Before joining the University of Maryland faculty in 2007, J. Lawrence Witzleben taught ethnomusicology and Chinese music at the Chinese University of Hong Kong for nearly two decades, where he also directed the Chinese ensemble and Javanese gamelan. He has studied Chinese music theory and performance in Taipei, Honolulu, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, and is the author of Silk and Bamboo Music in Shanghai: The Jiangnan Sizhu Instrumental Ensemble Tradition (Kent State, 1995), the recipient of the 1996 Alan Merriam Prize (for the best scholarly monograph in the field of ethnomusicology) from the Society of Ethnomusicology. He also co-edited (with Robert C. Provine and Yosihiko Tokumaru) the East Asia volume of the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music (2002). His current research centers around long-term changes in Chinese instrumental performance, including presentation, repertoire, gender issues, popularization, and cross-cultural and intercultural fusion. His other interests include music of Southeast Asia, music and film, popular music and jazz, and the reception and transformation of ethnomusicology in Asia and elsewhere.
Dr. Witzleben is the incoming editor of Ethnomusicology (the journal of the Society for Ethnomusicology, published by the University of Illinois Press), a newly-elected member of the Executive Board of the International Council for Traditional Music, and the Vice-Chairman of that organization's Musics of East Asia Study Group. He is also the current Director of the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Maryland.