Hear Chinese Buddhist music dating to the seventeenth century when the Zhihua Buddhist Temple Ensemble performs on traditional ritual instruments. This six-member ensemble is led by the double reed (guanzi), accompanied by flute (dizi), mouth organ (sheng), gong chime (yunluo), and large drum (dagu). The group’s liturgical music is drawn from some of the oldest written scores in China, including the Golden Character Scripture dating to 1694, which includes a melody used in the early Ming court.
Flutist Chen Tao can be heard on the soundtracks to the film Seven Years in Tibet and the PBS documentary Under the Red Flag. Along with double reed player Bao Jian, he is part of the twenty-seventh generation of Zhihua Temple musicians. Hu Jian-Bing, performing on mouth organ, is a former member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. Flutist Xu Yu-Yuan appeared for many years with the Shanghai Peking Opera House Orchestra.
These performances are presented in conjunction with Encountering the Buddha: Art and Practice across Asia .