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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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Greek American musician Yanni plays keyboard at the festival in 2019. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The festival has previously invited foreign artists such as Japanese director Shunji Iwai and his group Hec&Pascal, Greek American musician Yanni, Swedish guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen, Singaporean singer-songwriter Yida Huang and Croatian pianist Maksim Mrvica to perform in Beijing.

Jiang shares his observations of the past decade of live pop music performances in China.

He says there is a growing enthusiasm for live shows but expresses concern over the homogeneity and lack of innovation in music festivals.

"Many new bands and singers who are entering the market through short-video platforms, online talent shows and gigs at livehouses have not yet reached the required level of professionalism," he says.

Japanese musician Shinji Tanimura singing at the festival in 2018. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Despite this, Jiang, who has been involved in pop music production and music event planning for a long time, remains optimistic about the future of China's pop music.

"I've noticed that many teenagers are excellent at playing musical instruments," he says. "The future looks promising, given the continued involvement of a new generation of young pop musicians."

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