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November 2012 Kunqu Masters Series

Masters and Masterpieces: In Memory of Mr. Fu-yen Chen, founding president of the Kunqu Society

The Kunqu Society was saddened by the loss of Mr. Fu-yen Chen, founding president of the society, when he passed away in August due to illness. To honor the tireless efforts of Mr. Chen ever since the founding of the society in promoting kunqu and transplanting its elegant, refined art to take roots in the U.S., we have scheduled to present a series of kunqu events, featuring three kunqu masters invited from China: Mr. Zhengren Cai, Mr. Xiaowu Huang, and Ms. Weijian Wang. They will perform in an exceptional program together with the society’s resident artists: Mr. Qinglin Cai, Ms. Jiehua Shi, Mr. Fulin Wen, Mr. Min Cheng, and Ms. Ling Yang. Kunqu masters Mr. Cai, Mr. Huang, and Ms. Wang are top-ranked performers nationally in China; they are the outstanding, representative performers of the young male, old male, and old female role types, respectively, among their peers. Mr. Cai and Mr. Huang received the Plum Blossom Award, the highest recognition of a performer’s artistic achievement in China.

President of the Kunqu Society, Ms. Anna Chen, and our resident professional performer, Mr. Dezhang Wu, wrote articles in memory of Fu-yen Chen: The Dream Pursuer and In Memory of Mr. Fu-yen Chen.

For the masters’ visit, a series of events is scheduled.

1. Lecture-Demonstration: “Masters and Plays”

Featuring Kunqu Masters Mr. Cai Zhengren, Mr. Huang Xiaowu, Ms. Wang Weijian. At this event Mr. Cai, Mr. Huang, and Ms. Wang Weijian will discuss and demonstrate the performing characteristics of kunqu through excerpts from classical kunqu plays, followed by a Q&A session.

Date/Time: Thursday, November 15, 2012, 6:30-8 p.m.
Location: Queens Library in Flushing (41-17 Main Street, Flushing)
Free Admission
RSVP recommend

2. Workshop: “Masters and Students”

Featuring Kunqu Masters Mr. Cai Zhengren and Mr. Huang Xiaowu. At this event, Mr. Cai and Mr. Huang will provide personal instruction on the acting training of students of the society’s Kunqu Workshop. They will use classicalkunqu pieces as examples to explain and demonstrate the singing and performing techniques of the young and old male role types and lead the students to practice the pieces.

Date/Time: Saturday, November 17, 2012, 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
Location: College Point Arts Center (14-48 College Point Boulevard, College Point)
Free Admission
RSVP recommended

3. “Masters and Masterpieces” Kunqu Performance: In Memory and Honor of Mr. Fu-yen Chen

Featuring Kunqu Masters Mr. Cai Zhengren, Mr. Huang Xiaowu, Ms. Wang Weijian, and Resident Artists of the Kunqu Society: Mr. Cai Qinglin, Ms. Shi Jiehua, Mr. Wen Fulin, Mr. Cheng Min, and Ms. Yang Ling. In this performance Mr. Cai, Mr. Huang, and Ms. Wang will perform the following classical kunqu pieces together with Mr. Qinglin Cai, Ms. Jiehua Shi, Mr. Fulin Wen, Mr. Min Cheng, and Ms. Ling Yang, resident artists of the Society: An Investigation in Disguise, Advice on Banqueting, Traces in the Snow and Mother’s Visit

Date/Time: Sunday, November 18, 2012, 2 p.m
Location: Miller Theatre of Columbia University (2960 Broadway, New York, NY)

For further information, contact the Kunqu Society: info@kunqusociety.org.

Tickets/order information for Nov. 18 performance: “Masters and Masterpieces”

Tickets: $50 (Red area), $35 (Green area), $20 (Blue area) ($5 discount for members, seniors, and students)

Seating Chart
Miller Theater seating chart

Order methods

1. Online order: Miller Theatre Box Office

2. By phone:
(English) Miller Theatre Box Office: 212-854-7799 (M-F, 12-6 p.m., and two hours prior to performances)

(Chinese) (646) 427-4250, (917) 495-4188

3. In person:
Miller Theatre Box Office (2960 Broadway, New York; M-F, 12-6 p.m., and two hours prior to performances)

Chung Hwa Boostore (M-S, 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m., 135-29 Roosevelt Avenue, Flushing; 718-353-3580)

Confucius Bookstore (M-S, 8p.m.-7 p.m., 15 Bowery, New York; 212-219-2822)

4. By E-mail:
Ticket inquiry: info@kunqusociety.org

For group discount, contact the Kunqu Society: info@kunqusociety.org; (646) 427-4250.

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The 2012 Spring Concert

Featuring artists of the Kunqu Society and the Chinese Music Ensemble

To celebrate the centennial birthday of Ms. Chung-ho Chang Frankel, a renowned calligrapher, poet, amateur kunqu practitioner, and advisor of the Kunqu Society, the Society will give a spring concert, featuring artists of the Society and the Chinese Music Ensemble of New York, on Sunday, May 13, 2 p.m. at the Flushing Town Hall.

From her youth Ms. Chang studied with kunqu masters Shen Chuanzhi and Zhang Chuanfang to learn the kunqu art. In her twenties, Ms. Chang established herself as a known kunqu performer and performed regularly in Chongqing during the Sino-Japanese War. Since coming to this country after the war, Ms. Chang has made great contributions to the study and promotion of the kunqu art in the U.S. Together with her late husband Hans H. Frankel, a prominent sinologist, Ms. Chang gave lectures and demonstrations at more than twenty academic institutions in the U.S. to introduce and promote the literature and performing skills of kunqu beginning in the 1950s. From 1962 to 1985, Ms. Chang taught Chinese calligraphy and kunqu at Yale University. In 1988 two of her students, Mr. Fu-yen Chen and Ms. Anna Chen Wu, together with other kunqu artists and enthusiasts, founded the Kunqu Society. Since 1989, Ms. Chang has served as advisor to the Society.

The spring concert will feature noted kunqu artists Ms. Jiehua Shi, Mr. Qinglin Cai, Mr. Fulin Wen, Mr. Dezhang Wu, Mr. Min Cheng, and Ms. Ling Yang. Supported by students of the Kunqu Workshop, the artists will perform the classical kunqu highlight scenes “A Banquet for Two,” “Kneeling by the Pond,” and “Killing the Tiger.” Also, artists of the Chinese Music Ensemble of New York, including Mr. Jingqiang Guo, Wenjie Xia, Laigen Wei, Lichun Li, and Yongli Zhang, will present classical Chinese music pieces such as “Year of Blessings,” “Song of Gu Su,” “Song of Joy” and “Hundred Birds Worship the Phoenix.” Distinguished flutist Ming Zhou and drum-conductor Mr. Shirong Huang will lead the orchestra in the kunqu pieces.

The concert will be held on Sunday, May 13, 2 to 4 p.m. The Flushing Town Hall is located at 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, NY 11354. Tel: (718) 463-7700.

Tickets are $15 for the general public and $10 for members of the Kunqu Society, seniors, and students.

For tickets, please contact: (718) 352-0070; (646) 427-4250; (917); 495-4188; info@kunqusociety.org.

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