Explore the musical world of ancient China at MIM! Join us as we celebrate the opening of our new special exhibition, Ancient Musical Treasures from Central China: Harmony of the Ancients from the Henan Museum. Experience pop-up performances of Chinese traditional music by guest artists, including internationally celebrated pipa virtuosa Wu Man and members of the Huaxia Orchestra from the Henan Museum. Get a chance to play instruments similar to those on display, enjoy a special lecture and performance by renowned qin scholar John Thompson, and while you’re here, be sure to spend some time visiting the special exhibition—you won’t want to miss it!
Gifts Available for Purchase
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday | 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
To commemorate MIM’s dazzling exhibition, Ancient Musical Treasures from Central China: Harmony of the Ancients from the Henan Museum, the Museum Store will offer books, T-shirts, CDs, mugs, and many other gifts, some of which were produced exclusively for MIM.
Pop-Up Musical Performances
Friday | 11:15–11:30 a.m., 1:10–1:30 p.m., and 2:00–2:30 p.m.
Saturday | 10:15–10:30 a.m. and 1:15–1:35 p.m.
Stay tuned as you tour the museum for informal “pop-up” performances by special guest musicians Wu Man and members of the Huaxia Orchestra from the Henan Museum. Recognized as the world’s premiere pipa virtuosa, Wu Man gives the lute-like instrument―which has a history of over two thousand years in China―a new role in both traditional and contemporary music. The Huaxia Orchestra is directly connected with the Henan Museum and three of its members will play on replicas of the ancient instruments featured in MIM’s special exhibition. You’ll find these acclaimed musicians giving short fifteen-to-twenty-minute performances both indoors and outdoors, so be sure to explore!
We regret that the pop-up performances by members of the Huaxia Orchestra will not take place on Sunday due to a scheduling conflict. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.
Instrument Spotlight: Traditional Chinese Instruments
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday | 9:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Come play and touch versions of instruments on display in the Target Gallery, including Chinese bells, a xun vessel flute, and more. MIM volunteer team members will be on hand to guide you in experiencing these special instruments.
Chinese Brush Painting and Calligraphy Demonstration
Friday | 12:30–1:00 p.m. and 2:30–3:00 p.m.
Saturday | 11:00–11:30 a.m., 12:30–1:00 p.m., and 2:30–3:00 p.m.
Sunday | 11:30 a.m.–noon and 2:30–3:00 p.m.
Learn about the art of Chinese brush painting and calligraphy and try it for yourself. Local artist Miranda Wong will demonstrate these painting styles and guide guests in creating their very own works of art.
Discover the Pipa with Wu Man
Friday | 3:15–4:00 p.m.
Wu Man, one of China’s most visible musicians on the world stage, will give a talk and demonstration of her traditional Chinese instrument of choice: the pipa. Through her work, Wu Man has increased awareness and understanding of traditional Chinese music while expanding the scope of the pipa to give it a place in jazz, opera, chamber, and electronic music. Wu Man has also given the pipa a role in film, theater, and dance music and has collaborated with visual artists. Her playing gives a new, lively voice to an ancient instrument. You won’t want to miss this Grammy Award–nominated artist talk about her special instrument, especially after seeing her display in MIM’s Artist Gallery.
Artist Encounter: Wu Man and Members of the Huaxia Orchestra
Saturday | 3:15–4:00 p.m.
MIM’s special musical guests come together on stage for a presentation of traditional Chinese music. This exceptional collaboration will feature a musical conversation of instruments that have been part of China’s musical culture since antiquity. Three members of the Huaxia Orchestra will perform on replicas of instruments on display in our special exhibition. This remarkable encounter is a rare opportunity to hear what the harmonies of the ancient instruments from Central China sound like live.
Lecture-Recital: “Guqin Silk-Stringed Zither Music Associated with Henan Province” by John Thompson
Sunday | 1:00–2:15 p.m.
The guqin (“goo-chin”) has been a musical treasure of China for centuries. Its appearance makes it an art object, and its ancient music is closely associated with Chinese intellectuals and the classic arts such as calligraphy, painting, and chess. John Thompson, who has been reconstructing and performing ancient guqin music for over forty years and has the largest repertoire of any modern player, will give a narrated performance that introduces the instrument and presents music that complements MIM’s new special exhibition of ancient instruments from Henan Province. The guqin is covered with multiple layers of lacquer, with red lacquer underneath topped with several layers of black lacquer. As the instrument ages, its color changes and the beautiful red shines through. Just as the appearance of the guqin becomes more beautiful as time passes, the sound of this age-old instrument adds beauty to our modern soundscape.
Complete your opening weekend experience and see Wu Man in concert at the MIM Music Theater at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 11. After the day’s event activities, Wu Man will present a special concert-length solo performance of traditional, ancient, and historical music of China. Tickets available here.
Café Allegro Lunch Menu Highlights
Hot and Sour Soup of “Ancient Bone Flutes” and Tofu with Shitake Mushrooms, Eggs, and “Bronze Bell Chime”
Spicy “Divine Beast” Beef Noodle Drum Stand Soup with Hearty “Harmony” Bok Choy and Ginger Musical Tones
Henan Slow-Cooked Lamb and Noodles with “Banana-Leaf” Qin Sounds of Vegetables and Mushrooms Sprinkled with Green Onion, Coriander, and Chili Oil
Ancient Musical Treasures of Braised Chicken with Black Forbidden Rice and “Turtle Shell Rattle” Roasted Yams