Young European and Chinese classical musicians perform in Shanghai

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/7/11 16:23:40

The Second EU-China Orchestra Exchange Program is being held from July 5 to 13 in Shanghai, part of a two-year "Experience Europe" public diplomacy program run by the Delegation of the European Union to China to promote music communication and deepen understanding of each other's cultures.

European and Chinese youth musicians will perform joint rehearsals and performances involving their innovative interpretations of classical music's finest works from Antonio Vivaldi, Nikos Skalkottas, Béla Bartók and others.

Fourteen talents from the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO), where  players come from EU member states, will participate in the Shanghai outdoors Urban Music Lawn together with Shanghai Orchestra Academy (SOA).

Chinese violinist Chen Jingya and double-bassist Zhang Kaixuan will head to Europe to join a six-week European tour organized by EUYO, performing in Austria, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and the UK as part of the EU's 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage celebrations.

A media event was recently held to celebrate this exchange program, during which five talented musicians from the EUYO - Michiel Wittink (viola) and Rebecca Fransen (double-bass) of the Netherlands and Merike Heidelberg (viola) of Estonia - and local musicians from the Shanghai Orchestra Academy - Chen Jingya and Zhang Kaixuan - attended and shared their personal opinions about this program.

Music notes Photo: VCG

Special highlights

As Marshall Marcus, CEO of EUYO, remarked, this year's orchestra exchange program is especially exciting because of the newly added MISA (music in the summer air) event, a public outdoor festival committed to bringing world-class music by the finest performers outside and online for free.

"It presents a valuable opportunity to make classical music more accessible to diverse audiences outdoors and across the internet through live streaming instead of only in traditional concert halls," Marcus said.

Violist Wittink said that by going outside, they will reach more people to share their passions. Although the weather might be not pleasant (summer in Shanghai is quite hot and humid), he still regards it as a great opportunity and is looking forward to it.

"Because bringing music to please a wider audience is the obligation of a musician," Wittink said.

Dutch double-bassist Fransen also expressed her concerns about the Shanghai summer weather, saying that it can cause a performer's hands to become wet and sweaty.

However, as long as they stay hydrated and take other measures, the problem is expected to show the musicians' capabilities in different environments.

Heidelberg, who is keen on cooking during her spare time, compared food to music, saying that they prefer the taste for common people such as potatoes with beef in Estonia. "But when I go around the world, I can try different new food, new flavors. It's very similar to music."

Music also has no national boundaries as long as people play together to experience and enjoy the fun that music created, she added. "The same truth is that when people sit around and eat together, it's much easier to get close to each other."

"This is by far one of the most valuable experiences in my life as a musician," Wittink commented.

"We are able to eat, play and converse with local young musicians who have become great musical companions and life-long friends, about Chinese culture, which is a good opportunity to find the differences and the similarities in order to create more splendid and sincere music to the world."

A rehearsal Photo: Courtesy of Zheng Yi


Guests chatting Photo: Courtesy of Zheng Yi


A rehearsal before the performance Photo: Courtesy of Zheng Yi

This story was written by Li Yangyichuan.

Newspaper headline: Orchestral exchange


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