The guqin is China’s oldest string instrument with an illustrious history dating back 3000 years. The guqin is a seven string zither that has been traditionally held in high regard in China by scholars and literati for its great subtlety and refinement. This weekend concert goers will have the opportunity to hear three masters of this ancient instrument in one concert.
Zha Fuxi traveled from China to the west to promote the art of the guqin in the 1940’s and made a series of recordings for the Library of Congress. Zha Fuxi was an exceptional player, scholar and cultural ambassador. This concert marks the 120th anniversary of his birth and the 70th anniversary of the Library of Congress recordings.
On Sunday May 31, the North American Guqin Association (NAGA) will present a “Zha Fuxi Tribute Concert by Three Generations of Masters”. The concert will introduce guqin music from various past dynasties through to the present day. The concert will focus on Zha Fuxi’s music style as well as presenting a new composition.
One of the master musicians that will be featured is Li Xiangting, who is recognized as the world’s leading guqin master. Now in his 75th year, Li Xiangting is one of the few living guqin masters to have studied under Zha Fuxi. He will travel from China to the US to give performances and master classes.
Master Li Xiangting will be joined by NAGA director Wang Fei who has been studying under Li Xiangting since 1985. A performer of considerable stature, Wang Fei has won several awards for Chinese music and has toured internationally.
This will be the biggest ever guqin event held in the US. It has been widely recognized and is receiving grants and honors from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Library of Congress, the American Folklife Center, and the Alliance for California Traditional Arts.
The tribute concert is part of a larger project called “The Guqin and Its Culture – a commemoration of guqin master Zha Fuxi and related activities” that runs from May 31 – June 5. Additional components of the project include a guqin master class with Master Li Xiangting, a 4 day intensive guqin workshop for beginners, a guqin symposium and panel discussion, a lecture titled “The Beauty of Chinese Guqin Music” by Wang Fei and an elegant gathering. Additional information about these events is available from the NAGA website.
Zha Fuxi Tribute Concert by Three Generations of Masters. Sunday, May 31st, 2015，5:00pm.
The Chapel, Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Boulevard, San Francisco, CA 94123. Tickets available through brown paper tickets.
Further reading: North American Guqin Association receives NEA grant to promote guqin music.
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