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Orchestra festival to celebrate original works by Chinese composers

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2018-03-19 07:25

The NCPA Orchestra will perform works by several Chinese composers including Zhao Jiping, Chen Qigang and Guan Xia. [Photo/China Daily]

"I believe it's same for other Chinese composers, whose works will be performed at the festival."

Commenting on the global impact of Chinese composers, Ye, who says he traveled to the Tibet autonomous region seven times to compose the piece, Twilight of the Himalayas, adds: "Many Chinese orchestras have toured the world, but besides presenting Western classics they have always presented original works by Chinese composers to foreign audiences.

"We-both Chinese composers and symphony orchestras-have managed to start a conversation between Chinese culture and Western classical music."

Meanwhile, besides Casting Sword-from his symphonic poem commemorating Chinese writer, Lu Xun (1881-1936)-another of Ye's works, Songs from the Steppe, which was commissioned and first performed by the Baotou Symphony Orchestra at the NCPA in June 2017, will be performed at the NCPA event on April 20, this time by the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra.

Separately, the China Orchestra Festival will also offer a platform to the country's young homegrown symphony orchestras.

Among them will be the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra, which was founded at the end of 2016, and the symphony orchestra of the Central Conservatory of Music, which was established in 2017.

Speaking about the young talent, Chen Guangxian, the director of China's Symphony Development Foundation, a nonprofit organization, says that the number of symphony orchestras has grown dramatically in China over the past few years.

He says that there were around 30 professional symphony orchestras in China four years ago, with the number growing to 82 as of 2017.

"Over the years, more than 40 Chinese symphony orchestras have performed at the NCPA's China Orchestra Festival," he says.

"And we have many more young talents in the country, who are composers, conductors and instrumentalists," says Chen, who is also the director of Suzhou Symphony Orchestra.

Speaking about the Suzhou orchestra, he says that more than 60 percent of its musicians have spent time abroad, which gives the orchestra a different and vibrant quality.

In 2017, the orchestra toured Germany and France. And it will perform in Japan and Singapore later this year.

On April 28, the last day of the festival, the NCPA Orchestra will perform Zhao Jiping's Pipa Concerto No 2 and Violin Concerto No 1; Chen Qigang's Jiang Tcheng Tse for the collaboration of a Peking Opera style female singer, mixed chorus and symphony orchestra; and Guan Xia's Piano Concerto The Founder: Movement I, under the baton of Lyu.

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