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A well-orchestrated gathering

Welcoming musicians and conductors from China and Singapore, the second Spring of Traditional Chinese Music festival kicks off in Beijing, Chen Nan reports.

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2024-04-12 08:18
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Conductor Yan Huichang performs at the opening concert on March 31. [Photo by JIANG DONG/CHINA DAILY]

"Traditional Chinese music is a great medium for introducing Chinese culture, using instruments with hundreds or thousands of years of history and pieces that are performed worldwide," says maestro Yeh, 74, who led the Singapore Chinese Orchestra on its debut at the NCPA on April 5. Founded in 1997, the Singapore Chinese Orchestra is the country's only full-time professional Chinese orchestra. The Shanghai-born conductor took the reins of the orchestra in 2002 and in January 2023, was named conductor emeritus.

In 2022, conductors Lyu Jia and Li Xincao, who lead Chinese symphony orchestras and perform Western classical music, were invited to perform with traditional Chinese music performers. Their different approach to music provided audiences with a fresh perspective on traditional Chinese music.

On April 25, conductor Tan Lihua and the Beijing Symphony Orchestra will interpret traditional Chinese music pieces, merging the styles of the East and the West. Pipa player Wu Yuxia, guzheng (a zither-like traditional stringed instrument) player Wang Zhongshan, bamboo flutist Zhang Weiliang and erhu (a two-stringed, bowed instrument) player Song Fei will take part in the concert, playing well-known pieces such as Dream of Flying in the Sky and Moonlight Reflected on the Erquan Spring.

Zhao says that in 2022, a concert gathering a number of top Chinese pipa players to showcase the 2,000-year-old instrument ended the first Spring of Traditional Chinese Music.

This year, the guqin (a traditional seven-stringed zither), which was added to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2008, will be highlighted during the closing concert.

On April 27, about 20 eminent guqin players, including Wu Na, Chen Leiji and Ding Chengyun, will gather to perform with the China National Traditional Orchestra and soloists of other instruments, such as xiao (a vertical bamboo flute) player Wang Jianxin and hand drummer Li Congnong.

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