North American Guqin Association

Guqin New work “From Beijing to San Francisco” World Premiere



The North American Guqin Association is proud to present the world premiere of “From Beijing to San Francisco”, a newly commissioned multi-disciplinary work for the guqin, on four consecutive days at the Performing Diaspora Festival at CounterPULSE in San Francisco, November 19-22, 2009.

Highlights of this new show

1.      Using a new work to explore how a cultural heritage survives in a globalized environment, and how traditional art challenges the contemporary audience.

The Founder and Director of NAGA, Wang Fei, combines her unique talents as a guqin player and writer, using a narrative poem based on her own story to illustrate the fate of the guqin and reflect on the rapid changes in China over three decades. From the Cultural Revolution in the 70's, when the guqin was considered one of the “Old Evils”; through China's Open Door Policy in the 80's, when Western culture upstaged traditional culture, and culminating in China's explosive economic development in the 90's.

2.      World leading guqin master Li Xiangting appears as a special guest performer in the four shows. He really will fly from Beijing to San Francisco to support the work. What great good fortune to have the opportunity to be able to listen such a great qin master's music live!

Professor Li Xiangting is considered one of today's finest guqin masters. He is currently a distinguished professor of guqin at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, president of the China Guqin Association, and senior consultant to the North American Guqin Association. He is one of the ten National Representative Heirs to China's Intangible Culture recently declared by the Chinese Ministry of Culture.

3.      Three generations of guqin players performing on the same stage.

Guqin music is an ancient scholarly art form with 3000 years of history. The teacher-student lineage is an important aspect of the heritage, since the tradition has been transmitted orally from generation to generation. Besides Wang Fei and her teacher Professor Li Xiangting, Wang Fei's student Kwan Wong will participate in the project. In the four days of the show, we will show not only how a traditional Chinese art form has been passed down, but also how traditional Chinese values – the teacher/student relationship – are passed down. 

4.      This production is designed for a small, experimental theater. Lighting, background, costumes are specially designed for this show, so that the audience will experience guqin music in a new and intimate setting. This work can only be fully appreciated during a live performance. Seating is limited to 90-120 people, and we expect some performances to sell out; advance tickets are recommended. Please order your ticket now at

5.      The performance on Sunday November 22 will be co-presented by CounterPULSE and the North American Guqin Association.  For more information about “From Beijing to San Francisco,” including tickets, video, blogs, please visit

“From Beijing to San Francisco” is made possible by support from CounterPULSE, Zellerbach Family Foundation, Meet the Composer, The Patsy Lu Fund, Open Meadows and friends of the North American Guqin Association. Special thanks to Sanford Tom, Lindy Mark, Julian Joseph, Christopher Evans and Yan Lange.

If you want to support our new work, please donate today.

Please send donations to: North American Guqin Association, PO BOX 7113, Fremont, CA 94537-7113

Or make your donation online at

NAGA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All contributions are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.

We look forward to seeing you at the show!


“From Beijing to San Francisco” Project Crew

North American Guqin Association

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