UND Music tours China to promote cultural exchanges


David L. Dodds

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

College of Arts & Sciences


UND Music Professor Nariaki Sugiura and five of this colleagues at Hughes Fine Arts Center are fresh off a one-week musical and goodwill tour of the Shanghai.

Sugiura, who specializes in piano performance, along with Michael Wittgraf (chair of Music and a composer of electronic music), Royce Blackburn (baritone), Anne Christopherson (soprano voice), Simona Barbu (cello) and Ronnie Ingle (trumpet) departed Grand Forks on March 13 bound for the their first stop at the University of Shanghai Science and Technology (USST). The visit strengthened longstanding connections that have existed between UND and USST.

Sugiura said, during the trip, the UND faculty members took part in solo and ensemble performances of American compositions as well as a demonstration on electronic music by Wittgraf. They also held workshops on instrumental and vocal music and lectures on musical composition and American music history.

Along the way, the group spread the word about UND with the help of the international language of music.

The group also made an official visit to Shanghai Jianping High School, which is considered the best high school in Shanghai. This high school often produces high caliber music students.

Sugiura said the tour was a chance for Chinese music students to learn and receive comments from UND Music faculty professionals, providing important cultural exchanges. At the same time, it was a valuable opportunity for UND faculty members to interact with Chinese students.