Beate Gordon Remembered

Beate Gordon





















Beate Sirota Gordon in the auditorium of Asia Society's New York headquarters in 1987. (Mark Stern)


Asia Society salutes the life and legacy of its former Performing Arts Director Beate Gordon (1923-2012). In the words of Asia Society President Emeritus Robert Oxnam, "Beate singlehandedly created the modern Western appreciation of Asian performing arts."

Gordon's career with Asia Society began in 1960, when, after several years with the Japan Society in New York City, she became a consultant to the Asia Society Performing Arts Program, expanding her activities from Japan to other Asian countries. In 1970, she was named full-time Director of the Performing Arts Program of the Asia Society in New York and, in 1987 became the Society's Director of Performances, Films, and Lectures, a position she held until her retirement in 1991.

New York Times obituary, 1/1/13
Asahi Shimbun tribute, 3/30/13 (PDF)

 Program from the Evening Memorial Ceremony

 Program from the Afternoon Memorial Ceremony



Video — Program

On April 28, 2013 Asia Society celebrated Beate Gordon's life and legacy with an afternoon-long program of live performances interspersed with speeches and video interludes.

This program was made possible in part by President's Forum, endowed by the Hazen Polsky Foundation.

Part I
Featuring Sonia Sotomayor, Eiko & Koma, Nicole Gordon, Kuang-Yu Fong, Robert Wilson, Yoko Ono, and Margaret Leng Tan.

Part II
Featuring Sukanya Rahman, Joel Sachs, Chey Chankethya, Yin Mei, Yoshito Ohno, and others.

Part III
With Parul Shah, Dick Cavett, Robert Oxnam, Vishakha Desai, Carolyn Maloney, and more.

Part IV
With Eiko & Koma, Robert Wilson, Somei Satoh, Sachiyo Ito, Paula Lawrence, and others.

Download the program notes

Video — Testimonials

Awaji (performance) (1 min., 30 sec.)



Awaji (tribute) (10 sec.)



Sin Cha Hong (2 min., 8 sec.)



Samulnori Hanullim (3 min., 22 sec.)



Kifu Mitsuhashi (2 min., 19 sec.)



Ohad Naharin (2 min., 17 sec.)



Yoko Ono (1 min., 46 sec.)



Somei Satoh (3 min., 36 sec.)



Sonia Sotomayor (4 min., 12 sec.)



Robert Wilson (5 min., 17 sec.)



Remembering 'Iconic' Beate Sirota Gordon, 1923-2012
Asia Society Director of Performing Arts Rachel Cooper, former Asia Society Presidents Robert Oxnam and Vishakha Desai, and others offer their tributes to Gordon.
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