For nearly 25 years, the Chinese Arts & Music Association has introduced Northwest audiences to Chinese music's rich diversity. It sponsors performances, lectures and cultural activities.
Founded by War ren Chang, the association is an umbrella group for several ensembles, including the Seattle Chinese Orchestra and the Washington Chinese Youth Orchestra—the first Chinese youth orchestra in the United States.
At the association's 23rd annual spring concert, A Touch of the Orient—East Meets West, on June 22, 2008, listeners were treated to a repertoire ranging from traditional folk pieces to drum ensembles to classical and contemporary works. A portion of ticket sales went to a relief fund for victims of the May 2008 Sichuan earthquake.
Chang, an internationally acclaimed erhu (Chinese violin) artist and native of Shanghai, came to Seattle in the mid-80s. Today, his focus is to inspire young musicians to hold onto their traditions and to promote understanding between Eastern and Western cultures through Chinese music and arts.