翁柏偉 (Weng, Po-wei)

Originally from Taiwan and now resident in Boston area, Po-wei Weng is a researcher, a performing artist, and an instructor with a diversified background in higher and K-12 education in the field of Ethnomusicology, Chinese music and theater, popular culture and technology, and Teaching Chinese as a Second Language.  Consistently successful in integrating East/West scholarships, traditional/contemporary theories, and advanced technology in multiple institutional settings, Po-wei has demonstrated excellence in teaching, research, conducting, as well as having collaborative works with colleagues.

Deriving from his long-term experience of Peking (Beijing) opera (with ten years of professional training and another fifteen years of research),  Po-wei is particularly interested in the studies of instrumental and theatrical music genres and their (technological-) mediated representations in contemporary popular culture forms, such as Chinese martial arts films and digitized video puppetry. His extended research interests include East Asian popular culture in post-colonial and transnational contexts, music and technology, traditional ritual and instrumental music in modern era, and music in film and television.

Po-wei's M.A. thesis, Dynamic Interaction: Significance and Communication in Peking Opera Percussion Music (2006), explores the complex signification system of Peking opera percussion, examining how these musical conventions are contextualized into an active and interactive process of performance-building. In the past years, Po-wei has conducted extensive fieldwork on ritual and folk music of Penghu archipelago in southwestern Taiwan (2001-2004), diasporic music practice in Chinese community in NYC (2006), and Pili Budaixi (on going project). His recent studies include soundscapes of Pili Budaixi, a techno-mediated, digitized martial arts puppetry in Taiwan, and the music in Chinese wuxia/kungfu movies.  His recent publications include "If You Can Recite You Can Play It: the Transmission and Transcription of Jingju (Peking Opera) Percussion Music" (2016), “Masculinized China vs. the Feminized West: Musical Intertextuality and Cultural Representation in Once Upon a time in China I and II” (2014), "Secularizing Ritual Music: Re-Invention of Bayin from the Penghu Archipelago, Taiwan" (forthcoming), "Semiotic Approach in Euro-American Ethnomusicology – from the 1950s to the Present" (2009) and two co-authored books The Shao-Fa Ritual Music in the Penghu Archipelago (2005, in Chinese) and Nanguan and Bayin Music in the Penghu Archipelago( 2005, in Chinese).

As an active scholar, Po-wei frequently presents papers at major conferences (e.g. SEM and AAS) in the U.S. and East Asian locations. He has also given lectures, presentations, and workshops at colleges and schools in the U.S and Taiwan, such as Skidmore College, Boston College, Bryant University, Trinity College, Wesleyan University, and National Taiwan University.

As a musician, Po-wei had a ten-year professional training in Peking opera as both musician and actor. Began at the age of 12, Po-wei has been playing multiple Chinese wind instruments and participated hundreds of performances of Peking opera and Chinese orchestral music. Po-wei was a dizi (Chinese flute) major in college and a winner of several Chinese flute competitions in Taiwan. He served as dizi performer in several Chinese orchestras in Taiwan and  as Chief of Performance Department and Executive Director of National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra's Chinese Orchestra Division for a few years.

Since came to the United States in 2004, Po-wei has been an active performer of dizi and joined many Javanese gamelan performances. With his extensive experience on modern Chinese orchestral music, Po-wei served as a conductor and instructor of Chinese music ensemble at Wesleyan University for 4 years and continues to teach dizi lesson after relocated to Boston area. Besides bi-annual concert with Wesleyan Chinese Ensemble, Po-wei has also invited to perform with different musical groups in the U.S.

As an instructor, Po-wei has taught courses on a wide range of subjects (e.g. ethnomusicology, world music, music and culture, Chinese music and theater, Chinese martial arts films, and Peking opera performance and music) across different academic settings, from liberal arts colleges, research universities to K-12 education in the U.S. and Taiwan. In the past years, Po-wei has given lectures and led workshops at many colleges in north America, such as Skidmore College, DePauw University, University of New Haven, Wesleyan University, Boston College, and Simon Fraser University. Recently, Po-wei has started teaching Mandarin Chinese as a Second Language courses and organizing/supervising cultural exchange programs between schools in the U.S. and China and Taiwan.  

Here is Po-wei Weng's full Curriculum Vitae