Artist talk with Professor Ted Levin, Wu Man and Abbos Kosimov
Public Talk
Aga Khan Master Musicians

Artist Talk

with Professor Ted Levin, Wu Man and Abbos Kosimov
November 10, 2020

This event occurred as part of the 20/21 Hop Presents season. This is an archived view.

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The Aga Khan Music Initiative was launched by His Highness the Aga Khan to support talented musicians and music educators working to preserve, transmit and develop their musical heritage in contemporary forms. Prior to their Hop@Home performance, artists from the Initiative, including award-winning pipa player Wu Man and Doira player and ambassador of Uzbek culture Abbos Kosimov, will discuss their unique program and artistry. They are joined by Dartmouth's Professor of Music Ted Levin who moderates the discussion. 

About Wu Man

The Hop is thrilled to welcome back Wu Man who enchanted us with her performance Wu Man and Friends: A Night in the Gardens of the Tang Dynasty last winter. For more than ten years in the 1960s and '70s, the doors of universities and conservatories across China were closed as the government suppressed political and cultural expression during the Cultural Revolution. But in 1978, when the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing reopened its doors, 13-year-old Wu Man was ready to audition and embrace the cultural heritage that had been absent from her early childhood. Now, four decades later, Wu has become the world's premier pipa virtuoso, regarded for "[changing] the history of the instrument" (Boston Globe) by not only revitalizing its role in traditional music but by giving her lute-like instrument a place in contemporary music as well. Her adventurous spirit has led to collaborations across artistic disciplines, allowing her to reach wider audiences as she works to cross cultural and musical borders. Her efforts were recognized when she was named Musical America's 2013 "Instrumentalist of the Year," marking the first time this prestigious award has been bestowed on a player of a non-Western instrument.

About Abbos Kosimov

Abbos Kosimov was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan to a highly musical family. In 1991, he won second prize in Central Asia and Kazakhstan's Competition of Percussive Instruments. He has recorded independently as well as with R&B singer Steve Wonder and with Zakir Hussain for the soundtrack of Alonzo King's LINES Ballet piece A Thousand and One Nights. In 1994, Abbos established his own "Abbos" school where he taught the most talented youth of his country to play doyra. In 2001, in honor of the 10th anniversary of Uzbekistan's Independence Abbos was awarded with a medal and given the illustrious title of Honored artists of Uzbekistan by the president Uzbekistan. When asked about doira, Abbos said: "Uzbek culture and national identity is deeply rooted in its music and dance traditions. As such, doira has grown with the country over time and evolved to play a deeper role in reflecting Uzbek history, religion, heritage, and cultural traditions…Doira is my life and I cannot live without it."

This event is part of a joint project in collaboration with the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, which together form the national museum of Asian art at the Smithsonian, and the Aga Khan Museum.

For assistance accessing the event, please contact the Box Office with the chat window in the lower corner of your browser or by calling 603.646.2422—available on the night of the event.

Wu Man photo: Call The Shots Photography
Abbos Kosimov photo: courtesy of the artist

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