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Shenzhen hosts 'Belt and Road' International Music Festival


03-28-2017 08:08 BJT

(Source: CGTN)

In ancient times, the Silk Road played a central role in connecting the cultures of the East and West. The route's modern day equivalent, China's 'Belt and Road' initiative, is certainly following in its predecessor's footsteps and this next event highlights just that. The very first "Belt and Road" International Music Festival kicked off in southern China's Shenzhen over the weekend. Taking people on a wide-ranging musical journey across Eurasia and beyond, the three-week event features 16 concerts by over 700 musicians from nearly 30 countries along the "Belt and Road" route.

Saturday's opening concert wowed audiences, thanks to performances by outstanding artists from a myriad of countries including China, Spain, Vietnam, India, Thailand and Canada. A wide variety of artists took to the stage, with shows ranging from aria "Habanera", Bizet's opera "Carmen" to the choral finale of Beethoven's "Symphony No. 9".

The suona solo "A Hundred Birds Worshipping the Phoenix" was one of the hits of the night.

"Suona is a musical instrument first introduced to China from the Persian and Arabian areas. Its performance on the "Belt and Road" event's stage reflects the cultural exchanges along the Silk Road," Chinese Suona soloist Zhang Qian Yuan said.

And a melting pot of musical cultures seemed to be the theme being echoed throughout the night, with Canadian diva Katherine Whyte's rendition of "the White-haired Girl" sung in Chinese, receiving rapturous applause.

Co-hosted by the city of Shenzhen's government and the Chinese Musicians' Association, the festival, running through to April 16th, aims to showcase the music of "Belt and Road" countries, and strengthen people's friendship across the region.

With this in mind, government subsidized ticket prices strive to enable more people to attend the three-week musical event.

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