Global music festival tunes up

Updated: 2014-05-17 05:48

By HU HAIDAN in New York (China Daily USA)

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Yin Chengzong, Chinese pianist and composer of the Yellow River Piano Concerto; Pavlina Dokovska, winner of the Claude Debussy International Competition in Italy; Tang Diyi, silver medal winner at the prestigious Hilton Head International Piano Competition in South Carolina in 2006 and Vladimir Valjarevic, professor at Rutgers University.

These are but a few of the distinguished, international stars who will be conducting master classes at the upcoming ICN International Music Festival 2014 in New York City August 4 – 15.

Co-organized by Namei Group Inc and ICN TV Network, the festival will celebrate universal education in classical music.

Jessica Chao, CEO of Oriental Tour and Travel of the Namei Group Inc said the festival features piano competitions, piano master classes and visits to cultural landmarks such as the Manhattan School of Music, the Juilliard School and Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

"We hope the festival serves as a boost to help attract new classical music fans," Chao said, "especially those with different culture backgrounds, to understand classical music better.

"Experiencing Western culture, like visiting the Manhattan School of Music and joining master classes hosted by internationally renowned musicians, will help music fans better understand classical music," said Chao.

"We have invited several renowned musicians and international competition winners to performance and host master classes," she said.

"The highlight of the festival," Chai said, "is the piano competition, when 15-20 excellent contestants will be selected to perform at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall on Aug 9."

Chao also explained that even though the festival takes place in the US, all the musical fans in China are highly welcomed to join the piano competition and master classes.

Pavlina Dokovska said staging such a festival in New York is a wise idea as New York is the cultural center of the world.

"Music has to be in the context of its culture," Dokovska said. "For Chinese people who enjoy classical music, this is an ideal opportunity for them to experience Western culture and music.

"I appreciate the efforts that went into putting the festival together, and I will contribute as much as I can as a teacher," Dokovska added.

As a musician who has studied and performed both in China and the US, pianist Tang Diyi said master classes would pass along the message that "music is spiritual communication without cultural boundaries".

"Musicians will be able to not only enjoy master performances, but also be trained by masters," said Tang.

"Music is active," he added. "How a pianist understands a piece of music may differ from time to time, influenced by what he or she experiences. That's why the experience of training with masters and performing on stage at Lincoln Center are invaluable."

Global music festival tunes up

From left: Jessica Chao, CEO of Oriental Tour & Travel/Namei Group Inc; Tang Diyi, a US-based pianist; Pavlina Dokovska, chair of the Piano Department at Mannes College; and Sylvia Chang, Tang's wife, pose for a photo at the press conference for ICN International Music Festival in New York on Friday.The festival, which will emphasize the universal education of classical music, is co-organized by ICN TV Netweork and Namei Group Inc and will take place between August 4 and 15. [HU HAIDAN / China Daily]