Open to the public
The Zhihua temple in Beijing, China was first built in the ninth year of the Zhengtong Period of the Ming Dynasty (1444 AD) and is one of the most important original building complexes from the period. It is also the home of Beijing Music which is one of five oldest known genres in China based on pentatonic scales. For over 20 generations until the 1950s, the monks of the Zhihua temple (Temple of Wisdom Attained) were the most prestigious transmitters of the exquisite and plaintive instrumental music that accompanied Buddhist rituals in Beijing.
The current six member performers learnt the centuries old ritual music from the last generation of elderly former monks. Dressed in wonderful saffron-coloured monastic robes, they will perform at Asia House on unique percussion and wind musical instruments accompanied by traditional Buddhist chants. This event is being performed in collaboration with the British Museum, and coincides with the spectacular Ming: 50 Years that changed China exhibition which will be held from 18 September 2014 to 5 January 2015.