Friday, March 23, 2007

Bright Sheng’s Threnody for Pipa and Orchestra, "Nanking! Nanking!"

The University of Michigan Center for Chinese Studies presents as part of the Arts on Earth Initiative and China Theme Year:

Bright Sheng’s Threnody for Pipa and Orchestra, NANKING! NANKING!
Panel Discussion with Video and Film Viewing
Friday, March 30, 2007, 4:00pm
Schorling Auditorium, School of Education (SEB)
610 E. University, Ann Arbor, Michigan

U-M MacArthur awarding-winning composer and music director Bright Sheng’s symphony Nanking! Nanking! was created in memory of Chinese victims of the 1937 massacre during the Sino-Japanese War. The composer tells the story “through the ‘eyes’ of one person (the pipa) who is not only a victim, but a witness and survivor… it is also a story of humanity’s spirit…” Why have issues of Japanese war nationalism and denial surfaced in this 70th anniversary of the Nanking Massacre in Japan, China, and the United States at a time when these nations reflect on issues of war and war memory? The NM is one of the most explosive metaphors for the still contested Pacific War, and the nationalist ambitions that drive that war and contemporary wars.

Historian Mark Selden of Cornell University will begin the session with an overview of the Nanjing Massacre (40 min), followed by a DVD viewing of Bright Sheng’s Nanking! Nanking! score played by the U-M Symphony Orchestra (18 min), and a panel discussion with Bright Sheng, Mark Selden, music critic Sheila Melvin, and Stanford University conductor Cai Jindong. Nicholas Howson, U-M School of Law, will moderate the panel (50 min). The History Channel’s “Rape of Nanking” documentary film will conclude the program--please note that the video contains graphic film footage of the conflict in Nanking.

A related lecture by Mark Selden is scheduled for Thursday, March 29, entitled “Bombing and the American Way of War: From the Pacific War to Iraq” at 1014 Tisch Hall at 4:00.

Bright Sheng, Leonard Bernstein Distinguished University Professor of Composition, University of Michigan
Cai Jindong, Director of Orchestral Studies, Stanford University
Sheila Melvin, music journalist and a frequent contributor to The Wall Street Journal, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Times
Mark Selden, Research Associate, East Asia Program, Cornell University
Moderator: Nicholas C. Howson, University of Michigan School of Law