North American Guqin Association


NAGA Guqin Events for January, 2013

Yalon with world renowned guqin musician Zhao Jiazhen (赵家珍)


Dear Qin Friends,

NAGA is pleased to announce that on Thursday January 24th, the North American Guqin Association will hold a yalon in Union City, CA.

A yalon雅龙© (yaji+salon) is a mixed gathering of East and West, ancient and modern. It was conceived and created by NAGA’s director Wang Fei in 2010. 

Based on the traditional Chinese scholar’s yaji (雅集 elegant gathering) and the French artistic gatherings known as salons (沙龙), a yalon (雅龙)© is a novel and artistic high society gathering, centering on guqin, attended by contemporary literati in homage to the ancient Chinese yaji of the Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove and hosted by intellectual women in their living rooms, as was done by George Sand in her French salons and Lin Huiyin (林徽因) in her literary salons.

The theme of this upcoming yalon is the situation of the guqin and other traditional art forms in a modern and globalized environment.  NAGA director Wang Fei will introduce the following friends and programs:

1.      World renowned guqin master Zhao Jiazhen and some of her students, young guqin stars, are visiting NAGA from China and will give us a fantastic performance and lecture so you will know the current situation of guqin in China. This is a wonderful opportunity to experience a live performance by a world master face to face in a very intimate environment, which is very different from being in a concert hall or listening to a CD.

2.      In recent years, Wang Fei has been dedicated to creating new guqin works and collaborating with musicians from different countries and musical traditions. Wang Fei will introduce her new multidisciplinary music project “Bodhidharma Ensemble”, which combines Indian classical music with Chinese music traditions; it is tentatively scheduled to premiere at OACC’s month-long Asian Pacific American Heritage Festival in May 2013. She and one of her collaborators, Prasant Radhakrishnan, a versatile Indian saxophonist, will give a work in progress. This project will be her second project relating to India. Her work “When Rabindranath Thakur meets the guqin” was premiered at the 3rd International Ancient Arts Festival in India in 2012, and combined the music of India, China and Iran.

Times and dates
Thursday, 8:30pm to 10:00pm, January 24th, 2013


The event is free of charge, RSVP here. However due to the very limited space we can accommodate very few people. We will give priority to the following:


1.                Students who are interested in enrolling for the 2013 NAGA guqin class.

Please fill the registration form at send it to Bring your payment to the yalon and meet the teacher Wang Fei in person.

2.                Professional musicians who are interested in future collaborations. Please send your web site URL or bio

3.                NAGA board members and volunteers (We are now recruiting volunteers for the roles of photographer, translator, grant writer and marketing specialist).

4.                Donors. Here are some suggestions for amounts and levels of benefit:


You will be invited to one of our yalons, rehearsals, or shows


All the above benefits plus:

You can bring 2-3 extra guests to one of our yalons.Your name will be credited as a friend of NAGA and listed on our web site.


All the above benefits plus:

You will receive 1 to 3 guqin CDs or DVDs of our work.

You will get a free rental guqin for one of our NAGA guqin class ($50-$100 value).


All the above benefits plus:

You will be invited to have dinner with artists and receive 2 free tickets to our concert.

You will get 20% discount off for one of our NAGA group guqin classes ($80 to $160 value).

Your name and logo will be listed in the program notes and all the publicity materials and NAGA social networks.


All the above benefits plus:

You will get 50% discount off one of our NAGA group guqin classes ($200 to $400 value) and 10% to 20% off purchases from our sponsor’s web site.

Plus you will get personal consultation, evaluation and selection for antique or new guqin purchases from NAGA director Wang Fei that will save you $$$$.


We appreciate any donation, however large or small, from the bottom of our hearts. A small donation can light a candle for the spread of the guqin’s unique music around the world. Larger donations can help with the cost of projects, productions and future events, such as inviting major artists,.

NAGA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All contributions are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law. Tax ID: 205263250

Please make donations online at

Or send to: North American Guqin Association, PO BOX 232, Fremont, CA 94537-0232


Union City, CA. Address will be announced after your place is confirmed. Accessible by public transportation.


Winter it may be, and cold outside, but stay indoors with family and friends; play or listen to music by masters; recite a few favorite poems, and have intellectual conversations that might warm your heart…


More about yalon

NAGA’s  ground-breaking yalons (雅龙)© were successfully premiered in October 2010 in a Beijing courtyard house where renowned Chinese opera master Mei Lanfang (梅兰芳) used to reside. NAGA has held many yalons in both China and the US. Attendees have included musicians, scholars, writers, filmmakers, poets, doctors, public officials, publishers, investors, diplomats and young urban professionals from both the US and China. Among them were guqin master Li Xiangting and guzheng master Yin Qiyin. Attendees enjoyed and appreciated music from famous guqin pieces to improvisations, poetry recitals and improvisational writing with guqin improvisation, while tasting fine wines and aged Puer black tea, wore hanfu, played impromptu childhood games and discussed various artistic topics as well as modern marvels such as the iPad and iPhone.

The purpose of yalons is to provide an inspirational platform for artists to collaborate across cultures and across art forms; to encourage artists to create new works; to introduce a new lifestyle in which a person can be not just materially wealthy but also spiritually rich. We hope today’s NAGA yalons starting in China will be a spark that can light a prairie fire to revive Chinese high culture, now that its economy has become so successful.


About the guest artists

Zhao Jiazhen is a professor at the Central Conservatory Music of China and is one of the most active guqin performers on the world stage. She studied guqin under grand masters Wu Jinglue and Zhang Ziqian as well as masters Gong Yi and Wu Wenguan.

Zhao has toured the US, Germany, France, Italy, Austria and Japan, and has appeared as soloist with many orchestras, including the Chinese Symphony Orchestra, the Brussels Symphony Orchestra of Belgium, and the National Orchestra of Taipei City. In 2001 and 2002 she played in the “World Renowned Musicians and Instruments concert at the Forbidden City in Beijing.

Professor Zhao has performed for President Obama and appeared in concert at Carnegie Hall in New York in 2009.

Professor Zhao’s music has featured in many movies, including “Red Cliff” and “Dream of the Red Chamber”. She has produced numerous guqin CDs and DVDs. Her guqin album ”Qin – Zhao Jiazhen” won her the Independent Music Award in 2011.

The New York Times has been quoted as commenting, “Zhao is a world class performer!”

During the many years of Zhao’s teaching career she has trained numerous students who have won prizes in various competitions.

Please see this video of Professor Zhao’s performance at a NAGA yalon in February 2012, of a new guqin piece 春风 (Spring Breeze)


About NAGA

The North American Guqin Association (NAGA) is a nonprofit cultural arts organization dedicated to the public presentation and preservation of the art of the guqin, spreading community appreciation of Chinese culture through the traditional art of the guqin and building a bridge for cultural exchange and mutual understanding between the Chinese and American communities. NAGA offers guqin classes, performances, recordings, workshops etc.

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