North American Guqin Association


Yalon: a music gathering with renowned guqin player Dai Wei (戴微)


Dear Qin Friends,

NAGA is pleased to announce that on Saturday May 25th, 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. 

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, NAGA collaborators and programs:

1.      Professor Dai Wei, from the Shanghai Conservatory of music, is currently a visiting scholar at UCLA. She is a renowned guqin player, and the daughter of xiao master Dai Shuhong. She studied guqin under master Gong Yi. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear guqin players from different schools play guqin masterpieces in different styles without any sound equipment, in a traditional way.


2.      A memorial to Fred Lieberman’s guqin work. Distinguished professor and western qin scholar Fred Lieberman passed away on 5/4/13, please see a personal tribute to him by NAGA director Wang Fei at


3.      In recent years, Wang Fei has been dedicated to creating new guqin works and collaborating with musicians from different countries and musical traditions, and trying to create a create a new language or dialog between each tradition and each musical instrument in addition to her traditional guqin repertory.  

-          Prasant Radhakrishnan, a versatile Indian saxophonist, was one of Wang Fei’s collaborators. They gave the world premiere of their new project “Bodhidharma Ensemble” on May 4th at the Asian Pacific American Heritage Festival in the Oakland Asian Culture Center. What happened when Chinese musical tradition met Indian musical tradition? How did it sound when the guqin met saxophone and percussion? Please see two sample videos from their concert:


A. Improvisation:

B. Rearranged traditional piece Jiukuang <酒狂>


In this yalon, they will discuss and rehearse their upcoming new concert on 6/20 at the Berkeley Botanical Garden. This event is also an excellent way to meet musicians “behind the scenes” and see their new work in progress.

-         Famous local pipa and guzheng player Melody Huiqing Chen.

NAGA is planning an intensive summer guqin class starting July 20. This event will be a very good opportunity to meet the teacher and other guqin players and students.

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

Times and dates

Saturday, 6:00 pm, May 25th, 2013


Union City, CA. Address to be announced after registration. Accessible by public transportation.


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.      Donors. Please see our donation page at:

2.      New and old NAGA students including those who are interested in enrolling for the 2013 NAGA summer guqin class.

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

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


 Upcoming NAGA summer intensive guqin class

NAGA’s intensive four-day summer workshop with Wang Fei spread over four weeks starts July 20 in Union city, CA. This workshop will enable participants to experience what the guqin is, and learn authentic guqin playing from a master in a very short period. After the workshop, participants can either continue their guqin study by following NAGA’s guqin classes or teach themselves by following NAGA’s instructional material set.

This workshop has no requirements for experience, age, or language. You don’t even need to own a guqin! The first two participants who enroll and pay before June 20th will have free guqin rental, and will be able to take the instrument home to practice. Please register now. Please see details at


More about yalon

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.

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 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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