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Alain Barker
IU Jacobs School of Music

Ryan Piurek
University Communications

Last modified: Thursday, December 9, 2010

As China tour commences, IU Jacobs School ensemble ˇSacabuche! welcomes critical acclaim, blog followers

Dec. 9, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Amidst critical fanfare and with a new blog set to chronicle its movements on and off stage, ˇSacabuche!, an ensemble of 13 performers and scholars based at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music's Early Music Institute, commenced its highly anticipated 11-day tour of China (Dec. 9-19).

The members of ˇSacabuche!

Print-Quality Photo

ˇSacabuche! [sac-a-booch-ay] arrived today in Beijing, where it will present the international premiere of its acclaimed program, The Map and Music of Matteo Ricci, at the China National Centre for the Performing Arts on Dec. 12.

The groundbreaking performance is featured in the current issue of TimeOut Beijing as the top "Critic's Choice" of the month and is described as "the most creative, intelligent, multi-layered project to be seen here for a long time."

This and other performances by the ensemble will also be chronicled on a new Jacobs School of Music blog, The blog, which will be regularly updated throughout the trip, includes a schedule of performances, biographies of ensemble members, photos, videos and other postings.

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 ˇSacabuche! by Chinese composer Huang Ruo and American composer Eli Marshall. Traditional Chinese instrumentalists will join the ensemble for this performance.

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, ˇSacabuche! 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.

The ensemble will perform at the Nantang Cathedral, where Ricci preached more than 400 years ago, and the prestigious Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing's 798 Art District. Additionally, members will offer residency activities at Beijing's top universities, music conservatories and other cultural institutions, including the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music. A cultural diplomacy day, planned at Changping No. 1 High School, has been organized by Jreome Ma, a high-ranking official at Lenovo.

While in Beijing, ˇSacabuche! will also perform holiday concerts for the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, Cummins (China) Investment Co. and Baker & McKenzie LLP.

Those attending concerts and rehearsals in Beijing are expected to include Anthony Hutchinson, senior cultural affairs officer at the U.S. Embassy Beijing, John Holden, the former head of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, and David Fraher, executive director of Arts Midwest.

ˇSacabuche! is artistically led by doctoral student and Baroque trombonist Linda Pearse and is made up of students in the Jacobs School, as well as two senior faculty members, Professors Stanley Ritchie (Baroque violin) and Wendy Gillespie (viola da gamba).