China orchestra plays in Washington

Updated: 2014-11-04 12:21

By Hua Shengdun in Washington(China Daily USA)

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 China orchestra plays in Washington

Lu Jia (center), chief conductor of the China National Center for the Performing Arts Orchestra, and his fellow musicians face the audience after the orchestra's first-ever performance at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington on Monday. Provided to China Daily

Symphony's 1st trip to America also marks 35th year of diplomatic ties

The China National Center for the Performing Arts Orchestra's first trip to North America also has served to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United States.

The orchestra performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington on Monday evening on the second stop of its Nov 2-13 tour, after Chicago on Sunday.

China orchestra plays in Washington

"This is a chance not only for our orchestra's own improvement, but also for the world to see the glory of China," said Ren Xiaolong, managing director of the orchestra. "The NCPA Orchestra is composed of the most talented and outstanding young musicians in China, with an average age of about 31, representing the highest level of classics performing in China."

Star pianist Wang Yujia soloed on Ravel's Piano Concerto in G major. The San Francisco Chronicle has written of her "practically superhuman keyboard technique".

Led by chief Conductor Lu Jia, the program also included Chen Qigang's Wu Xing (The Five Elements) suite for orchestra and Dvork's Symphony No. 8.

Composed of five short movements symbolizing the five elements - water, wood, fire, earth and metal - in traditional Chinese culture, Wu Xing embodies a fusion of Eastern philosophical emotion and Western musical expression of the French composer Olivier Messiaen.

"The cultural exchanges between the two countries have made unprecedented achievements with regard to amount, scale and frequency and have become an important way to enhance the mutual understanding between the Chinese and American people," said Cui Tiankai, China's ambassador to the US, who attended the concert.

"It has become the mutual objectives of the people of both countries to build a new model of the China-US relationship, and joint efforts have been made to expand and deepen the communication and cooperation in various fields, Cui said. "Music is the language for spiritual communication."

"I am sure that listeners in Chicago, Washington, D.C., New York and Philadelphia will enjoy the opportunity to hear the talented musicians in the NCPA Orchestra," Max Baucus, US ambassador to China, wrote in the program.

"It's a wonderful show," said Wang Hongjie, a Tsinghua University graduate student from Beijing who attended the concert. "Pianist Wang Yujia's performance reflected the vigor and passion of the young Chinese generation and inspired me as one of her peers as well."

The Philadelphia Orchestra's landmark tour to China in 1973 opened a long-term musical collaboration between the two countries.

The tour will continue to New York, Philadelphia, Ottawa, Toronto, and Montreal.

Sheng Yang in Washington contributed to the story.