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SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, WC1H 0XG London, United Kingdom
The London Youlan Qin Society (LYQS, Est. 2003), in partnership with the SOAS China Institute, Chinese Arts Now, plus various key partners, is proud to present the London International Guqin Festival – the first of its kind in the West. It will comprise:
4-day Summer School
Grand Yaji Gathering
Workshops and activities
The Festival will feature two of the most influential and best known guqin masters in China: Professor Li Xiangting (principal professor of guqin, China Central Conservatory of Music), and Professor Zeng Chengwei (Professor of guqin, Sichuan Conservatory of Music, Chengdu, Master of the Shu style, Southwest China). Both are nationally listed masters of th...e “Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”. Also invited is Zeng He, Prof. Zeng's son, who was taught by his father and is a lecturer at the Sichuan Conservatory. They will present workshops, masterclasses, performances, talks and discussions during the festival.
Also featuring UK guqin players, musicians from the UK Chinese Music Ensemble, the China-UK Opera Association, Dr Cheng Yu, Mr Charles Rupert Tsua, and scholars including Dr Rachel Harris, Dr Edward Luper and others from Europe and beyond.
The qin or guqin is a symbol of China’s literati culture and the first of the four elements of traditional scholars with Chinese Chess, calligraphy and painting. It is also the only Chinese instrument recognised by UNESCO as part of the “Intangible and Oral Heritage of Humanity”. LYQS has successfully held 15 summer schools, dozens of concerts and talks and over a hundred regular yaji (refined gatherings). In recent years, LYQS has seen the growth of its membership and interest to develop, exchange and engage with the rest of the world. This Festival will enable performers, students, scholars, and Chinese music and culture enthusiasts to gather to exchange thoughts, showcase talent and renew friendly ties with the rest of the world. So far there have been no such activities outside Chinese speaking countries.
Summer School – 21 24 August 2018
Building on the success of our previous 15 summer schools, we will hold a 4-full day course focusing on guqin music at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. It will offer a rare opportunity for anyone interested in learning and understanding more about traditional Chinese music and instruments in the UK and beyond. The course will combine seminars, master classes, demonstrations and concerts. It will be open to students at all levels, with a limited number of instruments available for hire. It will be taught by Prof. Zeng Chengwei, Zeng He, (Dr Cheng Yu, (SOAS, University of London), and Charles Tsua (London Youlan Qin Society). There will be special masterclasses on two afternoons by Li Xiangting (22nd) and Zeng Chengwei (23rd).
Course fee: £220 (£200 LYQS members and students) – includes one concert. The public are able to participate in the masterclasses for £25 per session.
Conference – 25th and 26th August
The 2-day conference will comprise a round table discussion, academic presentations on the guqin and its music, a grand yaji gathering and a concert.
Conference Theme: “Guqin Art and its Revival in the 21st Century”
Call for papers
Since UNESCO declared the guqin a part of the “Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” in 2003, and a guqin piece was performed during the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, the art of the guqin has enjoyed a surge of interest in China and around the world. It is probably better known and more popular now than it has ever been. For centuries it was the exclusive preserve of the literati class, and during the mid-20th century it almost disappeared. By the latter part of that century there were only a handful of players in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Nowadays in China many people, even children, learn to play it. The Internet has of course helped to spread it across the globe, and guqin societies have even begun to appear in countries outside the Chinese-speaking world, including Japan, the USA, and the UK.
We invite proposals on any aspect of the guqin and its music. Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:
The guqin in the 21st century
The guqin outside China
Reconstruction (dapu) of guqin pieces from old tablatures
Notation and rhythm
The guqin in literature
Proposals may be for any of the following:
— Papers for presentation (up to 20 minutes with 5-10 minutes for questions)
— Round table discussion (3 to 4 short presentations, not more than 15 minutes each, followed by a chaired discussion, totalling 1.5 to 2 hours)
The language for presentations will be English. Please submit abstracts in English of not more than 250 words to [email protected]
Call for papers deadline: 21st May 2018.
Delegates from non-EU countries who require an invitation letter for their visa application are asked to contact us as soon as possible.
Conference fee: £60 (£50 LYQS members and students, £30 SOAS students). Does not include concerts.
Grand Yaji – 26th August
An informal yaji gathering with guqin performances by the masters and UK players, and an opportunity for networking held at the Brunei Suite at SOAS.
Free entry. Open to the public (registration required via Eventbrite).
Workshops and activities – all week
Various events will also take place during the week in association with our partners. These are currently in development and we will announce them when they are confirmed.
Concerts – all week
A tour of several concerts are planned throughout the week, including ones in London and Oxford.
20th: Oxford Town Hall
21st: China Exchange, London
23rd: Emmanuel United Reformed Church, Cambridge
25th: DLT, SOAS
26th: DLT, SOAS. This concert is festival participants. We welcome professional and amateur qin players to perform in this concert (approx. 4-6 minutes per player). Certificates for the performers will be given by the masters and officials from local government or the Chinese Embassy in London.
Eventbrite page for booking Grand Yaji and concerts: lyqs.eventbrite.com/
For the China Exchange concert, it would have to be booked through their website which will be linked to when it comes online.
Registration and booking for the Festival is now open. Please use the link provided. NB: the summer school and conference elements must be booked separately; grand yaji registration is now open. Concerts and other events will be ticketed separately and will be open in due course.
Please send all enquiries to: [email protected]
Festival page on SOAS: soas.ac.uk/china-institute/events/21aug2018-the-first-london-international-guqin-festival-2018.html