Shanghai music festival returns with young talents
Published: Mar 20, 2023 11:10 PM
Photo: Lu Ting/GT

Photo: Lu Ting/GT

Rising stars and new musical works from China's music circles finally debuted after a one-year break at the 38th Shanghai Spring International Music Festival, injecting a booster shot into Shanghai's recovering performing arts market and becoming the first major international art festival held in Shanghai since the country optimized its COVID-­19 management in January. 

Music enthusiasts packed the concert hall at the Shangyin Opera House on Monday evening for the opening performance, The Land of Rejuvenation, Symphonic Poem for the New Era, an original choral symphony created and performed by the Shanghai Opera House. 

A 70-something concert-goer surnamed Wang told the Global Times that this was the first time he had attended a show at the concert hall in his whole life, although he often listened to the festival music over the radio during his childhood.  

Until April 2, 42 performances - 32 musical and 10 dance performances - will be staged across the city to promote young talents and original works and demonstrate the vigorous vitality of contemporary music. 

With lyrics written by renowned Chinese writer Zhao Lihong and music co-composed by three well-known domestic composers, the opening performance showcased Shanghai's confidence and optimism. 

With a history of 64 years, the music festival has built a platform for young music talents. Fang Qiong, who participated in the musical festival back in the 1980s, said that sharing the stage with her students at the musical festival means a kind of inheritance.

Apart from new works and new talents, a slew of masterpieces will also be staged at the festival. 

Chinese violinist Lü Siqing will present Italian baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi's The Four Seasons with a brand-new interpretation. 

Conductor Yu Long will lead the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and cooperate with actress Sylvia Chang to perform German composer Felix Mendelssohn's score for William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream

As a musical festival that has introduced a slew of Chinese music talents to the world, the festival reveals the integration of Chinese and Western art and culture. 

Zheng Di from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, who played bamboo flute in the opening performance, said on Monday that the integration of Chinese and Western art can be heard in every piece of music in the choral symphony, which also shows the cultural confidence of the country.