The Emperor’s Private Paradise, Treasures from the Forbidden City

Join us on our travels to view two extraordinary Chinese exhibits. Never before seen by the public, The Emperor’s Private Paradise highlights the contents of an Emperor’s private retreat deep within the Forbidden City. Ninety objects of ceremony and leisure – murals, paintings, wall coverings, furniture, architectural elements, jades and cloisonne – unveil the private realm of the Qianlong Emperor (r.1736-1796), one of history’s most influential figures.
Fish Silk Tea Bamboo: Cultivating an Image of China
Through delicate works on paper and other select objects, explore four essential motifs Westerners often associate with China — fish, silk, tea, bamboo. Each was cultivated for its artistic expression as well as profit. All helped shape the emerging concept of the Middle Kingdom in 18th-century Europe.

For reservations call 413-577-2486 or email

Fred Frith

Thursday, October 28
Bezanson Recital Hall 8:00 pm
$10; students: $5
Guitarist and composer Fred Frith is an icon of avant-garde music. “A musical consciousness of rare intelligence backed with an omnipresent sense of humour,” writes Libération, “Frith makes music that is amongst the most powerful and original of the present time”.
Born in 1949 and raised in Yorkshire, England, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and improviser Fred Frith has been active across a broad spectrum of music-making since the late 1960s, starting with the iconic rock collective Henry Cow. In a career spanning more than 40 years, Frith is internationally renowned as an electric guitarist and improviser, songwriter, and composer for film, dance and theater. Through bands like Art Bears, Massacre, Skeleton Crew, the Fred Frith Guitar Quartet, and Cosa Brava, Frith has managed to keep one foot in the rock world while continuing to branch out into almost every area of contemporary music.

His compositions have been performed by ensembles ranging from Arditti Quartet and the Ensemble Modern to the Baroque ensembles Concerto Köln and Galax Quartet, from the Dutch Radio Chamber Orchestra to ROVA and Arte Sax Quartets, from rock bands Hieronymus Firebrain and Ground Zero to the Glasgow Improvisers’ Orchestra. Film music credits include the acclaimed documentary Rivers and Tides, directed by Thomas Riedelsheimer, The Tango Lesson and Yes by Sally Potter, and Peter Mettler’s astonishing Gods, Gambling and LSD. His vast catalogue of recordings is available on Tzadik, Winter & Winter, ReR, and his own label Fred Records, among many others.

Frith has performed and recorded with a who’s who of modern music including Lotte Anker, Derek Bailey, Anthony Braxton, Sylvie Courvoisier, Alvin Curran, Brian Eno, Evelyn Glennie, Carla Kihlstedt, Katia Labeque, Bill Laswell, Ikue Mori, Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris, Bob Ostertag, Zeena Parkins, The Residents, Christian Wolff, Robert Wyatt, Otomo Yoshihide, and John Zorn, among many others.

Frith is the subject of Nicolas Humbert and Werner Penzels’ award-winning documentary film, Step Across the Border. He is currently Chair of the Graduate Music Department at Mills College in Oakland, California.

“….undying curiosity, bitter wit, child-like sense of play, and creeping melancholy percolate through the guitarist’s records,” writes Guitar Player. “It might be useful, perhaps, to think of him as a folk musician who makes miniatures of the world around him using scraps torn from corners of the map.”

Mary Black

For the last quarter-century, singer Mary Black has been a dominant presence in Irish music, both at home and abroad. She has shared stages, TV shows and recording studios with some of the most revered performers of her time. She has also played a frontline role in bringing Irish music, past and present, to an increasingly appreciative and ever-growing global audience. The San Francisco Chronicle has described her as “One of the best interpretative singers around.”

“I consider myself lucky to have witnessed a legend in action and I spent the rest of the night wondering why I’d let Mary Black just pass me by” (Get Ready to Rock). More information

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura and her family travel across America in search of a place they can call home. Facing obstacles such as scarlet fever and eviction from their land, their pioneering spirit and family bonds are tested but never broken. This uplifting story of one of America’s most beloved authors comes to life in ArtsPower’s popular musical. Recommended for Grades 2 – 6. Running time: 55 minutes.

Curriculum Connections: Family relationships, History, Literature-based, Musical, Values-based, Language/communications skills.

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Venice Baroque Orchestra

Renowned violinist Robert McDuffie and the Venice Baroque Orchestra perform the Glass “Concerto for Violin No. 2” and the Vivaldi “Four Seasons.”

“Violin Concerto No. 2, ‘The American Seasons,’ was so spectacularly played by the piece’s muse, American violinist Robert McDuffie…that the event turned into one of the most exciting musical evenings of the year” (Toronto Star). More Information

The Shangri-La Chinese Acrobats

THE SHANGRI-LA CHINESE ACROBATS®
have taken the world by storm and continue to do so in their 30 years as a North American Theatre attraction for hundreds of Universities and performing arts centers. The precision and grace of Chinese acrobatics is an art form honed by centuries of old style training and discipline. Their multi-faceted and multi-cultural production features dazzling acrobatic displays, formidable feats of daring and balance, explosive energy and brilliant costumes- all with a touch of Chinese comedy. These daring maneuvers and death-defying acrobatic acts will have student audiences clamoring for more! Recommended for all ages. Running Time: 65 minutes

Curriculum connections: Cultural diversity, Physical movement & mechanics, Circus arts, Music, Foreign language

More information

The Shangri-La Chinese Acrobats

The Shangri-La Chinese Acrobats have taken the world by storm and continue to do so in their 30 years as a North American Theatre attraction for hundreds of Universities and performing arts centers. The precision and grace of Chinese acrobatics, is an art form honed by centuries old style of training and discipline. Their multi-faceted and multi-cultural production features dazzling acrobatic displays, formidable feats of daring and balance, explosive energy, brilliant costumes, with a touch of Chinese comedy. These daring maneuvers and death-defying acrobatic acts will have you clamoring for more! More Information

Our Feelings Took the Pictures: Open Shutters Iraq

Our Feelings Took the Pictures: Open Shutters Iraq (Maysoon Pachachi, Syria/UK, 2008, 102 minutes, in Arabic with English subtitles) Iraq-born Maysoon Pachachi’s latest film documents project in which a group of women refugees from five cities in Iraq living in Syria learn to take photographs and present their lives to each other.