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University of Chicago Presents Wu Man and Friends: A Night in the Gardens of the Tang Dynasty

October 13, 2019 @ 3:00 pm
Logan Center Performance Hall
915 E 60th St
IL 60637
Call 773.702.ARTS (773.702.2787)


2:00 pm pre-concert talk with Anthony Cheung

Wu Man, pipa
with Yazhi Guo, suona and Chinese percussion
Kaoru Watanabe, taiko and Japanese flute
and Tim Munro, western flute

$38 | $20 under 35 | $10 students (free public talk)
Call 773.702.ARTS (773.702.2787) or visit

UChicago Arts Box Office, Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th Street
Regular hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 12 pm-6 pm and through concert intermission;
1-4 pm on concert Sundays.

Wu Man has earned acclaim around the world for her cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary collaborations, and as the leading virtuoso of her ancient Chinese instrument, she has become one of the most significant ambassadors of both traditional and contemporary Chinese culture. On Sunday, October 13, Wu comes to the Logan Center for the Arts with renowned musicians of Chinese, Japanese, and Western instruments to explore “A Night in the Gardens of the Tang Dynasty” on UChicago Presents’ Music Without Borders series.

In October, Wu visits the University of Chicago for a three-day residency including a concert titled A Night in the Gardens of the Tang Dynasty, which features performances of manuscripts from the period and a new work, written by Wu and inspired by the sounds of the “Golden Age of China.” Joining Wu are Yazhi Guo, a celebrated performer of the suona, a traditional Chinese wind instrument; Kaoru Watanabe, who plays the taiko drums and traditional Japanese flute; and Chicago-based, triple-GRAMMY-winning western flutist Tim Munro.

Before the concert, Wu will join University of Chicago Assistant Professor of Composition Anthony Cheung on stage to discuss her life and music as well as the music being performed that evening.



Recognized as the world’s premier pipa virtuoso and leading ambassador of Chinese music, Wu Man has carved out a career as a soloist, educator and composer giving her lute-like instrument—which has a history of over 2,000 years in China—a new role in both traditional and contemporary music. Through numerous concert tours she has premiered hundreds of new works for the pipa, while spearheading multimedia projects to both preserve and create awareness of China’s ancient musical traditions. Her adventurous spirit and virtuosity have led to collaborations across artistic disciplines, allowing her to reach wider audiences as she works to break through cultural and musical borders. Her efforts were recognized when she was named Musical America’s 2013 Instrumentalist of the Year, marking the first time this prestigious award has been bestowed on a player of a non-Western instrument. Read More…


Widely known as the best suona player in Asia, Guo was the winner of the 1998 International Pro Musicis Award, and the 2012 Hong Kong Award for Best Artist. A graduate of the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, Guo invented the “Flexible Core of Suona” that solved the problem of suona playing complicated modulations and temporary inflexions, allowing it to play in orchestras, and significantly broadening the expressive force of the instrument. Guo performed at the official State Banquet in Beijing for visiting President Clinton in 1998, as well as on CCTV, and at several large-scale solo concerts titled “Guo Yazhi’s Wind Music World: Legend of Suona” to a sold-out audience at prestigious venues in China.

In 2012, Guo embarked upon a new journey to continue his musical career studying Jazz music at Berkeley in Boston. He is also a contracted soloist with the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra (HKCO), and Chairman of the Hong Kong Suona Association.


Kaoru Watanabe is a Brooklyn-based composer and musician, specializing in the Japanese taiko drum and shinobue flutes. He has spent decades artfully blending the sounds of Japanese instruments with those from around the world, collaborating with such artists as National Living Treasure Bando Tamasaburo, Jason Moran, So Percussion, Adam Rudolph, Kenny Endo, Stefon Harris, Kiyohiko Semba, Alicia Hall Moran, Tamango, calligrapher Kakinuma Koji, visual artist Simone Leigh, and director Martin Scorsese, and was a featured guest on Yo-Yo Ma’s Grammy Award-winning album Sing Me Home.

In the decade since leaving Japan to return to New York City, Watanabe has focused on elevating the quality, sophistication, and depth of his music by collaborating with high- caliber artists of various disciplines and cultures, and by stripping his performances down to essential components and fastidiously avoiding the flashy, pseudo-ritualistic and superfluous elements that are commonly found in taiko shows.


Tim Munro is a Chicago-based, triple-GRAMMY-winning musician. As a flutist, writer, broadcaster, and teacher, he treats audiences as equals, welcoming them into musical worlds with passion, intelligence, and humor.

Tim is currently the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s Creative Partner. In this role he curates the SLSO’s series at the Pulitzer Foundation, co-hosts live broadcasts on St. Louis Public Radio, writes articles and program notes, and presents onstage conversations. He is also the flutist for the University of Chicago’s Grossman Ensemble and Principal Flute of the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra. Recent performance highlights include appearances with Ensemble Signal, Newspeak, Ensemble Dal Niente, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW series. Read more…


Now in its 76th year of bringing the world’s best artists to Chicago, The University of Chicago Presents offers 25 unique performances in five distinct series in the 2019/20 season, from early music to classical, contemporary, jazz, and world music. The newest series, Music Without Borders, brings sounds from around the globe to Chicago, showcasing contemporary artists who blend world traditions with modern styling.


Presented by the University of Chicago Presents and the University of Chicago Center for East Asian Studies with generous support from the U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the International House Global Voices Program at the University of Chicago, and the Chinese Fine Arts Society of Chicago. This engagement is further supported by the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from the Illinois Arts Council and the Crane Group.

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