Updated: 2012-10-12 08:03
Unconventional yet quite exceptional
The combination of flute, guitar and cello in a chamber concert is uncommon.
The Beijing Music Festival and UBS will bring Sir James Galway (pictured), guitarist Yang Xuefei and cellist Ma Xinhua together to perform at Wangfujing Church in Beijing.
The unique venue, celebrated musicians and interesting program make this a must-see show of the month-long festival.
Galway is the one-time principal flutist of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, whose solo turn has earned him worldwide acclaim as "the man of the golden flute" (or "magic flute"). The New York Times comments: "The flutist Sir James Galway, for all his popular and crossover success, is eminently capable of turning in a high-minded, straitlaced performance".
British Classic FM magazine ranked Yang - a truly dazzling young Chinese guitar virtuoso - among the world's "100 Best Artists".
Ma is the China Philharmonic Orchestra's formal principal cellist and one of the country's best.
The program ranges from Piazzolla's Libertango to Villa Lobo's Latin-flavored From Bachianas Brasileiras and veers off to De Falla's Six Popular Songs.
7:30 pm, Oct 12. Wangfujing Church, Beijing. 010-6507-1833, 6593-0299 (English).
- Chen Jie
Art of diplomacy goes on display
The National Museum of China recently opened the regular exhibition State Gifts: Historical Testament to Friendly Exchanges.
The exhibition presents 611 gifts Chinese leaders have received during their diplomatic activities with 166 countries and international organizations since New China's 1949 founding.
The exhibits have been selected from more than 30,000 such gifts in the museum's permanent collection. Most are available for public viewing for the first time.
Those from New China's early years include a cast-iron sculpture, titled Taming a Horse, presented to Mao Zedong by workers at the Soviet Union's Ural Heavy Machinery Factory in February 1950 and a pair of porcelain swans US president Richard Nixon presented Mao in February 1972.
Among the latest state gifts on show are a jade goddess statue, given to Chinese President Hu Jintao by Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni in August 2005 and a blue-and-white porcelain pot Russian President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin gave Hu in June 2012.
"These gifts are a testament to the brilliant success of our country's diplomacy over the past 60-plus years and an expression of the friendly feelings between Chinese people and the peoples of other countries," museum director Lu Zhangshen says.
"(They) also reflect the diverse and unique cultures and arts of different countries and are of tremendous historical significance and artistic value."
9 am-5 pm daily, except Mondays and public holidays. Exhibition Hall 18, 3/F, North Area, National Museum of China, 16 East Chang'an Dajie, Dongcheng district, Beijing. 010-6511-6400.
- Zhu Linyong
Museum director's personal paintings
Few people know that Chen Xiejun, director of Shanghai Museum, is also an artist. He has been painting for the past few decades despite his busy schedule.
Art lovers can admire about 120 of his oil paintings at the Shanghai Art Museum until Oct 18. The exhibits include his early works created in the 1970s and more recent paintings.
Xu Jiang, director of the China Academy of Art, praised Chen's masterpieces for capturing the essence of his homeland's art and using Western oil painting style to present the Chinese spirit.
Chen says his creations are influenced by his old friends, Shanghai artist Chen Yifei and his younger brother Chen Yiming. "They've played an important role in my development as an artist," Chen says.
9 am-5 pm, until Oct 18. Shanghai Art Museum, 325 Nanjing Road West, Shanghai. 021-6327-2829.
- Zhang Kun
(China Daily 10/12/2012 page18)