Stanford Pan Asian Music Festival

(News Release)The 2012 Stanford Pan-Asian Music Festival presents Transforming Tradition, a unique, two-week-long series of performances, lectures, demonstrations, and panel discussions. Primarily focused on music from China, Japan, and Korea, this festival explores how musical performance traditions from Asian countries have changed and been transformed throughout history both within and beyond their own cultures.

The festival features internationally acclaimed masters of Chinese gu-zheng, Japanese koto, and Korean gayageum who will travel to the United States exclusively for the festival. They will demonstrate the transformation of these zither-like instruments originating in China but over the centuries developing into their own unique performance traditions, techniques, and repertoire. The festival will also explore the impact of technology – including electronics, video, and multimedia – on performance style.

This year the lectures and demonstrations associated with the festival will take the format of “Elegant Gatherings,” an ancient term used to describe a gathering of scholars and artists. Participants in an Elegant Gathering come together to share their knowledge and deepen friendships as they cultivate their respective scholarly and artistic pursuits. Each of the three Elegant Gatherings will include a traditional tea ceremony – first from Korea, then Japan, and finally China.

Professor Jindong Cai, the founder and artistic director of the Stanford Pan-Asian Music Festival states, “In today’s information age, we are always searching for the future of music and the future of art in general. But I think it is equally important to look back and see how traditional arts have been transformed. By understanding the past, we can better perceive the future.”

The festival takes place from February 3 to February 11 at Stanford University venues. All concerts require tickets; Elegant Gatherings and opera workshop are free. For a full and updated PAMF schedule of events, please visit  (This website should be complete by January 12.)  You may also visit the Department of Music’s events website:



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