Guqin Master Dai Xiaolian, considered one of the best Guqin musicians in China, will perform and share the fascinating history and culture of the Guqin, also known as the Qin Zither.
A musical and meditative tool to cultivate one’s heart and soul, the Guqin (古琴), or seven-string zither （七弦琴）, was considered one of the four essential skills—together with Chinese chess, calligraphy and brush painting—that an educated person in ancient China must master. For over two thousand years, Guqin symbolized the sophisticated, philosophical, and intellectual life celebrated in traditional Chinese culture. The instrument is now undergoing a remarkable revival in China today.
Music Chat /音乐茶话, a public educational series presented by Music at China Institute 华美音乐, invites audiences of all ages to performances and conversations with top musicians for a deeper understanding of Chinese music.
Music at China Institute 华美音乐 is a collaborative program with the US-China Music Institute of the Bard College Conservatory of Music, bringing the beauty, wisdom and philosophy of traditional Chinese music to people of all ages and backgrounds in the heart of Lower Manhattan.
About the Speaker/Musician
Dai Xiaolian, Professor of Guqin, Department of Chinese Music, Shanghai Conservatory of Music
Dai Xiaolian studied to play Guqin from an early age, under the tutelage of her great-uncle, the renowned Guqin master Zhang Ziqian from the Guangling School of Guqin music. She also received instructions from other Guqin masters such as Wu Jinglue, Wu Wenguang, and Yao Bingyan, as well as many years of teaching from masters Gong Yi and Lin Youren. She graduated from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and has worked there ever since.
She inherited the rich heritage of the Guqin tradition, absorbing the best from various schools of teaching. She is a leading Guqin musician of her generation, known for her masterful skills and powerful presentation. While devoting much time and effort to the preservation and promotion of traditional Guqin music, she is also actively participating in the development and performing of contemporary Guqin pieces.
She has recorded and published multiple Guqin CDs, teaching DVDs, and edited and published several Guqin textbooks, which contributed significantly to both the popularization and professional training of Guqin music.
In recent years, she has planned and organized several Guqin events which have all garnered international attention. A few years ago, she has set up the Lingran Ensemble, which successfully staged the Guqin Whispering Concert Series both in China and overseas, receiving much acclaim. Through these efforts, Dai Xiaolian has helped to introduce fresh context from contemporary culture into the ancient tradition of Guqin music.