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China on Stage symposium: From Classical to Rock-n-Roll: Western Music in China

A series of discussions exploring what Chinese artists are creating and performing now, discuss what new directions contemporary culture may take in the coming years, and explore its potential influence on global culture.

April 28, 2008 12:00am

Monday, April 28
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Sheila Melvin, contemporary Chinese culture journalist
Andrew Jones, Associate Professor, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
Jin Xing, dancer and choreographer
Jindong Cai, moderator, Associate Professor of Music (Performance), Director of Orchestral Studies, Stanford University

Stanford Pan-Asian Music Festival Symposium: The State of the Arts in China
In a series of scholarly discussions with experts in Chinese theatre, opera, popular music and performance art, the symposium will explore what artists are creating and performing now, discuss what new directions contemporary culture may take in the coming years, and explore its potential influence on global culture.

"Rhapsody in Red: Western Classical Music in China"
presented by Sheila Melvin
China is increasingly seen as the last great hope for classical music. But how did classical music get to China and why did it take root? This lecture will explore classical music's introduction to China as a tool -- of religion and politics, of imperialism nationalism, and revolution -- and its eventual absorption into Chinese culture.

"The Chinese Jazz Age and its Contemporary Repercussions"
presented by Andrew Jones
What are the roots of modern Chinese popular music and media culture? This lecture will trace contemporary Chinese pop back to its wellsprings in the polyglot culture of the multiply colonized city of Shanghai in the late 1920s and 1930s, examining its links to media technology, the rise of Chinese nationalism, as well as the transpacific migration of Hollywood cinema, gramophone records, and African-American jazz musicians.

The panel will be joined by Chinese contemporary dancer Jin Xing, who will share her insights as a successful artist living and working in Shanghai. Professor Jindong Cai, artistic director of the Pan Asian Music Festival, will moderate.

Andrew F. Jones teaches modern and vernacular Chinese literature and popular culture. His research interests include music, cinema, and media technology, modern and contemporary fiction, children's literature, and the cultural history of the global 1960s. He is the author of Yellow Music: Media Culture and Colonial Modernity in the Chinese Jazz Age (Duke University Press, 2001), co-editor of a special issue of positions: east asia cultures critique titled "The Afro-Asian Century," and translator of literary fiction by Yu Hua as well as Eileen Chang's Written on Water (Columbia University Press, 2005). He is received his Ph.D. from University of California at Berkeley.

Sheila Melvin writes and consults about culture and business in China. She is the author of The Little Red Book of China Business (2007) and the co-author of Rhapsody in Red: How Western Classical Music Became Chinese (2004). Her writing on China has been published in the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Wall Street Journal, Asian Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. Melvin's China-related business experience includes seven years at The United States-China Business Council. Melvin has an honors M.A. from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and was the recipient of the school's A. Doak Barnett Award for Excellence in China Studies.