The second annual Chinese Cultural Festival is focusing on Chinese music and literature.

The event, which runs Sept. 18 through 28, will include a pair of concerts, a movie and a look at Chinese poetry and literature.

There are also sessions on Chinese language and Chinese medicine, which were key elements of last fall’s inaugural festival.

The Chinese Cultural Festival is hosted by the 5-year-old University of Arizona Confucius Institute, headed by Zhao Chen and John Olsen. The event promotes Chinese culture and understanding between the United States and China.

“When we learn other cultures as a human being we find there are a lot more things in common than different,” Chen said. “In order to understand the similarities, you have to understand the cultures.”

Admission is free unless noted, and events will be at the UA.

The schedule

1 p.m. Sept. 18 —  Music professors from China’s Shannxi Normal University will demonstrate Chinese musical instruments. Holsclaw Hall, North Park Avenue and East Speedway at the School of Music, which is co-sponsoring the event.

7 p.m. Sept. 18 — Meet Wang Liping, a noted composer of film and theatrical music in China. Wang Liping has been composing music since 1973 and is the director and composer of the China Film Philharmonic Orchestra. Kiva Room in the UA Student Union Memorial Center on campus. Reserve a spot by emailing

7:30 p.m. Sept. 20 and 21 — “Moon Festival Concert: Music from China” features the Tucson Sino Choir collaborating with Wang Liping on his piece from the popular Chinese TV series “The Dream of the Red Chamber.” The original soloist for the show, Chen Li will perform with the UA’s Arizona Symphony Orchestra and a handful of local musicians. Zhao Chen said this will mark one of Chen Li’s first performances of the piece since she recorded the original soundtrack.

The concert also includes excerpts of Chinese composer Dun Tan’s “Heaven Earth Mankind (Symphony 1997).” Crowder Hall, North Park Avenue and East Speedway; $5 to $15.

1:30 p.m. Sept. 22 — Chinese Language Day and competition, pitting Mandarin Chinese language students mostly from Tucson competing for trophies and prizes to see who is most proficient in the language. Student Union Memorial Center ballrooms.

7 p.m. Sept. 23 — Lecture: “Finding Them Gone.” Poet and translator Bill Porter — he writes under the name Red Pine — will recall his pilgrimage to the homes, graves and places of exile of more than 30 Chinese poets. The Guggenheim Foundation sponsored his pilgrimage. UA Poetry Center, 1508 E. Helen St.

7 p.m. Sept. 24 — Lecture: “Chinese Medicine — Massages and Acupuncture.” Changchun Chinese Medicine University Professors Wang Zhihong and Dr. Liu Mingjun will lead a discussion on Chinese wellness and the role massage and acupuncture play in Chinese medicine. Madera Room, Marriott University Park Hotel, 880 E. Second St.

4 p.m. Sept. 25 —  Lecture: “The Way of Telling a Story: Mo Yan and Contemporary Chinese Literature.” UA Professor Dian Li will discuss the fictional world and works of the Nobel Prize-winning Chinese writer Mo Yan. Marriott University Park Hotel’s Madera Room.

4 p.m. Sept. 26 — Lecture & Movie: “Peony Pavilion.” UA East Asian Studies Professor Brigitta Lee will lead a discussion of “Peony Pavilion,” written by Tang Xianzu during the Ming Dynasty. UA Student Union Memorial Center Ballroom South.

6 p.m. Sept. 28 —  Chinese Health Day featuring demonstrations of Chinese martial arts, dance, foods health promotion activities and Taiji  pracitce. DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center at Reid Park, South Country Club Road and East 22nd Street.

Contact reporter Cathalena

E. Burch at or 573-4642.

I cover music for the Arizona Daily Star.