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US-China Music Institute Presents Music From China: East Meets West, a Concert of Contemporary Works for Chinese and Western Instruments

January 28 Concert at Bard’s Fisher Center Celebrates New Collaboration Between Bard Conservatory and Central Conservatory, (China)

Mark Primoff
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, NY — On Sunday, January 28, at 3:00 p.m., Bard’s Fisher Center for the Performing Arts will host a celebratory concert to launch the Chinese Music Development Initiative , a new collaboration between the US-China Music Institute of the Bard College Conservatory of Music and the Central Conservatory of Music (in Beijing, China). Admission is $10 suggested donation. For tickets call the Fisher Center box office at 845-758-7900 or visit

The Orchestra Now will collaborate with the Chamber Orchestra of the Central Conservatory in a concert featuring six new works by Chinese composers, all using a combination of  Chinese  and  Western instruments, with renowned  soloists Yu Hongmei (Erhu), Zhou  Wang (Guzheng), and Zhang Qiang (Pipa).

Music from China: East Meets West
Contemporary Works for Chinese and Western Instruments

Chamber Orchestra of the Central Conservatory of Music

Aria for Gongs with Ensemble of Western
and Chinese Instruments                                            Guo Wenjing  (1956– )

Concerto Grosso for Ensemble of Western
and Chinese Instruments                                            Chen Xinruo

East West II: All Glare Tempered, All Dust
Smoothed                                                                    Zhang Shuai


The Orchestra Now
Jindong Cai, conductor

Spring and Autumn                                                     Tang Jianping  (1955–

                        Zhang Qiang, Pipa

Forlornness                                                                 Zhou Yanjia   (1934 –          
                        Zhou Wang, Guzheng

From “The Great Wall Capriccio”                              Liu Wenjin  (1937–2013)  

            3. Memorial of the Loyal Souls
            4. Vision of the Future

                        Yu Hongmei, Erhu     
The Chinese Music Development Initiative was formally established at a signing ceremony in Beijing in December.  This new initiative, managed by the US-China Music Institute of the Bard Conservatory, offers the first comprehensive program for the study and performance of Chinese music in the United States:
  • A new undergraduate degree program in selected Chinese instruments—erhu, pipa, and guzheng —at the Bard Conservatory of Music, with faculty provided by the Central Conservatory and Bard. The Chinese instrumental performance degree program will be the first to combine the professional study of traditional Chinese instruments with the liberal arts. Students will be accepted for enrollment starting in the fall of 2018. The application process will begin in January 2018.

  • An annual Chinese Music Festival commissioning and performing music from contemporary China, to take place on the Bard Campus and at a major New York City venue. The inaugural festival will take place in the fall of 2018.
  • Seminars and scholarly conferences on Chinese music, art, and social development, to be held in the United States and in China. The first conference will be held at Bard on March 30–31, 2018.
  • An annual summer academy on the Bard campus for high-school age students, featuring an orchestra of Chinese instruments. Participants will spend 2 ½ weeks on the Bard campus for individual lessons, English lessons, master classes, chamber music, ensemble playing, orchestra rehearsals, and performances. The first Academy will be held in the summer of 2018.

“This agreement is a milestone in Bard College’s international engagement,” said Bard President Leon Botstein. “Our partnership with the Central Conservatory will result in deeper connections with China’s vibrant musical life and rich heritage.”  
“The Central Conservatory of Music and Bard Conservatory have taken the lead in opening the Chinese culture in foreign conservatories,” said the Central Conservatory President Yu Feng. “This innovative step has historical significance in the development of Chinese music in the West. Our cooperation with Bard College, one of the finest liberal arts colleges in America, with a rich history of 157 years, sends out a clear Chinese voice to the world that we have entered into a new cooperation mode and a new stage through the integration of music and culture exchanges,” Yu added.
Bard Conservatory Director Robert Martin noted, “This is the culmination of years of work building relationships with the music world of China, including a tour of the Conservatory Orchestra to China in 2012.  This agreement is a major achievement of our new US-China Music Institute, led by the distinguished conductor, author, and educator Jindong Cai, and a wonderful enrichment of the life of the Bard community.”
Institute director Jindong Cai commented, “More than 400 years ago, the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci presented a Ming Dynasty emperor with a Western musical instrument, planting the seeds of Western music in China. Now we at Bard hope to make a similar contribution, deepening the development of Chinese music in the West. I am sure it will not take four centuries!"

The collaboration between the Central Conservatory and the Bard Conservatory will be overseen by President Yu Feng of the Central Conservatory and Director Robert Martin of the Bard Conservatory of Music. The partnership will be strengthened by bilateral faculty appointments: President Yu Feng will have a faculty appointment at the Bard Conservatory, and Bard President Leon Botstein will have a faculty appointment in the Central Conservatory. Hongmei Yu, chair of the Traditional Music Department of the Central Conservatory, will have a faculty appointment in the Bard Conservatory, and Jindong Cai will have a faculty appointment in the Central Conservatory. 

The Initiative will be managed by a committee led by Jindong Cai and Hongmei Yu, with Hongzhu Liu, director of the Central Conservatory’s Office of Foreign Affairs, and Associate Director Frank Corliss of the Bard College Conservatory.

For inquiries and more information, consult the website

Recognized as one of the finest conservatories in the United States, The Bard College Conservatory of Music, founded in 2005 and located in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, is guided by the principle that young musicians should be broadly educated in the liberal arts and sciences to achieve their greatest potential. All undergraduates complete two degrees over a five-year period: a bachelor of music and a bachelor of arts in a field other than music.

Founded in 1860, Bard College is a four-year residential college of the liberal arts and sciences located 90 miles north of New York City. With the addition of the Montgomery Place estate, Bard’s campus consists of nearly 1,000 park like acres in the Hudson River Valley. It offers bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, and bachelor of music degrees, with concentrations in more than 40 academic programs; graduate degrees in 11 programs; 9 early colleges; and numerous dual-degree programs nationally and internationally. Building on its 157-year history as a competitive and innovative undergraduate institution, Bard College has expanded its mission as a private institution acting in the public interest across the country and around the world to meet broader student needs and increase access to the liberal arts education. The undergraduate program at our main campus in upstate New York has a reputation for scholarly excellence, a focus on the arts, and civic engagement. Bard is committed to enriching culture, public life, and democratic discourse by training tomorrow’s thought leaders. For more information about Bard College, visit

Established in 1949, the Central Conservatory of Music (CCOM) is a specialized Chinese institution of higher education for nurturing high-level music professionals. The CCOM now consists of the Departments of Composition, Musicology, Conducting, Piano, Orchestral Instruments, Traditional Instruments, and Voice and Opera, as well as the Institute of Music Education, the Violin Making Center, the Orchestra Academy, the CCOM Middle School, the Modern Distance Music Education College, and a key research center. It currently enrolls 1,543 undergraduate students and 633 graduate students. Functioning as a national center of music education, composition, performance, research, and the social promotion of music, the CCOM is a world-renowned institute of music that represents the highest caliber of music education in China, offering a comprehensive range of specialized programs.  In 2016, the Central Conservatory of Music established a professional orchestra—the Central Conservatory Orchestra.

This event was last updated on 12-19-2017