June 09, 2016

Getty Announces Summer Residency for the Silk Road Ensemble

The Ensemble, founded in 2000 by Yo-Yo Ma, will create pop-up musical experiences throughout the summer, as well as accompany the 1927 silent film "Cave of the Silken Web"

Pop-up performances – June 14 and 15; July 13 and 14
Film screening – August 24
At the Getty Center

Ali Sivak
Getty Communications
(310) 440-6473

Kayhan Kalhor and Sandeep Das. Photo: ©Todd Rosenberg
LOS ANGELES – The Getty announced today the summer residency of the Silk Road Ensemble, a group of musicians formed by famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, hailing from over 20 countries. The residency will include pop-up musical moments across the Getty Center, inspired by the artwork of the exhibition Cave Temples of Dunhuang: Buddhist Art on China’s Silk Road. On August 24, members of the group will provide live musical accompaniment for the 1927 Chinese silent film "Cave of the Silken Web."

Inspired by the exchange of ideas and traditions along the historical Silk Road and representing an array of cultures, the Ensemble models new forms of cultural exchange through performance, workshops, and residencies. The Getty’s exhibition of objects found at the cave temples along the Silk Road provides rich inspiration for the artists of the Ensemble and a fitting backdrop for their exploration of the arts as a means of global connection. These global musicians will interact with the exhibits, which include replicas of the Dunhuang caves, weaving music, conversation and personal stories together with the caves’ paintings and artifacts.

Residency activities will take place on June 14 and 15 and July 13 and 14, and will give visitors opportunities to engage with Ensemble artists and learn about their creative processes through pop-up musical performance and storytelling. Lead artists include Iranian kamancheh master Kayhan Kalhor, Chinese pipa virtuoso Wu Man, and Japanese-Danish performer and composer Kojiro Umezaki, who plays the shakuhachi.

In August, inspired by their work at the Center, the Silk Road Ensemble will create and perform a musical score to accompany an outdoor screening of Cave of the Silken Web. This 1927 film by Chinese director Dan Duyu was thought lost until 2011, when it was rediscovered and preserved by the National Library of Norway. The film is believed to be the first screen adaptation of one of the most enduring classics of Chinese literature, Journey to the West, and follows the pious monk Xuanzang and his three disciples on a journey along the Silk Road, where they are under constant threat from demons and malicious spirits. In this adaptation they are besieged by spider demons disguised as beautiful maidens.

In addition to their summer residency, the Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma will perform at the Hollywood Bowl on August 21.

On October 17, Yo-Yo Ma will receive the annual J. Paul Getty Medal, an award that honors extraordinary contributions to the practice, understanding and support of the arts.

For more information and for a full schedule of public programs for the exhibition, visit  

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The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that includes the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Foundation. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations:  the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades.
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