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Calendar of Events

Jan
26
Fri
2024
Fridays at the Apple Store: Live DJ Set Featuring DJ Oliver @ Apple Michigan Avenue
Jan 26 @ 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Friday, January 26th, 5:00pm
Apple Michigan Ave.
401 Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
Free

Preview the Lunar New Year at Apple Michigan Avenue with a DJ set featuring DJ Oliver! DJ Oliver is a Chinese-Chicagoan DJ/Producer passionate about mixing a variety of house and bass electronic dance music. Presented in partnership with Apple Michigan Avenue, Chicago Loves Chinatown, the Chinese Fine Arts Society, and Choose Chicago.

Feb
7
Wed
2024
World Music Wednesday: Lunar New Year Concert with Tzu-Tsen Wu and Friends @ Old Town School of Folk Music, Gary and Laura Maurer Concert Hall
Feb 7 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

As part of the Old Town School of Folk Music’s World Music Wednesday Concert Series, this Year of the Dragon-themed concert will immerse you in the spirit of Lunar New Year with performances blending traditional and contemporary Chinese and Thai music and instruments. Featured performers include multi-instrumentalist Tzu-Tsen Wu, multi-percussionist Brent Roman, and their duo, Ruan and Hide, along with special guest Chamni Sripraram. This event is free, but advanced reservations are recommended. Reserve your tickets here. Presented in Partnership with The Old Town School of Music and Choose Chicago. 

About Tzu-Tsen Wu

A native of Taiwan, Tzu-Tsen Wu is a plucked-string multi-instrumentalist specializing in the Chinese Zhong Ruan (lute) and Liu Qin (mandolin). Her playing style is informed through her Taiwanese roots and her studies of various other world music styles including jazz and classical music. She is currently a member of the Chicago Immigrant Orchestra (Chicago Reader’s “Best World Music Act” of 2021) and serves as the current Artistic Program Coordinator for The Chinese Fine Arts Society of Chicago. As a music educator, she presently serves as the Adjunct Professor of Music at Oakton College in addition to Music Director of the Jade Chinese Music Ensemble at the University of Chicago. She performs and collaborates regularly and has co-authored a children’s music textbook commissioned by the United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Education.

About Brent Roman 

Chicagoland based multi-percussionist Brent Roman is known for his vast experience and knowledge in the study, teaching, and performance of various world music traditions. He is an active ensemble member of several Chicago-based musical ensembles (including Tuvergen Band and Mucca Pazza), has performed, studied, and instructed internationally, and previously toured with Cirque Du Soleil as percussionist and Drum Captain. Brent has studied traditional Chinese percussion (Luo Gu) and hammered dulcimer (Yang Qin) at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. He has served as musical director for The Chinese Fine Arts Society of Chicago, composer/instructor for the Cheng Da Chinese Drum Team, and started the first public high school Chinese music ensemble in the US at New Trier High School where he currently serves as the Dance Division’s Head of Sound and Accompanist. He has been featured on television, film, radio, musical theatre runs, and recorded on a number of albums. He has performed at the Montreal Jazz Festival, NPR’s Tiny Desk, MassMOCA, Ravinia, Chicago Symphony Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Kennedy Center and has collaborated with names such as Si Zhu Kong, Yo-Yo Ma, and the Dalai Lama. Brent regularly does Chinese music educational outreach in schools throughout the area with organizations such as Merry Music Makers, Urban Gateways, Fulcrum Point, Chicago Sinfonietta, Ravinia, and the Old Town School of Folk Music.

About Duo Ruan and Hide 

Ruan & Hide is a Chinese Folk-Fusion duet based in Chicago, Illinois. The performers bring their own musical traditions to the project creating a blend of traditional Chinese & Taiwanese folk melodies with modern world music rhythms, performed on Chinese lute and percussion. The name is a reference to the instruments used; the “Ruan” lute and the “Hide” covering of the drums with a whimsical nod to the expression “run and hide”.

About Chamni Sripraram 

Chamni Sripraram received his master’s in world music at Northern Illinois University, where he is now an adjunct professor teaching “Music of Southeast Asia” and “Music of Thailand” courses and directing the Thai Music Ensemble.

He has lectured, conducted workshops and given performances at higher education institutions in the U.S. including Northwestern University, DePaul University, Roosevelt University, North Park University, Kent State University, UCLA, College of DuPage and Triton College.  During his time as a graduate student, he created an interactive learning website for Thai music for the Center of Southeast Asia Studies at NIU.

Ajarn Chamni, or Guru Chamni, as his students call him, started his teaching career at the Thai Temple in Chicago in 1996 as a prestigious cultural exchange scholarship recipient from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. During his term, he was invited to perform in New York City, Los Angeles, Houston, Kent, OH, Lexington, KY, San Diego, CA and Ottawa Canada.

Ajarn Chamni has extensive experience serving Thai and Asian American communities in the U.S. He was the president for Thai Cultural and Fine Arts Institute (TCFAI) in Chicago, a 501c3 non-profit organization, for two terms and has been TCFAI’s artistic director since its establishment, teaching Thai classical and folk music to Asian-American students and engaging in outreach programs promoting Thai culture through music and dance. Ajarn Chamni was one of the first Thai American representatives to join the Thai American Empowerment project sponsored by the Thai Embassy in Washington D.C. to visit the Thai prime minister. With the support from Thai Foreign Ministry in Summer 2017, he brought over 25 music students to perform in Thailand.

Ajarn Chamni received the Asian American Hall of Fame in 2013, Community Service Award in 2016, Asian Humanitarian Award in 2019 and the President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2019.

About Old Town School of Folk Music and World Music Wednesdays

World Music Wednesdays is the Old Town School Of Folk Music’s weekly showcase of world music and dance featuring the best local and touring talent! Most shows are Wednesday nights at 8:00 PM. Most World Music Wednesday concerts are free with a $10 suggested donation. TO GUARANTEE YOUR ENTRY MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS IN ADVANCE EITHER ONLINE OR BY CALLING THE BOX OFFICE AT 773.728.6000. Reservations unclaimed 10 minutes before showtime will be released to waiting patrons.

The Old Town School of Folk Music teaches and celebrates music and cultural expressions rooted in the traditions of diverse American and global communities. Founded in 1957, the Old Town School of Folk Music provides a wide range of music, dance, theater, and visual arts courses to people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. Whatever one’s interest, the Old Town School provides broad access to more than 700 accredited class offerings, private lessons, and workshops that span an array of artistic genres. Learn more here. 

Feb
8
Thu
2024
Lunar New Year Celebration at the Field Museum @ The Field Museum, Stanley Field Hall
Feb 8 @ 11:30 am – 1:30 pm

Ring in the Lunar New Year at the Field Museum! Enjoy performances from the Chicago Chinese Cultural Center’s Lion Dance team, the sonorous sounds of throat singing, horse-head fiddles, and percussion from the Mongolian folk-fusion trio Tuvergen band, dance performances from award-winning dance troupe Hao Dance and the Chicago Korean Dance Company, and gravity-defying tricks from the Chinese Yo-Yo school! Stop by the Grainger Science Hub to check out Chinese calligraphy demonstrations. 

This event is free with basic admission to the Field Museum. 

Thursday, February 8, 2024
11:30am, Stanley Field Hall
Field Museum
1400 S DuSable Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605

Presented in partnership with Choose Chicago, the Chinese Fine Arts Society, and the Field Museum.

Feb
10
Sat
2024
Navy Pier Global Connections: Lunar New Year @ Navy Pier AON Grand Ballroom
Feb 10 @ 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Immerse yourself in Lunar New Year festivities at Navy Pier’s Global Connections: Lunar New Year Celebration as the AON Grand Ballroom is transformed into a family-friendly and interactive celebration space to usher in the year of the dragon! This event will feature performances curated by some of Chicagoland’s leading Asian cultural groups. The Chinese Fine Arts Society will present performances by the Sound of Wishes Ensemble, Jade Chinese Ensemble, Hao Dance, Flying Fairies Dance, Yin He Dance, St. Therese Chinese Catholic School, Chicago Chinese Yo Yo School, and more! In addition to performances, enjoy food from local restaurants, and browse vendor booths from local Asian businesses. This event is sponsored by Choose Chicago.

 

Feb
11
Sun
2024
Lunar New Year Concert Featuring Rabia Brooke @ Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall
Feb 11 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Join us for a matinee concert featuring Violinist Rabia Brooke performing a world premiere of Lei-Liang’s Mongolian Suite for Violin, and a performance of Mongolian folk-fusion music from Tuvergen band.  Rabia and Lei will also sit down before the concert for a pre-concert Q and A to discuss what it is like to commission and compose a piece, where the inspiration for this piece came from, and more. Presented in partnership with Choose Chicago and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. 

Sunday, February 11, 3:00pm
Pre-concert Lecture at 2:00pm.
Chicago Cultural Center’s Preston Bradley Hall
78 E Washington St.

Free Admission

About Rabia Brooke

Praised as a “violinist with emerging melodies both ardent and airy” (New Eastside News), Rabia Brooke is equally at home as a solo, chamber, and orchestral player. She is known for her passion and sincere artistry that has captivated audiences worldwide. Ms. Brooke has collaborated with some of today’s most compelling musical voices including commissioning projects with composers Jennifer Higdon, Clarice Assad, Chen Yi, Lei Liang, Juhi Bansal, Elizabeth Younan, Stacy Garrop, and Mischa Zupko.

Most recently as a soloist Ms. Brooke has appeared in Carnegie’s Weil Hall, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, and at the RAVINIA Festival alongside Maestro George Stelluto and Jaimie Bernstein performing the Berstein Serenade celebrating the Legacy of her father Leonard Bernstein. Rabia’s collaborations as a chamber musician include Rachel Barton Pine, Black Oak Ensemble with pianist Pallavi Mahidahra, Formosa Quartet, principal players from London’s Royal Philharmonic and Royal Orchestras, Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra, and 5th House Ensemble.

Ms. Brooke has been a laureate of numerous competitions, including the Cooper International, Fischoff National Chamber Competition, and the Musicians Club of Women where she garnered the Farewell Trust Award. In addition, Ms. Brooke has been a frequent performer on Chicago’s WFMT Radio Programs.

Ms. Brooke has appeared at the Kronberg Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Orford Musique Festival, Vivace Festival, Sounding Point Academy Festival, Musique Dans la Gers, Tibor Vara Academy and Masterclasses, and the Curtis Institute of Music of Young Artists Program serving as concertmaster under the baton of Joshua Gersen of the New York Philharmonic. Other projects include collaborations with Daniel Rowland for the filming of Beethoven Documentary and an appearance with Grammy-nominated banjoist Noam Pikelny and bluegrass band, Special Consensus. Rabia was featured on a special episode with renowned violinist Gil Shaham on Violinist.com.

A Chicago native, Ms. Brooke holds a BM from the Juilliard School of Music where she studied with Joseph Lin and Cathy Cho.

 

About Lei Liang 

Lei Liang (b.1972) is a Chinese-born American composer whose works have been described as “hauntingly beautiful and sonically colorful” by The New York Times, and as “far, far out of the ordinary, brilliantly original and inarguably gorgeous” by The Washington Post.

Winner of the 2011 Rome Prize, Lei Liang is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Aaron Copland Award, a Koussevitzky Music Foundation Commission, a Creative Capital Award, and the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His concerto Xiaoxiang (for saxophone and orchestra) was named a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in Music. His orchestral work, A Thousand Mountains, A Million Streams, won the prestigious 2021 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition. 

Lei Liang was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic for the inaugural concert of the CONTACT! new music series. Other commissions and performances come from the Taipei Chinese Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, the Heidelberger Philharmonisches Orchester, the Thailand Philharmonic, the Fromm Music Foundation, Meet the Composer, Chamber Music America, the National Endowment for the Arts, MAP Fund, Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, the Manhattan Sinfonietta, Arditti Quartet, Shanghai Quartet, the Scharoun Ensemble of the Berlin Philharmonic, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, New York New Music Ensemble and Boston Musica Viva, pipa virtuoso Wu Man, violinist Cho-Liang Lin, among others. 

Lei Liang’s ten portrait discs are released on Naxos, Mode, New World, BMOP/sound, Albany, Encounter and Bridge Records, along with more than a dozen compilation discs. As a scholar and conservationist of cultural traditions, he served as editor and co-editor of seven books, and published more than forty articles. In 2020, Shanghai Conservatory of Music Press publishes a biography of Lei Liang, with essays by composers, musicologists, ethnomusicologists, performers, music critics, literary scholars, poets, and scientists. The book was edited by Prof. Qin Luo of Shanghai Conservatory.

From 2013-2016, Lei Liang served as Composer-in-Residence at the Qualcomm Institute where his multimedia works preserve and reimagine culture through combining advanced technology and scientific research. In 2018, Liang returned to the Institute as its inaugural Research Artist-in-Residence. In 2023, the Institute launched “Lei Lab” where he continues to collaborate with engineers, geologists, oceanographers and software developers, to explore what he calls “the unique potential for learning offered by creative listening.” 

Lei Liang’s recent works address issues of sex trafficking across the US-Mexican border (Cuatro Corridos), America’s complex relationship with gun and violence (Inheritance), and environmental awareness through the sonification of coral reefs. 

Lei Liang studied composition with Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Robert Cogan, Chaya Czernowin, and Mario Davidovsky, and received degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music (BM and MM) and Harvard University (PhD). A Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, he held fellowships from the Harvard Society of Fellows and the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships. Lei Liang taught in China as a distinguished visiting professor at Shaanxi Normal University College of Arts in Xi’an; served as honorary professor of composition and sound design at Wuhan Conservatory of Music and as visiting assistant professor of music at Middlebury College. He is Chancellor’s Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego where he served as chair of the composition area and Acting Chair of the Music Department. Starting from 2018, Lei Liang serves as the Artistic Director of the Chou Wen-chung Music Research Center in China. Lei Liang’s catalogue of more than a hundred compositions is published exclusively by Schott Music Corporation (New York).

 

About Kuang-Hao Huang 

Commended for his “perceptive pianism” (Audiophile) and “playing that is sensitive and wonderfully warm” (American Record Guide), Chicagoan Kuang-Hao Huang is a highly sought-after collaborative pianist whose performances have taken him throughout North America, Europe and Asia. He has performed in New York City’s Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Merkin Hall; in Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center and NPR’s Tiny Desk; and at every major venue in the Chicago area, including the Harris Theatre and Symphony Center. He is often heard live on WFMT and has also performed on WQXR and on Medici.tv. Mr. Huang has recorded for Aucourant, Cedille, Innova and Naxos, including a CD of flute fantasies with flutist Mathieu Dufour, a premiere recording of early songs by Alban Berg with mezzo-soprano Julia Bentley, and a survey of songs by Chicago composers with baritone Thomas Hampson. Beginning in 2022, Mr. Huang will be heard with violinist Augustin Hadelich on the official recordings for Suzuki Violin Books 4-6.

A strong advocate of new music, Mr. Huang is a core member of Fulcrum Point New Music Project and Picosa. He has premiered numerous works, including pieces by Laurie Altman, Mason Bates, Jacob Bancks, Randy Bauer, Kyong Mee Choi, Stacy Garrop, John Harbison, Daniel Kellogg and Shulamit Ran. Mr. Huang gave the world premiere performances of works by Louis Andriessen and Chen Yi at Weill Hall as part of Carnegie Hall’s Millennium Piano Book Project. He has appeared on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW series.

A dedicated teacher, Mr. Huang serves on the faculties of the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and Concordia University-Chicago. He has also taught at the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University.

From 2014-2021, Mr. Huang was the driving force behind Make Music Chicago (makemusicchicago.org), a citywide celebration of music every June 21st. He also founded the organization’s Pianos in the Parks program, which partners with the Chicago Park District to give all Chicagoans access to outdoor pianos as well as free lessons. Currently, Mr. Huang serves on the Advisory Council for the Make Music Alliance and also serves on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra.

 

About Tuvergen Band

“A Mongol without a horse is like a bird without wings.” That proverb comes close to articulating the importance of horses in Mongolia, whose people are outnumbered by its horses. Were it not for horses, Mongolian/American folk-fusion trio Tuvergen Band (“galloping” in Mongolian) may not exist, either. Tamir Hargana (lead vocals, folk lutes, morin khuur), Naizal Hargana (morin khuur, vocals), and Brent Roman (percussion, didgeridoo, vocals) first met in Lexington, where Tamir and Naizal moved in part because of the horse culture surrounding the Kentucky Derby. Years later, the three musicians reunited in Chicago, where they are now based, to play what they call “modern nomadic music”—an exhilarating sound indebted to Mongolian and Tuvan traditions but inflected with bluegrass sensibilities, blues instrumental flourishes, hard-driving rock rhythms, and more.

Hailing from Hulunbuir, Inner Mongolia, Tamir and Naizal are both virtuosos on the two-stringed, cello-like morin khuur, colloquially called a horse-head fiddle and one of Mongolia’s most iconic instruments. Tamir is also an internationally renowned specialist in Mongolian and Tuvan khoomii (throat singing) and plays a variety of folk lutes, such as the three-stringed, banjo-like Tuvan doshpuluur and West Mongolian tovshuur.

An ethnomusicologist who has studied Asian percussion his entire career, Roman augments these sounds with a custom hybrid drum kit of twenty global percussion instruments and didgeridoo, the latter’s overtone-rich timbre paralleling khoomii. Tuvergen Band uses this rich instrumental palette to reinterpret Mongolian and Tuvan folk songs on subjects as varied as horse culture, nature, and everyday life in the steppes.

Since debuting in 2020, Tuvergen Band has become a repeat headliner at Chicago’s Lunar New Year celebrations at Navy Pier and performed under the auspices of some of the city’s premier arts presenters, including the Chicago World Music Festival, the Chicago Cultural Center, and the Old Town School of Folk Music. The band has appeared at music festivals around the U.S., most recently at the 2023 Festival International de Louisiane. Their debut studio album is forthcoming in 2024.

For more information, visit www.tuvergenband.com
or follow them on Facebook and Instagram @tuvergen_band.

  • Who We Are

    The Chinese Fine Arts Society (CFAS) is a Chicago-based organization dedicated to promoting the appreciation of Chinese culture, enhancing cultural exchange, and pursuing excellence in Chinese music, dance, and visual arts. Since its founding in 1984, CFAS has been a leading champion of Chinese culture, bringing together people from diverse backgrounds to celebrate the beauty and majesty of both traditional and contemporary Chinese art.

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