Pear Garden
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese

The Liyuan or Pear Garden was the first known royal performing arts and musical academy in China. Founded during the Tang dynasty by Emperor Xuanzong (712–755),[1] it is an example of an early institutional academy of performing arts and music.

The Tang dynasty (618–907) is sometimes known as "The Age of 1000 Entertainments". Emperor Xuanzong (also known as Ming Huang) established schools in the palace city Chang'an (now Xi'an) for performances in music, dancing, and acting. Three hundred musicians and performers were trained annually under the supervision of the emperor, who sometimes joined in the training as well as the performances.[1] The Liyuan/Pear Garden, so named after the pear trees planted inside, was an acting school established to produce a form of drama that was primarily musical, although this suffered from the vicissitudes of the An Lushan Rebellion. Performers were commonly called "Liyuan Disciples/Children of the Pear Garden", and in later dynasties the phrase "Liyuan/Pear Garden" has been used to refer to the world of Chinese opera in general.

See also


  1. ^ a b Tan Ye (2008). Historical Dictionary of Chinese Theater. Scarecrow Press. p. 223. ISBN 978-0810855144.