LAWRENCE – A concert and panel discussion at the University of Kansas will highlight music from Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander cultures.
The KU Asian Classical Music Initiative (ACMI) opening event will take place on October 16 at 7 p.m. at Swarthout Recital Hall. A pre-concert lecture moderated by Zhengyingyue (Elaine) Huang, ACMI President and graduate music student, will explore Asian composing culture and communities in the Western world as well as the creative influence and experiences of musicians living in the Midwest. Panelists include Mo Zhou, director of opera at the University of Missouri-Kansas City; Forrest Pierce, professor of musical composition at KU; and Yi-Yang Chen, assistant professor of piano at KU and advising member of ACMI.
A concert following the roundtable will feature 26 musicians presenting works by Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander composers. Co-sponsored by the School of Music and the Center for East Asian Studies, and in collaboration with the Kansas City Chinese Association and the Kansas Chinese School North, the concert will set the stage for future initiatives.
“This is a gathering that has never been seen in the Midwestern classical music industry. In this unprecedented concert, we will show the interaction, similarities and unique identities of different musical cultures,” said Huang. “We hope to promote cultural and artistic exchanges between East and West through our own solidarity.”
In response to nuanced racial politics in conversation with the field of classical music, KU music graduate students recently established ACMI at KU in the hope of racial justice and the celebration of diversity. ACMI is designed to introduce the world of classical music composers AAAPI (Asians, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) through concerts and lectures.