Tag Archives: cultural revolution

today’s birthday: Mao Zedong (1893)


Mao Zedong (1893)

Chairman Mao established the People’s Republic of China in 1949. His Great Leap Forward, an economic plan launched in 1958 to modernize and industrialize China, was an unmitigated disaster that eventually led to the starvation of tens of millions of people. He later launched a movement to eliminate counterrevolutionary elements in the country’s institutions, leading to the destruction of much of China’s cultural heritage and the imprisonment of many Chinese intellectuals. What was it called? More… Discuss

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today’s holiday: Confucius’s Birthday


Confucius’s Birthday

This is a time to commemorate the birth of the teacher Confucius, perhaps the most influential man in China’s history. In Qufu, Shandong Province, China, the birthplace of Confucius, there is a two-week-long Confucian Culture Festival. During the Cultural Revolution in the late 1960s, Red Guards defaced many of the buildings in Qufu. They have since been restored, and the festival held there attracts scholars from China and abroad. The festival opens with a ceremony accompanied by ancient music and dance and includes exhibitions and lectures on the life and teachings of Confucius. More… Discuss


NEW YORK, October 24, 2008 – In advance of the Shanghai Quartet‘s two performances at the Asia Society, Weigang Li, the quartet’s first violinist, granted an exclusive on-camera interview to the Asia Society’s La Frances Hui about politics and music—specifically, about his own memories of growing up during the Cultural Revolution and the quartet’s recording of an entire CD, Chinasong (2002), evocative of that period.
Li’s recollections encompass both a teenage Red Guard appearing at his family’s house and demanding to see his father’s diaries and the rash of suicides that swept over the local music faculty during the Revolutionary years. Nonetheless he acknowledged the peculiar nostalgia many Chinese feel for music associated with that era, which was one reason behind the quartet’s decision to record Chinasong.