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Festival marks key anniversary

Updated: 2022-09-27 08:19 ( China Daily )
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Yu (second from right), along with his colleagues, celebrate the 25th anniversary of the festival in Beijing. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Nonetheless, celebrations of the festival's 25th anniversary still went ahead with a concert at the Poly Theater in Beijing on Saturday, featuring the new work by Chinese composer Zhao Lin, Symphonic Poem: A Thousand Li (li is a traditional Chinese unit of distance) of Rivers and Mountains. It was the first time that the work was performed in Beijing.

Under the baton of conductor Yu Long, the China Philharmonic Orchestra performed in the concert, which was joined by top Chinese musicians, including Wu Tong, playing the sheng (a wind instrument and one of the oldest musical instruments in China), pipa player Zhao Cong, erhu player Lu Yiwen and pianist He Ming.

Based on A Panorama of Rivers and Mountains, the classic artwork by Wang Ximeng, who completed the landscape painting during the Song Dynasty (960-1279) at the age of 18, the music piece was commissioned by 23 Chinese symphony orchestras, premiered in Shanghai in August and later toured nationwide.

"The Beijing Music Festival, the first professional and international classical music festival in China, is a milestone for the country's classical music scene," says conductor Yu, who founded the festival in 1998. "The new work, A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains, is a tribute to history and times. With this work, we pay tribute to the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Music Festival, and also to the 25 years of the flourishing development of China's classical music scene."

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