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Guitar virtuoso prepares to feed China's soul

By JULIAN SHEA in London | China Daily | Updated: 2022-05-07 10:35
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Guitar virtuoso Yang Xuefei says her guitar helps get her through the challenges of lockdown. [Photo provided to China Daily]

"Composers such as Beethoven never wrote for the guitar, not because they didn't like it, but because they didn't know how to play the instrument," she says. "John knows how the guitar works, and his music always has a melodic aspect that is missing from a lot of contemporary music.

"It's wonderful to have something to play with an orchestra, rather than just as a soloist, and John asked me to contribute a cadenza to the end, so I came up with something that incorporates folk tunes from all four parts of the United Kingdom."

Audiences in China will soon have a chance to hear how it sounds, as after a lengthy quarantine period, her latest tour starts at the end of May. It currently features 12 dates, but she is hopeful more might be added. "It depends on the local authorities, but once I'm there, hopefully the promoters might feel safe to add more shows," she explains.

The last two years have seen the world turn on its head, with performing opportunities limited, but Xuefei says her guitar helped get her through the challenges of lockdown.

"Music is food for the soul, and the guitar is so intimate as you have to hold it with your body. It's like pulling your heart strings-it helps to deal with difficult times," she explains.

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