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Classical 01/11/2023

2023 Beijing Music Festival Brings Music From East And West To The Limelight

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2023 Beijing Music Festival Brings Music From East And West To The Limelight
BEIJING, CHINA (Top40 Charts) Young musicians from around the world shone at the 2023 Beijing Musical Festival, which spanned 24 days and concluded on Oct. 15. With the theme of "Music, Youth, Future, Attitude," the festival featured 28 performances of various classical music forms, spotlighting young classical musicians.

"China's classical music culture is at a turning point," said Long Yu, chairman of the festival's artistic committee. "The Beijing Music Festival serves as the starting point for young Chinese musicians worldwide to enter the global stage and contribute to a new chapter of China's music industry."

The festival opened with the world premiere of the symphonic suite Homage to Liu Tianhua, in memory of China's modern music pioneer Liu Tianhua. It was composed by Zou Ye and is based on Liu's instrumental music. "I was deeply moved by the concert," said Zou. "I wrote it not only to commemorate the institute but to pay tribute to every generation of Chinese musicians over the past century."

Young musicians performing at the festival included Zhang Haotian, piano; Mo Mo, cello; and Mei Diyang, viola. Diyang, 29, is the principal viola of the Berliner Philharmoniker. At a Sept. 26 jazz concert the cellist Laufey Lin performed with the China Philharmonic Orchestra under Jin Yukuang. Jin and Lin are both 23.

The Shanghai Quartet returned on Oct. 2, performing Stravinsky's Pulcinella Suite and John Adams' Absolute Jest with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. The concert was conducted by Sun Yifan, 29. From Oct 10-13, the Mahler Foundation Festival Orchestra performed three concerts with a "Dialogue with Mahler" theme, led by the British conductor John Warner.

Another highlight was the symphonic dance The Monkey King, composed by Liu Sola and inspired by the classic animated movie. The composition incorporates numerous elements of traditional Chinese music. "Both commissioned works demonstrate our reverence to the country's profound historical culture," Yu said. "Our generation of Chinese musicians must create works of the era and pass them down to future generations."

On Sept. 30, Beijing's Poly Theatre staged Pastoral for the Planet, a visual symphony by Spanish avant-garde theater troupe La Fura dels Baus. Three concerts were also held at the Divine Music Administration of the Temple of Heaven, the highest ritual music academy during the Ming and Qing dynasties. The festival concluded with the BMF Festival Orchestra Gala.

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