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Asian-European Arts Festival opens in Beijing

2009-09-04 07:33 BJT

Special Report: ASEM Culture and Arts Festival |

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European musicians joined the China National Symphony Orchestra to open the first ever Asem Culture and Arts Festival in Beijing on Wednesday night. Led by renowned Chinese conductor, Chen Xieyang, the Asian-European Classical Symphony Concert pays homage to classical music from both East and West.

Just like the diversified origins of the artists, the opening night's repertoire promised an international scope from China's own Spring Festival Overture, to Joseph Haydn's trumpet concerto then on to a Puccini aria, followed by a Filipino country ballad.

The concert opened with the Spring Festival Overture, which is a lively orchestral work depicting the joyous scene of Chinese people celebrating the new year. The performance was followed with "Plum Blossoms" by famous Chinese Jinghu player Yan Shouping.

Vivaldi's Flautino Concerto in C Major was given a vivid and cheerful rendition by famous Danish recorder player Michala Petri. The artist is noted for her virtuosity and versatility across a wide range of styles, from the baroque repertoire of the height of the instrument's popularity to contemporary pieces. The Vivaldi piece was considered a classic among Baroque flute compositions for its pithiness and exquisite melody.

Germany's trumpet player Wolfgang Hunn, young Polish pianist Marcin Koziak were among the stellar cast of Wednesday night's performance.

The performers felt privileged to participate in the multi-cultural event.

Nina Dugarjav, chairperson from Mongolia National Song and Dance Ensemble, said, "We attended the Asian Arts Festival in China's Ordos last month. So, we have brought distinctive Mongolian music: Long Song, Humai, and many more."

The first Asian-European Arts Festival is a concrete result of the 7th Asia-Europe Summit Meeting held in October of 2008. During that meeting, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao proposed to establish the ASEM Culture and Arts Festival, and that it should be hosted on a rotating basis. This inaugural concert takes the theme of "Sharing Diversity and Innovation."

Organizers hope that the festival celebrates cultural diversity, and strikes a musical chord to link countries on both continents.

Editor: Zhao Yanchen | Source: CCTV.com