Chinese teacher keynotes Beijing musical conferences

By Megan Kawasaki

Upper school foreign language teacher Qinru Zhou is the invited keynote speaker at two music conferences in Beijing this week.

Due to his standing since the 1980s as a well-known Chinese musician, Zhou was chosen as a keynote speaker for the meetings, one sponsored by the Central Conservatory of Music and another by the University of Chicago and the China Conservatory of Music. At the first, he will teach a class on musical analysis about his perspective on western music development in the 20th century. The second promotes “The Cambridge History of Western Musical Theory,” a book about music from the Middle Ages to the present. He considers himself one of few Chinese people to study western music in America, making him a rare source of knowledge. He will present a paper on classical and antique music.

“They invited me to introduce the book because it’s hard for the Chinese to understand,” he said.

Zhou has traveled to hold workshops on Chinese cultural music all over the world.

“If the world needs me, no matter if they are Chinese, American, to contribute my knowledge or perspective, I will not hesitate,” Zhou said. “To share my ideas, to make the world be as good as we can. That is my goal.”

Zhou’s wife, private Chinese tutor Xuesheng Lee, will teach his classes until he returns on Nov. 21.