A delegation of artists and scholars from the Institute of Arts and Culture (ISBI) in Bandung, West Java, visited the University of Pittsburgh from October 9 to 17, 2015. The visit was part of a 2014 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Pitt and the Institute that is designed to increase cross-cultural awareness of the arts, cultures, and societies of Indonesia, particularly West Java. The delegation consisted of Dr. Een Herdiani, S.Sen., M.Hum (Director of ISBI Bandung), Asep Nugraha, S.Sen., M.Hum (Secretary of the karawitan [music] department), Indra Ridwan, Ph.D (lecturer and musician), Masyuning S.Sen (lecturer and vocalist), and Wawa Saptarini (student and dancer).
Facilitated by Prof. Andrew N. Weintraub, members of the delegation met faculty and administrators at Pitt including Dr. Ariel Armony, the Director of the University Center for International Studies (UCIS), and Professor Deane L. Root, the Chair of the Department of Music. They discussed future institutional exchanges of students and academic personnel; funding resources for a full-time lecturer in Sundanese music; and collaborative research projects. The delegation also met Ngadirin Hardjautama, the Acting Attaché for Educational and Cultural Affairs of Indonesia, at the Indonesian Embassy in Washington D.C.
The delegation presented workshops, lectures, and class presentations at both Pitt and Duquesne University. They collaborated with Pitt gamelan students in a performance of music and dance at the opening reception of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Society for Asian Studies held at the Wyndham Hotel in Oakland (Pitt Campus) on Saturday, Oct 10. They also conducted private lessons in tembang Sunda (Sundanese sung poetry), kacapi (Sundanese zither), gamelan, and Sundanese dance. We look forward to future events and programs as a result of this collaboration!