CTTB events break records

FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 2012 THE UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL

Taiwanese-American virtuoso pianist Gwhyneth Chen performed music by Bach and Liszt before a crowd of 600 Sunday evening in a free concert at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas.


Special to the Daily Journal

More than 2,700 people assembled at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas last weekend for a series of events in honor of the City's founder, the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his coming to the United States.


At noon on Saturday, First District Supervisor Carre Brown of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors read a proclamation on behalf of her colleagues commemorating the event and the legacy of the Master's decades of religious leadership.


Although large gatherings at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas are not unusual on Buddhist holidays – the City was recently listed in the National Geographic Magazine as one of the world's major pilgrimage destinations – Sunday's crowd was the largest ever to assemble at the Buddhist campus. Morning worship ceremonies were followed by a vegetarian meal and by an afternoon of presentations of music and dance, including the ever-popular lion and dragon dances from the boys high school and two dances from the girls school on the themes of compassion and gratitude. In the evening, after the dayvisitors had departed in cars and chartered buses, another record was broken: some 600 people from Ukiah and surrounding areas gathered under the tent to hear a free concert by Taiwanese- American piano virtuoso Gwhyneth Chen.


Ms. Chen delivered a stunning and flawless performance of Franz Liszt's Transcendental Etudes, one of the most difficult suites of pieces in the entire piano repertoire. Large television monitors followed Ms. Chen's hands as they flew from one end of the piano to the other and hammered out near impossible clusters of notes. The concert, as well as other events of the day, was streamed to the Dharma Realm Buddhist Association website and is archived there.


Following the concert, local and Bay Area religious leaders led prayers and blessings, each from his or her own tradition, in honor of the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua's tireless efforts to bring about interfaith respect and understanding.


Television monitors followed the hands of pianist Gwhyneth Chen as she performed one of Franz Lizst's famously difficult Transcendental Etudes at a concert last Sunday under the tent at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas.
Following the concert, local and Bay Area religious leaders led prayers and blessings, each from his or her own tradition, in honor of the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua's tireless efforts to bring about interfaith respect and understanding.