Stradivari Society in Chicago selected Mr. Gao to be a recipient of world famous Stradivarius violins for his international solo concerts. 

Jeanne Murray Walker's theatre scripts have been produced by the University'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, and her latest book of poetry is New Tracks, Night Falling.  

Among her awards are National Endowment for the Arts 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.

Anne Marie Cammarato is a director, producer and playwright. Her most recent directing work took place at Delaware Theatre Company, where she served as artistic director from 2004-2010. Prior to her work at DTC, she served for four years as associate artistic director of Madison Repertory Theatre. She has worked at many theatres across the country, including Theatre X, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, McCarter Theatre, Atlantic Theatre Company, Wilma Theatre, Bedlam Theatre, Renaissance Theatre works, and American Folklore Theatre.  

Cammarato currently serves on the board of directors of the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia.  She studied dance and drama at North Carolina School of the Arts and New York University, and is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. Currently, she is a 2012 Established Literary Fellow for the state of Delaware.

William Browning founded, and has served as head of, the Technical Production Program of the PTTP since its inception. Browning has designed scenery and/or lighting for the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, the Frankel Theatre and the Oulu City Theatre in Finland, Trier City Theatre in Germany, Next Generation Theatre, and Erie Playhouse. 

He has been an active member of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) since 1975, and currently serves as the Technical Production Commission’s Associate Editor for TD&T (USITT’s quarterly publication). He received his master of fine arts degree in technical theatre from the University of Iowa and has also taught at San Francisco State University, Centre College of Kentucky, Wright State University, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. 

Recent credits include lighting design for the UD REP’s production of The Cripple of Inishman, set and lighting design for The Good Person of Szetchwan at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and the stage set for the televised Delaware congressional and senatorial debates.

UD faculty artist David Brinley of the Department of Art is the foundations coordinator and teaches drawing and design as well as Illustration in the Visual Communication Program.

Brinley is an industry award winning artist represented by Gerald and Cullen Rapp, New York City. An artist member of the Society of Illustrators, his characteristic work has been showcased by leading national publications such as Time, GQ, Rolling Stone and The New York Times magazines. His illustrations have been selected regularly for inclusion in American Illustration, Communication Arts, Society of Illustrators New York, Los Angeles and 3 x 3. Personal gallery works have been exhibited in Los Angeles at La Luz De Jesus, Mendenhall Sobieski, and Robert Berman Gallery.

Brinley is a graduate with distinction from the prestigious Art Center College of Design and Hartford Art School's MFA program. Between paintings, he plays vintage guitars and likes to comb flea markets to discover old books and objects that help inspire him to make new personal images.

Qi Wei is one of the leading stage directors and producers of the People’s Republic of China. In the past 15 years, Wei has directed more than 150 national and international public events broadcast on television in over 25 countries. These events include China’s 55th National Day celebration and 60th National Day celebration on the Tiananmen Square with more than 100,000 live performers each; New Year’s concert in the People’s Hall in Beijing in the past five consecutive years; opening ceremony celebration event for the 2005 Fortune Global Forum; final competition of the 54th, 55th and 57th Ms. World in China; and the final China competition of the 46th and 50th Ms. International in China, among others. 

Steven Mausolf is a musician, graphic designer, and animation artist who worked in Hollywood creating interactive press kits for feature films in the early 1990s. From there, he branched into corporate communications and presentations and was integral in the creation of the Chase/Disney partnership -- the largest credit card deal ever signed. Steve has written music and played bass for bands in New York and Los Angeles during the past three decades. Currently working for University Media Services, Mausolf continues to enjoy creating multimedia for live events and the Internet. 

He has partnered with Gao on previous performances and said he is extremely excited to be working with him once again on the current project, Encounters.

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