Performance of Centuries-old Classical Music and Lecture will Spotlight Asian Culture

Sep 7, 2016

A performance of a centuries-old form of Chinese classical music and a discussion of different aspects of traditional Chinese Society will be the focus of two events on Friday, Sept. 30, at The University of Scranton. Both events are free and open to the public.

On Sept. 30, the University will host a lecture by Paul R. Goldin, Ph.D., a professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania, at 3:30 p.m., in addition to a concert by the Xinxin Nanguan Ensemble from Taiwan at 7 p.m. Nanguan is an 800-year old form of Chinese classical music known for its soft melodies and sentimental lyrics.

Dr. Goldin will speak in the Pearn Auditorium in Brennan Hall about “Polygyny and its Discontents: A Key to Understanding Traditional Chinese Society.” Dr. Goldin has studied the role of polygyny in China, in which men would have multiple wives or concubines. One of his published works is titled “The Culture of Sex in Ancient China.” He earned his doctorate from Harvard University and has taught at the University of Pennsylvania for the past 20 years. 

The Xinxin Nanguan Ensemble will perform “The Song of Pipa Lute” in the McIlhenny Ballroom of the DeNaples Center. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for check-in and a reception with light fare. No RVSP is required. The concert will also include a question-and-answer session, an interactive workshop and an exhibit of Nanguan musical instruments.

The ensemble was founded in 2003 by Xinxin Wang, a musician and singer who has studied Nanguan since the age of four. She can play all of the instruments related to this type of music, including the pipa, or Chinese lute; the erxian, a two-stringed vertical instrument; the sanxian, a three-stringed plucked instrument; and the dongxiao, a vertical bamboo flute.

The events are co-sponsored by the University’s Asian Studies Program and the Taiwan Ministry of Culture. The events are being supported by the 2016 Spotlight Taiwan Grant.

This is the third year the University has received a Spotlight Taiwan Grant. The grants are part of a program run by Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture that brings examples of Taiwanese culture to select college campuses around the world. The University is among just 29 organizations worldwide that have been selected to participate in the program.

For additional information, call 570-941-7643 or email

Musician and singer Xinxin Wang, music director and founder of the Xinxin Nanguan Ensemble of Taiwan, has devoted herself to performing, preserving and revitalizing Nanguan, an 800-year old form of Chinese classical music. The Xinxin Nanguan Ensemble will perform Friday, Sept. 30, at 7 p.m. in the McIlhenny Ballroom of the DeNaples Center at The University of Scranton. The performance is free of charge and open to the public.

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