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Chinese music students seek inspiration in Warsaw

Reporter: Li Qiong 丨 CCTV.com

06-18-2016 02:26 BJT

Many Chinese people will tell you that their first introduction to Polish art and culture is through the music of Frederic Chopin. A great number of his solo piano works are widely played all across the world, and are considered the classics of classical music. This has encouraged music students from around the globe to visit Warsaw to discover the roots of the great musician. Among them, are quite a number of Chinese students.

28-year-old Li Shihan is preparing for her graduation performace at the Frederic Chopin University of Music. She came all the way from China to Warsaw to get her graduate degree. Li has practiced the music long enough, but is still not one hundred percent satisfied with her playing.

Music students from around the globe to visit Warsaw to discover the roots of the great musician.

Music students from around the globe to visit Warsaw to discover the roots of the great musician.

"It requires the left hand to play very fast. The bassy part of the piano usually sounds louder than the high key area. And the fast notes make the sound even stronger, which affects the ear for the right-hand melody," Li said.

Li started learning the piano when she was 4. After finishing her master's degree at China Conservatory, China's top-level music school, the Chopin fan made her way to the Frederic Chopin University of Music. The school only recruites 10 overseas students each year, and Li was among the four Chinese students that were lucky enough to score a place.

Teachers in the school say Chinese students are advanced in the basic skills, but lack deeper understanding of the musical works.

"So the knowledge of it is very important......must know about it," said Prof. Elizbieta Karas-Krasztel, Frederic Chopin University of Music.

28-year-old Li Shihan is preparing for her graduation performace at the Frederic Chopin University of Music.

28-year-old Li Shihan is preparing for her graduation performace at the Frederic Chopin University of Music.

To feel the music instead of just getting every note right on the board, is what Li Shihan has been learning in Warsaw.

"I got to know more about the background of the music and tried to think about it from the Polish people's perspective. I could feel better why Chopin wrote each segment and rhythm like that," Li said.

The world famous music school is recruiting more and more Chinese students in recent years, which is believed to be an encouraging development.

"To know Polish and European culture......I invite you," Prof. Elizbieta Karas-Krasztel said.

Many overseas students say the diversity of Polish art and culture reflects the many aspects of Poland and its people, both in the past and today. And being at the heart of it all shows them what inspired and drove Chopin more than any textbook could.

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