Boston Symphony makes China encore

Updated: 2014-05-06 09:05

By Chen Nan (China Daily)

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Boston Symphony makes China encore

This 1979 picture shows Seiji Ozawa performing in Beijing. STORY LITCH / For China Daily

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The mother of BSO's current principal harpist, Zhou Li, was among those guest Chinese musicians playing under Ozawa's baton. Young Zhou was 14 years old and studying pipa, a traditional Chinese stringed instrument.

"It was my first time seeing a Western orchestra playing in a live concert," recalls Zhou. "My parents recall that the concert was phenomenal since it was a rare opportunity for Chinese to connect with the West so closely."

Ding Xin, a violinist who joined the BSO in 1999, was a teacher at Central Conservatory of Music and left China in 1996 to further her studies in Houston and Boston before earning an artist's diploma from the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, just across the Charles River from Boston.

She says that at the beginning, it was quite challenging for her to adjust to the orchestra's intensive performances, four concerts a week on average.

"I have returned to perform in China, during a quartet tour with BSO colleagues in 2007, and the changes are huge," says Ding, who channels her passion into chamber music. "When I studied violin in China, everyone wanted to be a soloist and it wouldn't work to play in a group. But now things have started to change."

"Besides performing, I really look forward to going back to the Central Conservatory of Music," she says.

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