left corner left corner
China Daily Website

Civil servant inspired by Greek composer

Updated: 2013-05-15 10:31
By Sun Ye ( China Daily)

Civil servant inspired by Greek composer

While it may not be unusual for a musician to say music is his life, it is rare to get such declaration from a senior civil servant, who describes himself as such a dedicated fan of Greek composer Yanni that he uses lessons learned from watching the Greek musician's videos to improve his work.

Zhang Mingyu works in Changchun, Jilin province. His day job is promoting the city's various cultural and art events as an official with the local government's publicity department.

In his spare time, the 50-year-old listens to Yanni's music, which he fell in love with 15 years ago.

He has published essays and a book on his understanding of the musician.

The book, Elegant Music and Intimate Voice - Essays Inspired by the Music of Yanni, is a compilation of writings that discusses how Yanni has inspired Zhang and other fans.

Zhang says the artist inspired him to take a new approach to his day job.

"I work toward one goal, making art accessible and accepted by all," he says.

Zhang not only listens to Yanni for the enjoyment factor, but to study how the musician markets himself.

"Yanni is a great example of artistic promotion in the culture industry. I keep thinking, 'of all great musicians, why is he especially successful?'"

Zhang says there are two ways in which Yanni is effective in engaging with his audiences - interaction and choosing the right location.

"Yanni is very gifted in interacting with his spectators. He includes the audience in the filming of his concerts," Zhang says, adding that he experimented with this technique in last year's Promenade Concerts.

"It worked. Once the camera started rolling, the audience was immediately devoted," he says.

The filmed concerts then aired on television for wider distribution, another publicity technique Zhang learned from Yanni.

"I find broadcasting on TV and radio the best way to make art known to citizens," Zhang says.

The other method he learned is engaging with iconic landmarks.

"Yanni performed at the Forbidden City, at the Acropolis and the Taj Mahal, how eye-catching is that?" Zhang says. He has suggested the Changchun's summer concerts be staged in the city's sculpture park and art garden.

"The juxtaposition of different art forms will enhance one another," he says. "You can't wait to let others discover art, instead, we should actively promote it."

Zhang is currently working on staging an interactive music show for the city's migrant workers.

"The hardest thing is changing people's habits, we would like them to have art in their life," he says.

Zhang says music, especially Yanni's, has given him enjoyment, happiness and love. Combining his hobby and work is natural.

"I'm just a fan of Yanni who likes to think things through," Zhang says.

Civil servant inspired by Greek composer

Civil servant inspired by Greek composer

History in images

Adventure of a lifetime