Educators and performers from the United States, Canada and Europe wrapped up a two-day conference in New York on Tuesday on the developments and challenges of teaching Chinese music in the West.
The discussions, which took place on Monday through Tuesday at Bard College, a private liberal arts college in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, covered prospects for broadening the knowledge and appreciation of Chinese music among general audiences of all ages as well as music departments and conservatories throughout the Americas and Europe.
During the event, world-renowned Chinese pipa virtuoso Wu Man and her friends led the audience on a superb musical journey, using music to bridge cultural divides by combining traditional Chinese instrumentation with world music and Western jazz inflected elements.
She also demonstrated principals of improvisational technique with 12 Bard students — six on traditional Chinese instruments and six on Western instruments.
The second annual conference, themed “Tradition and Discovery: Teaching Chinese Music,” was presented by the U.S.-China Music Institute of the Bard College Conservatory of Music (BCCM) in partnership with China’s Central Conservatory of Music (CCOM), the Music Confucius Institute at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, and the Center for Chinese Music and Culture at Middle Tennessee State University.
In partnership with CCOM, the U.S.-China Music Institute has launched the Chinese Music Development Initiative that consists of a new undergraduate degree program in Chinese instruments at BCCM, an annual Chinese Music Festival, seminars and scholarly conferences on Chinese music, art, and social development.