Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français

Orchestra enchants NY with Chinese instruments

XINHUA | Updated: 2019-12-16 00:00
Share - WeChat

NEW YORK-John Queiroz, a teenager from New Jersey who plays saxophone in his school band, could not hide his excitement during the intermission of the concert by Beijing's Symphony Orchestra of the Central Conservatory of Music, or CCOM, at Carnegie Hall in downtown Manhattan.

"It's so amazing to see this kind of performance for the first time up front. I can just feel the atmosphere, the joy and the majesty. I feel the music in me," he said, adding that he was now interested in learning to play the Chinese bamboo flute.

This is the third year in a row that the CCOM Symphony Orchestra has visited New York. Since its establishment in 2016, it has performed more than 100 concerts for music lovers worldwide.

Yu Feng, CCOM's president and the conductor of Friday's concert, said his goal was to help the US public better understand and like Chinese folk music, and maybe learn to play it, through a decadelong program.

"This year we presented the works of eight of the most active and productive contemporary Chinese composers," Yu said. "The fusion of Chinese folk music with Western orchestral music is an exhibition of the innovative comprehension of ethnicity and humanity at large."

The two-and-a-half-hour concert featured players of traditional Chinese instruments, including bamboo flute players Fan Linfeng and Dai Ya, sheng player Zheng Yang, and pipa player Zhang Qiang.

Hao Weiya composed music for the bamboo flute and the orchestra, The Dream of Peony Pavilion, which was performed at the concert. He said the concert was an illustration of China's conception of the world music and an embodiment of China's pursuit for a harmonious world.

"All nations and all eras make their own contributions to the music world based on their own understanding. The music we listen to today is the work of humanity over the ages," Hao said.

Guo Wenjing composed The Sorrowful, Desolate Mountain, which was also performed at the concert. The composer said the synthesis of Western orchestral and Chinese folk music not only enriched the former, but also gave the latter greater exposure to Western audiences.

Ekaterina Zarudnaya, a Brooklyn resident who originally came from Sochi, Russia, called the concert "an amazing piece of Asia and of China".

"Whenever the West and the East combine, it's a great experience," she said.

Many in the audience found music from the sheng-one of the oldest Chinese musical instruments that dates back more than 3,000 years ago-extraordinary.

Speaking about the instrument, sheng player Zheng Yang said: "Though it is small in size, the sound effects of the sheng really brings Western orchestral and Chinese folk music together. Sheng belongs to China, but it also belongs to the world."

The performance, presented by MidAmerica Productions, or MAP, an independent producer of choral concerts at Carnegie Hall, also opened MAP's 37th annual concert season.

Speaking about the show, Peter Tiboris, MAP's general director and music director, who had conducted the CCOM Symphony Orchestra on a visit to China earlier this year, said: "The work of the composers (at the show) represents not only the best of China, but is some of the most interesting music being written today."

Each work in the program offered a unique perspective on how the modern symphony orchestra can express a Chinese sensibility, Tiboris said.

Timothy Dillon, a local engineer, said at the end of the concert that he was very impressed with the show. "I think Americans should take a bit more time to understand different cultures," he said.


Today's Top News

Editor's picks

Most Viewed

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349