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Setting out a new score

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2019-12-02 08:25
Mariinsky Orchestra stages a performance under the baton of Valery Gergiev at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing on Tuesday.[Photo provided to China Daily]

"We are excited to see that this great venue, though relatively young compared to many other world famous theaters and concert halls for classical music, is inspiring a growing interest in classical music among young people," says Wang, adding that the NCPA has been making a push to get classical music out of the theater and perform in museums, galleries, subway train stations and schools-which all offer new venues to enjoy the sounds of classical music.

Technology is also helping classical music to expand its audience, Wang says. Over the past five years, the number of people watching the livestreaming NCPA performances has increased from 2.83 million to 23 million.

One of the most-watched concerts of 2019 was that of the Philadelphia Orchestra performing under the baton of its music director Yannick Nezet-Seguin on May 17 and 18, which attracted an audience of 1.2 million viewers online.

During the forum, Wang also initiated an alliance of symphonic music, which calls for the sharing of online streaming resources, recordings and to build platforms for exchanges and development in the global performing arts industry.

The importance of classical music getting out of the concert hall was noted by the speakers, which is seen as a great way of connecting classical music with a wider audience.

"In a time where arts institutions battle to sell tickets, we want to share music with people who cannot go to concert halls, such as patients in the hospitals and retired soldiers and members of the armed forces. Classical music should play its role in communities," says Gary Ginstling, executive director of the National Symphony Orchestra, a private company headquartered in Washington, DC in the United States.

The orchestra is set to tour Japan and China in spring, and Italian conductor Gianandrea Noseda, who is also the music director of the National Symphony Orchestra, will lead a complete cycle of Beethoven symphonies in May and June to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the composer's birth.

According to Jonathan McCormick, director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Negaunee Music Institute, an educational and community-engagement wing of the ensemble, Chinese American cellist Yo-Yo Ma became the orchestra's creative consultant in 2009 and his work "has focused on mentoring the musicians and encouraging them to make their musical journey bigger than themselves, to get outside of the ever-solitary practice room and hone their craft, organically, in their communities".

"As Yo-Yo Ma said, 'If you want to expand your musicianship, explore your humanity'," says McCormick.

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