Culture\Music and Theater

Musical reunion

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-10 07:47

Musical reunion

Lyu Jia takes the baton of the Global Chinese Orchestra to perform at the annual Beijing concerts that gather overseas Chinese and returned musicians, who have studied and worked abroad for years. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Every year, overseas musicians return to China to perform as the Global Chinese Orchestra with musicians based here. Chen Nan reports.    

When the Global Chinese Orchestra performed at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing on Sept 27, audiences enjoyed a varied program. It included Scheherazade by Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, the fourth movement of Beethoven's Symphony No 9 in D Minor and Racing Horses, an original Chinese piece for the erhu (two-stringed fiddle) by Chinese composer Huang Haihuai.

For the musicians of the Global Chinese Orchestra, which also performed at the Wei Lai Theater of the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation on Sept 28 and Tsinghua University on Sept 29, the concerts were an opportunity to play together, with many coming home from overseas to perform.

Half of the musicians of the Global Chinese Orchestra are overseas Chinese. They are members of Western symphony orchestras and live abroad. The other half have studied and worked abroad for years, but they've returned to China and are members of Chinese orchestras.

"Every September, the overseas musicians return to their home country to perform as the Global Chinese Orchestra with the musicians based here. It's more like a reunion party," says conductor Lyu Jia, who is the president and artistic director of the orchestra. "We choose repertories that combine original Chinese works with Western classical pieces."

Initiated by the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council, the Global Chinese Orchestra has performed every year in China since its founding in September 2015.

Lyu says that the annual concerts have each had different themes. For example, last year, which marked the 400th anniversary of the death of the English playwright William Shakespeare and Chinese Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) playwright Tang Xianzu, the orchestra played such works as Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet and Wan Fu, an aria from the original Chinese opera, The Peony Pavilion, composed by Chinese musician Ye Xiaogang with the libretto by Tang. This year, the theme is the Silk Road.

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