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Pop goes the theater

Festival gives the mainstream music genre an unconventional home in venues in Beijing that typically host plays rather than concerts, Xing Wen reports.

By Xing Wen | China Daily | Updated: 2024-04-18 06:19
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This year marks the festival's 10th anniversary. It has already transitioned from a weeklong event to a year-round affair, featuring a range of activities, including pop music shows in theaters and livehouses, pop industry forums, exhibitions and salons.

Hong Kong singer-songwriter Ivana Wong raises the curtain of the 10th Beijing International Pop Music Festival with two solo concerts on April 11 and 12. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The opening performance of this year's festival took place on April 11 and 12 at Beijing's MAO Livehouse, and featured Hong Kong singer-songwriter Ivana Wong.

It was Wong's first time to perform for the festival.

Wong said before the concerts that during the event, she would perform work from different periods of her career, sharing with everyone the changes she has undergone as a music maker from the beginning until now.

She also expressed her delight at the opportunity to perform in Beijing.

"I feel that Beijing is a city rich in traditional culture and modern vigor. Such a contrast is very interesting. Similarly, making music requires innovation while preserving some traditions," she said.

Jiang, who has been involved in the pop industry for nearly three decades, emphasizes that as a national cultural center, Beijing has always played a significant role in the growth of pop music culture in China.

"Due to the cultural atmosphere of this city, lyrics by pop musicians who live in Beijing have tended to explore themes beyond just love. They often delve into contemplations on life from a humanistic perspective, and exhibit depth and literary qualities," he says.

Jiang also hopes that the Beijing International Pop Music Festival can help promote the capital's musical exchanges with foreign countries.

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