On Feb. 19-20, 2016 the Pan-Asian Music Festival will present a series of concerts, film screenings and related events on the campus of Stanford University in the newly constructed state-of-the-art Bing Concert Hall.
The Pan-Asian Music Festival, now in its 12th year, has assembled an amazing group of Master Musicians that are some of the best in the world. There will be musicians from around the Asian diaspora including Japan, China, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Iran.
On Friday, Feb. 19, the concert is called “A Celebration of Asia”. This concert will have the most variety and feature all the Master Musicians in one evening.
A sampling of the performers include: The Forbidden City Chamber Orchestra (FCCO) whose members come from the China Conservatory (the top school of Chinese ethnic music). The FCCO actively performs around the world and is widely known. While carrying forward the greatness of Chinese musical cultural tradition, FCCO also strives to promote the contemporary innovation of Chinese ethnic music while participating widely in international cooperation and exchange. The FCCO has five CD’s to their credit and have garnered considerable international acclaim. Current members include: Liu Shun (conductor), Yang Jing (pipa), Shen Cheng (hugin), Zhang Zunlian (erhu), Zhao Chengwei (sanxian), Wei Wei (liuqin, ruanxian), Jiao Shanlin (percussion), Yang Lin (zheng), Luo Yuan (yangqin), Wang Hua (flute, xiao), Wang Yang (sheng), Gao Ping (piano, composer), and Ma Xiao (counter tenor).
Pezhham Akhavass, a percussionist / multi instrumentalist / music director, master of Tombak (a type of goblet drum from Persia) and Daf (the frame drum). In addition to Tombak and Daf, Pezhham is knowledgeable about Setar, Tanbour, and Oud, and has studied other world percussion instruments also. Pezhham was born in 1980 and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music from Sureh University of Tehran. With the support of his father, renowned artist Mostafa, Pezhham began studying the Tombak at the age of five. He has toured the world playing with some of the greatest master musicians. His unique approach to rhythm has resulted in Pezhham being deemed one of the most distinguished musicians of his generation.
Imamyar Hasanov is an internationally acclaimed virtuoso on kamancha, and is known for his versatility as an arranger, bridging the vast divide between his traditional scales and those of other cultures. Having impressive credentials, he leads the field with his experience and vision to catapult Azerbaijani music onto the world stage. With his extensive knowledge of both Azerbaijani traditional music and Western classical music, knowledge of many of the world’s traditional instruments, and innovative arranging technique, Mr. Hasanov has not only contributed to the preservation of Azerbaijani traditional music, but has created a body of work which has brought this music to the forefront of both the classical and world music fields.
Abbos Kosimov is widely appreciated as an international phenomenon. Through his dynamic performances Abbos is recognized globally as a master of the Uzbeki frame drum called “dorya” and an ambassador of Uzbek culture. Abbos was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan to a highly musical family. In 2001, in honor of the 10th anniversary of Uzbekistan’s independence, Abbos was awarded with a medal and given the illustrious title of “Honored Artists of Uzbekistan” by the president of Uzbekistan. Abbos is currently working on compositions for many exciting new upcoming projects and has dedicated his life to the preservation and development of Uzbek percussive arts.
Vân-Ánh Võ comes from a family of musicians and began studying đàn tranh (16-string Vietnamese zither) from the age of four. She graduated with distinction from the Vietnam Academy of Music, won the championship title in the Vietnam National Đàn Tranh Competition, along with the first prize for best solo performance of modern folk music. A distinguished multi-instrumentalist, Vân-Ánh Võ has collaborated with some of the best artists and ensembles across many genres including the Oakland Symphony, Kronos Quartet, Houston Grand Opera, and jazz guitar sensation Nguyên Lê. Vân-Ánh Võ is also an emerging composer who has garnered wide acclaim for her recent work “The Odyssey: from Vietnam to America” performed to sold out crowds at YBCA in San Francisco. Vân-Ánh Võ also reached the attention of the White House and was invited to play there as part of their 2016 Lunar New Year celebration.
Representing Japan, will be Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto-Wong, a seasoned koto player and dedicated musician for over 50 years. Shirley strives to involve diverse genres of art and music in her performances. She has taught hundreds of private students, and has offered classes in koto music at public schools and universities. In 2012, Shirley was inducted into the Hokka Nichibei Kai Bunka (Japanese cultural) Hall of Fame, by the Japanese American Association of America. Additionally, for over 20 years, Shirley has been researching Japanese traditional performance arts in the World War II internment camps. Her recent film Hidden Legacy: Japanese Traditional Performance Arts in the World War II Internment Camps. Will be screened as part of the festival. Joining Mrs. Muramoto will be revered koto master Shoko Hikage, shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute) virtuoso Karl Young, koto player/composer Brian Mitsuhiro Wong and Reiko Iwanaga, lead choreographer/instructor of the San Jose Obon Odori (dance), reputed to be one of the largest in the United States.
For a complete list of all the artists and further details visit the PAMF artists website.
On Saturday, Feb. 20, there will be two concerts: an afternoon “Family Concert” with the Forbidden City Chamber Orchestra and various local artists representing a variety of Asian musical cultures. Children of all ages are welcome at this family concert, featuring musical masters from across Asia. The “Family Concert” is an interactive concert that will introduce children to unique Asian music traditions and instruments.
The festival grand finale will happen Saturday evening with a spectacular Chinese New Year Concert. It will showcase the Forbidden City Chamber Orchestra, the Stanford Chinese Music Ensemble, and the California Youth Chinese Symphony.
Further details and ticket information are available at the festival webpage.
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