Hailing from a distinguished family in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, Wu Zuguang and his younger brother Wu Zuqiang are both legendary figures in Chinese art and literary circles. To learn about the extraordinary life of these two masters, the Renwen Society presents a lecture on March 25, 2003 by Mr. Y.C. Pan, nephew of the two Wu brothers.
Wu Zuguang (1917-2003) was a playwright, film director and social critic. He wrote his first novel at age 17 and started his writing career in his college days. Since age 19, he had authored more than 50 plays and film scripts, including the patriotic drama City of Phoenix, one of the most influential plays during the Second Sino-Japanese War, and Return on a Snowy Night, which is generally considered his masterpiece. He directed The Soul of the Nation, Hong Kong’s first color film, based on his own historical drama Song of Righteousness.
Wu Zuguang was well known as an outspoken critic of authorities with their wrong cultural policies and always stood up against injustices throughout his entire life. For this reason, He was denounced as a “rightist” during the Anti-Rightist Campaign and performed hard labor for three years, and was again persecuted during the Cultural Revolution. After his reinstatement in late 1970’s, Wu Zuguang became a member of Chinese Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) where he served for many terms. He was also noted for his huge number of commentaries and writings on many topics as a poet and a calligrapher:
Like his older brother, Wu Zuqiang (1927-2022) displayed amazing talent at age 4 when he started playing piano without a tutor. In 1947, he entered the National Conservatory of Music in Nanjing and continued his music education at the newly established Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing in 1950. He became a teacher at the Conservatory after graduation. Due to his talent, he was selected in 1953 to go for advance study at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory of Music. Returning to China after graduating with the highest honor, he taught composition at his Alma Mater, the Central Conservatory of Music, eventually becoming its president. He also held leading positions with various other organizations, such as the China Musicians Association and the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles. In his lifetime, Wu Zuqiang composed a great deal of works covering all forms of music and devoted himself wholeheartedly to promote Chinese music to blend in with the world trend, thus receiving acclaim in the international music circle.
吴祖光先生 （1917 一 2003）,著名学者、作家及书法家，更是受人尊敬的爱国者。十七岁左右发表小说《宫娥怨》，二十岁读大学时正式开始写作生涯。抗战期间在重庆剧校工作，仍以破除旧习，爱国抗日为主题。1949年后，一度介入电影导演制作，并植入评剧原素。后在政治运动中曾被打为大右派并遭受四人帮廹害。平反后仍不改初衷，并继续创作和成为著名民主斗士，亦为多届政协代表。
吴祖强先生 （1927 一 2022），自幼即显露音乐天赋，抗战期间在重庆度过中学时代。1947年入南京国立音乐院理论作曲系学习。1950年转入中央音乐学院，并于1952年毕业留校任教。因表现出色于1953年被选送莫斯科柴可夫斯基音乐学院理论作曲系学习作曲。回国后在中央音乐学院作曲系任教。1978年任中央音乐学院副院长，1982年任院长。1985年起任中国音乐家协会副主席。吴祖强为囯内著名作曲家，享誉海内外，为中囯音乐发展，呕心呖血，居功至伟。文革时期饱受四人帮迫害，仍未稍改初衷。历任多届政协代表．位至中央侯补委员，促成囯家大剧院之建立，自许为一生最大之成就。为中国音乐与世界合流作出不可磨灭的供献。
Originated in Suzhou, the speaker Mr. Y.C. Pan is the nephew of the two Wu brothers. Born in Xikang (now part of Sichuan), he moved to Taiwan at age 5. After earning a BS degree from Taiwan Normal University, he immigrated to the US where he received an MS degree in Math from the University of Massachusetts. He taught at the American International College for 6 years before entering the financial data processing sector, concentrating in security related fields, in the US, Taiwan and Mainland China until the early years of the 21st century.