Creating a Native Buddhist Liturgy: a Dialogue

May 1, 2017

Date: Monday,  March 27th
Time: 7:40-9:00 PM
Location: DRBU Conference Room


For an English language Buddhist liturgy to be “native,” what qualities must be present? Will the whole cloth translation of ceremonies from Chinese to English produce “sustainable” results? Why do some English versions feel “unsatisfying?” Creating new and convincing Western Buddhist music is hard and presents numerous daunting challenges. This talk seeks to answer some of these questions from the perspective of a practitioner, deeply rooted in Western religious practice and music.


Stephen Wilcox is a composer, music educator, and online technology specialist based in Berkeley, California. Holding a Ph.D. in from the University of Pennsylvania in music composition, Stephen works online as a music instructor at Rutgers University. His dissertation, Cho-Han, was performed by Osmo Vänska and the Minnesota Orchestra as part of the 2007 Minnesota Orchestra Composer’s Institute. A BMI award winner and MacDowell Fellow, he attended the Summer Composition Workshop in Hoy, Scotland, where he worked with Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. His other honors include awards from the Arts Fund, NACUSA, New Music Delaware, “Friends and Enemies of New Music”, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Prism Saxophone quartet.