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A well-orchestrated gathering

Updated: 2024-04-12 08:18 ( China Daily )
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A concert by the China National Traditional Orchestra on March 31, featuring five conductors from China and abroad, marks the start of the second Spring of Traditional Chinese Music festival. The festival, which runs until April 27, will feature 19 concerts. [Photo by JIANG DONG/CHINA DAILY]

Recognizing the rising popularity of traditional Chinese music, which has been winning over a growing number of fans, especially young people, in 2022, the China National Traditional Orchestra and the National Centre for the Performing Arts launched a festival titled Spring of Traditional Chinese Music.

Now, two years later, the second iteration of the festival has begun. The monthlong celebration of Chinese musical heritage runs from March 31 to April 27 and will feature 19 concerts performed by 15 orchestras from the Chinese mainland, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Taiwan, as well as Singapore.

"When we made plans for the opening concert for this year's Spring of Traditional Chinese Music, we had five conductors in mind. They represent the top level of traditional Chinese music, not only at home, but also abroad," says Zhao Cong, a veteran pipa (a four-stringed lute) player, who is also the president of the China National Traditional Orchestra. "We are very excited that they are all attending the festival.

"As a musician who has been playing the pipa ever since I was a child, I am so happy to see that traditional Chinese music has become popular among young people, with a greater number of people listening to, and learning, these old instruments," says Zhao.

The five conductors are Liu Sha, who is the principal conductor of the China National Traditional Orchestra, Liu Chiang-pin, artistic director and conductor of the Hsinchu City Youth Chinese Orchestra, Pang Kapang, who is the chief conductor and artistic director of the Suzhou Chinese Orchestra, Yan Huichang, the artistic director and principal conductor of the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, and Tsung Yeh, who is the conductor emeritus of the Singapore Chinese Orchestra.

During the opening concert at the NCPA, they shared the stage by conducting the China National Traditional Orchestra, with each of the conductors choosing a program of pieces lasting about 20 minutes.

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