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Mariinsky Theater Orchestra stages family concert

Reporter: Song Wenjing 丨 CCTV.com

10-27-2016 01:15 BJT

Kids at the park? Yes. But little kids at classical music concerts? Not so common. In fact, some concert venues over in Shanghai even ban small children. But the Mariinsky Theater Orchestra from Russia has staged a family concert at the Shanghai Grand Theater, featuring the famous symphonic tale "Peter and the Wolf". The public welfare concert was also part of the 18th China Shanghai International Arts Festival.

"Peter and the Wolf" tells the story of how Peter, a young pioneer, fights a wolf with his animal friends. The story was narrated by Wang Yong, president of Shanghai Music Conservatory, and accompanied by the Mariinsky Theater Orchestra with world-renowned conductor Valeny Gergiev taking the baton. The concert also included an interactive section that taught children some basic music knowledge. Every character is represented musically by a different instrument. For example, Peter is represented by a bowed string instrument, a bird by the flute, and the hunters' shots were depicted by a bass drum.

"The narrator was humorous. I like the sounds of the instruments, and I can hear them clearly. I like the sound of the bird most, which was represented by a flute. It's beautiful," said Tu Yijia.

"Like the sound of the bass. It is rich and vivid," said Wang Jingqi.

Around 50 families with children with autism attended the concert. The mother of a 14-year-old autistic boy says music plays an important role in her son's life.

"Every time my son listens to a concert, he is calm and concentrated. Music is a universal language. Although he still doesn't talk much, I believe he can feel the emotions," said Zhang Jinhong, mother of autistic child.

Normally, a concert is more than 90 minutes, and a symphony alone can run over 20 minutes. But this one lasted just 45 minutes. Organizers say children have a limited attention span, so they wanted to shorten the show.

"It's rare for us to invite a world-renowned orchestra like the Mariinsky to perform a family concert. Each ticket costs only 80 yuan. In fact, the conductor proposed the idea. Family concerts play a very important role in music education in St. Petersburg,"
said Zhang Xiaoding, GM of Shanghai Grand Theater.

"It will be special feeling emotionally and artistically for all people involved. For artists, for the public, for organizers. I also much hope that children will much remember this "Peter and the Wolf", said conductor Valery Gergiev.

The Mariinsky Arts Festival features seven performances in three sets at Shanghai Grand Theater. It's been 17 years since Mariinsky Theater visited Shanghai with its orchestra, ballet and opera house. The artists also presented Tchaikovsky's opera "The Queen of Spades", which was based on a Pushkin novel.

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