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Sounds of spring enthrall audience in London

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-05-28 00:41

Xiao Di performs at her concert, themed "Spring, Songs, and Dances", at London's St Martin-in-the-Fields on May 24. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Melodious piano sounds drifted through the ancient church, carrying a vibrant and hopeful breath of spring.

A concert by pianist Xiao Di was held at London's St Martin-in-the-Fields on Friday afternoon, providing a feast for the ears that deeply resonated with attendees.

Themed "Spring, Songs and Dances", the concert drew inspiration from the latest album To Spring of Xiao, a Chinese British professor at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

The album includes her renditions of pieces by renowned composers as well as her own original compositions celebrating the season.

The concert featured several classics associated with spring, such as Grieg's To Spring, Ireland's The Island Spell, and Albeniz's Asturias, each interpreting the season in its unique way.

In addition, Xiao incorporated two Chinese folk songs into the repertoire: Autumn Moon on a Calm Lake and LiuYang River.

"These are traditional Chinese folk songs and I selected the versions that are better suited for piano performance, aiming to make them more accessible to non-Chinese audiences. The positive feedback I received today was very encouraging," Xiao said.

Xiao's concert attracted applauses long after the performance concluded.

"She is elegant, her music is beautiful, and her fingerwork is unsurpassed. I could capture the nuances of the season portrayed in her work," said an audience who gave her name as Elaine.

Bill Good, another audience at the concert, said: "Xiao is turning the music into different sort of sounds and fields, and I could visualize myself by the flowing lakes or rivers in her portrayal of these two songs."

Having lived overseas for nearly two decades, Xiao sees herself as a cultural ambassador bridging China with the world.

"It's my duty to introduce Chinese culture to Western audience through music, and I take this role very seriously. This is also the reason why I always include traditional Chinese songs in my concerts," Xiao said.

Xiao said she hopes to use music to unite people, celebrate diversity, and highlight commonalities, ultimately making the world a better place. "Spring symbolizes rebirth and hope. In a world full of conflicts, we must yearn for spring," she said.

Jiang Duo contributed to this story.

Counselor Hua Mei, wife of Chinese Ambassador in the UK Zheng Zeguang, and Xiao Di pose for a photo after the concert on May 24. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]


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