Composer and conductor Tan Dun highlights Chinese musical culture with concert staged in Philadelphia

Source:Xinhua Published: 2019/10/15 18:03:40

Photo: Courtesy of Beijing Music Festival

A special one-night-only concert celebrating China's musical culture was staged on Saturday night at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia.

This China Night concert, performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra and led by internationally acclaimed Chinese composer and conductor Tan Dun, featured several works by renowned Chinese musicians, including Tan's triple concerto Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon as well as 100 Birds Flying Towards the Phoenix, arranged for the traditional horn instrument suona and orchestra by Chinese composer Guan Xia.

The program concluded with the North American premiere of The Song Lines of China, a vocal concerto composed and performed by Chinese vocalist Tan Weiwei.

"I think the way they are blending the sounds, not only Chinese sounds but all over Asia with other sounds, is fantastic. I absolutely love it," Nancy Carra, a Philadelphia resident, who is also a fan of the Chinese culture, told the Xinhua News Agency.

"The compositions which have profound Chinese cultural elements reminded me of my homeland," said Pang Shiquan. Pang, born in China but living in the US for 25 years, came to the concert with his friends from the neighboring state of New Jersey.

"It's a very powerful statement artistically, and an evening of great significance and great collaboration both exploring musical culture in America and China," Matias Tarnopolsky, president and CEO of The Philadelphia Orchestra told Xinhua.

"China has been such an important part of our history for almost 50 years, and we love the connecting of our people and cultures through the music of The Philadelphia Orchestra," he added.

Founded in 1900, The Philadelphia Orchestra made a historic visit to China in 1973, becoming the first US orchestra to perform in the People's Republic of China (PRC). Since then, its frequent visits to China have served as a bridge for bilateral cultural, educational and people-to-people exchanges.

The concert on Saturday demonstrated that melodies have the magic power to transcend language and culture, said Tan.

The event is part of an international cooperation project between the China Philharmonic Orchestra and six orchestras around the world, in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the PRC's founding. The Philadelphia Orchestra has been selected as the North American representative of the world tour.

More than 2,000 people attended the concert.

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