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Orchestra mixes folk, traditional music

Updated: 2021-10-30 10:21 ( China Daily )
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The Zhuhai Traditional Chinese Orchestra made its debut in Beijing with a concert held at the National Center for the Performing Arts on Friday.

The orchestra performed under the baton of conductor Liu Sha with a symphonic suite titled Zhuhai and Macao: Past and Future.

Featuring 14 pieces, the symphonic suite, with lyrics by Zhu Hai and music by Meng Weidong and Li Fubin, combined elements of traditional Cantonese folk music, Cantonese opera and Western music.

The chorus of the Beijing-based Central Conservatory of Music also performed.

According to Zhang Tianyu, president of Zhuhai Traditional Chinese Orchestra, the concert was launched to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of the return of Macao to the motherland as well as show the dynamic culture of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

"Each musical piece of the symphonic suite tells the achievement and great changes of Macao after returning to its motherland," Zhang said.

Zhang added that Zhuhai Traditional Chinese Orchestra is one of the youngest orchestras of the country, with an average age of under 26.

The orchestra was launched two years ago as a main part of Zhuhai Performing Arts Group.

"Those young musicians have learned and fallen in love with Guangdong music. Eighty percent of them don't speak Cantonese, but during the past two years they've learned to sing Guangdong folk songs in Cantonese. With the shows in the capital, we want to introduce and showcase the beauty of Guangdong music," Zhang said.

The concert at the NCPA concluded the orchestra's shows held in the capital, said Chen Weian, general manager of Zhuhai Performing Arts Group.

The series of shows kicked off with a concert held in Beijing on Oct 20, titled The Music of the Greater Bay, with Zhuhai Traditional Chinese Orchestra performing under the baton of conductor Li Fubin, also a professor at the Xinghai Conservatory of Music in Guangzhou. The concert offered audiences songs adapted from the folk music of Guangdong province as well as original songs with distinctive Lingnan (Southern China) regional culture, such as Cantonese opera, composed by Li.

"With the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the world's longest cross-sea bridge, having opened to the public in October 2018, people are more connected, which allows culture like music to be enjoyed by a wider audience," said Zhang.

On Oct 24, pieces by renowned Chinese composer He Zhanhao were performed in a concert held at Peking University in Beijing to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the birth of the Communist Party of China. The 88-year-old composer is known for his Chinese violin concerto Butterfly Lover and took the baton to perform with the orchestra in Zhuhai in July 2019.

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