US college music festival features Asian American voices

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, October 19, 2021
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The local U.S.-China Music Institute of the Bard College Conservatory of Music staged its annual music festival in the form of a multimedia concert, opera and panel discussion from Oct. 12 to 17, the institute said on Sunday.

Themed "Asian American Voices," the fourth China Now Music Festival highlights Asian American musicians' works and their stories amid the pandemic.

The festival kicked off with an in-person concert featuring composer Huang Ruo's work "Angel Island: Oratorio for Voices and String Quartet," which is set to poetry inscribed on the walls of the Angel Island immigration center in San Francisco by detained immigrants during the early 20th century.

"An American Soldier," an opera by Huang Ruo, tells the real story behind the death of U.S. Army Private Danny Chen, who was born and raised in New York's Chinatown and died in Afghanistan in 2011 from relentless hazing and racial maltreatment.

Chen's family members were invited to attend the festival at Bard College.

The festival also includes Peng-Peng Gong's "A Chinese in New York," a raw description of the experience of a Chinese student confronting cultural differences in the United States.

An online panel discussion was held on Oct. 14 and panelists shared their experience as Asian American artists and reflect on how the global pandemic and the recent rise in anti-Asian discrimination have influenced their creation and their views on the role of the artist in society. 

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