Community Event

AMVA ThoughtLuck: South Asians in Classical Music

Sunday, December 5, 2021
4 – 5:30PM

Presented by Asian Musical Voices of America (AMVA)

It matters because I, and most other Asian-Americans, grew up and still live in the opposite of “narrative plenitude.” We live in an economy of narrative scarcity, in which we feel deprived and must fight to tell our own stories and fight against the stories that distort or erase us.

-Viet Thanh Nguyen in Asian-Americans Need More Movies, Even Mediocre Ones, New York Times

According to writer and thinker Viet Thanh Nguyen, narrative plenitude is when you can take it for granted that some fundamental part of who you are is being shown to you in the stories that you encounter. What does narrative plenitude look like for South Asians in Western Classical Music? Even when conversations around Asian representation and racism against Asians have come to the forefront, including articles published in major news sources about Asian representation in classical music, South Asians and other Asian groups were again not seen and not heard. In conversations around race, which are already dominated by binary Black and white viewpoints, how do South Asians tell our stories? How do we find and ourselves become role models for our community? And how do East Asians, with a large representation in certain areas of the classical music field, support our Asian community that includes a diverse group of cultures and experiences? Please join this ThoughtLuck discussion led by Vijay Chalasani, violist and co-founder of South Asians in Western Classical Music (SAMWeC).

About Vijay Chalasani:

South Asian-American violist Vijay Chalasani (he/him/his) is a performer, scholar, and teaching-artist whose work focuses on the performance practice of music of the last five centuries and is an Assistant Professor of Viola at the University of Northern Colorado.

About Asian Musical Voices of America:

Asian Musical Voices of America (AMVA) is devoted to community-building and activism for transformational change among self-identified Asian Americans working and creating in classical music. We educate ourselves on the ways structural racism is present in classical music and engage in activism to dismantle structural racism, promote equity, and lift up BIPOC musical voices working and creating within the field.

About SAMWeC:

SAMWeC (South Asian Musicians in Western Classical music) provides a platform for South Asian musicians as a presently & historically excluded culture in Western classical music, advocating for shared space through engagement with and promotion of the diverse activities of our community.