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Indiana University Jacobs School of Music ensemble íSacabuche! invited to perform in China

Note: To read a íSacabuche! blog, see http://blogs.music.indiana.edu/sacabuche/.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 2, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- íSacabuche!, an ensemble based at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music's Early Music Institute, has been invited to present the international premiere of its program The Map and Music of Matteo Ricci at the China National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing on Dec. 12.

In addition to the concert, hosted by the National Centre for the Performing Arts' Department of International Arts Exchange, íSacabuche! will perform at the prestigious Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing's 798 Art District and offer residency activities at Beijing's top universities, music conservatories and other cultural institutions.

"This is an extraordinary opportunity for Indiana University," said Patrick O'Meara, IU's vice president for international affairs. "The performance in China's major cultural center, presentations at key universities and the historic connections to Matteo Ricci will enhance IU's reputation. There is a great appreciation in China for classical western music, and I am delighted that one of IU's rich resources will now be shared with new audiences in this important part of the world."

The Map and Music of Matteo Ricci is a multimedia performance reanimating the pivotal cultural exchange between Italian Jesuits and Chinese literati in 17th century China. The program includes Italian and Chinese music from Ricci's time period, dramatic readings of writings by Ricci and his contemporaries and new music composed for íSacabuche! by Chinese composer Huang Ruo and American composer Eli Marshall. Traditional Chinese instrumentalists will join the ensemble for this performance at the China National Centre for the Performing Arts (also known as "The Egg" because of its ellipsoid dome shape).

The project features digitized projection of Ricci's beautifully printed map, which he created in 1602 and presented to the Wanli Emperor in 1608. In collaboration with Ann Waltner, director of the Institute for Advanced Study and professor of history at the University of Minnesota, íSacabuche! will also present a lecture-demonstration regarding the map, music and creative process at the National Centre for the Performing Arts the day before the premiere.

"We are thrilled to see this project come to fruition," said Gwyn Richards, dean of the Jacobs School of Music. "The innovative approach our students, faculty and partners have taken to the presentation of The Map and Music of Matteo Ricci is an outstanding combination of historical performance practice and research. Our thanks to the many individuals and university departments who have made this tour possible."

"The spirit of collaboration and the exchange of ideas between our artistic partners embodies the belief in and practice of cultural exchange that was the foundation of Matteo Ricci's life," said Linda Pearse, a doctoral student in the Jacobs School's brass department, adjunct lecturer in Early Music, and founder and artistic director of the ensemble. "We are extremely grateful for the university's enthusiastic support of this project."

íSacabuche! is quickly emerging as one of America's premier sackbut and cornetto ensembles, with recent performances at both the Boston and Berkeley Early Music festivals. It began as a collegiate ensemble at the Jacobs School and performs the lesser-known repertoire of Baroque trombones, cornettos, organ and voice, specializing in German and Italian music of the 16th and 17th centuries.

In addition to her studies in the Jacobs School, Pearse is currently adjunct professor of brass at Vincennes University. Other members of íSacabuche! include Sarah Barbash-Riley, Ray Horton and Simon Wood, sackbut; James Andrewes, violin; Phillip Hembree, cornetto; Christine Buras, soprano; Benjamin Geier, tenor; and Ignacio Prego, organ. Internationally acclaimed Baroque specialists and Jacobs School professors Stanley Ritchie, Baroque violin, and Wendy Gillespie, viola da gamba, will perform with the group.

Sponsors for the trip include IU's Office of the President, Jacobs School of Music, Office of the Vice President for International Affairs, Office of the Provost, Early Music Institute and Cummins Inc.

Matteo Ricci

Matteo Ricci was an Italian Jesuit priest and one of the first "permanent expatriates" and "foreign consultants" in China. He arrived in Macau in 1582 and made his way up to Beijing by 1598. One of the first Western scholars to master the Chinese language, he was a founding figure of the Jesuit Mission in China, engaged deeply with the Chinese literati and, in 1601, was invited by the Wanli Emperor to become an advisor to the Imperial Court. In 1602, Ricci created the first map that included both Eastern and Western hemispheres, which he presented to the emperor in 1608. One of the rare surviving copies is now in the James Ford Bell Library at the University of Minnesota. Ricci died in Beijing in 1610.

To view the project's YouTube video, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLukPD2Z_uo.

For more information about the IU Jacobs School of Music and its Early Music Institute, visit http://www.music.indiana.edu/.