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A well-orchestrated gathering

Updated: 2024-04-12 08:18 ( China Daily )
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Conductor Pang Kapang performs at the opening concert on March 31. [Photo by JIANG DONG/CHINA DAILY]

"It was magical to have the orchestra perform under the batons of the five conductors, who each has a different style and interpretation of the music. It felt like listening to five different orchestras over the course of one night," says Zhao.

According to Wang Luli, deputy director of the program management department at the NCPA, the concerts during the festival bring established and young musicians together, to play classic pieces that display the essence of traditional Chinese music, and also play contemporary pieces to show the creativity of ancient Chinese instruments. A varied format, alternating from solos and duets, to ensemble performances, makes the festival a great chance for people to enjoy and rediscover the beauty of traditional Chinese music.

"For me, performing during this event in Beijing is like coming home," says conductor Yan, 70, who served as the principal conductor and artistic director of the China National Traditional Orchestra before he joined the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra in 1997. "Traditional Chinese music is well-preserved and is performed widely by Chinese orchestras located around the world, which sends a message about the lasting impact and popularity of traditional Chinese instruments. I am very proud of it."

On April 20, Yan will lead the Beijing Chinese Orchestra in a concert, featuring pieces on the theme of the four seasons. Since the concert will take place a day after Grain Rain — the sixth of the 24 solar terms — which marks the end of spring, pieces will include Ode to Spring and Moonlit River in Spring.

At the concert on March 31, Yan performed Happy Gathering, an excerpt from his original suite, Hainan Fengqing (The Charm of Hainan), with the China National Traditional Orchestra. He says that he composed Hainan Fengqing during a trip to the island province in southern China, where he was inspired by local folk music and dances.

"Since Hainan Fengqing has not yet been performed, it was a premiere for Happy Gathering, which I am honored to present in Beijing," adds Yan.

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