A group of 12 friends/co-workers currently scattered across New York, the Chinese mainland, Taiwan and Thailand are collaborating to design a dream "accordion-style" city that may be showcased in New York next summer.
China's modern history is messy, to say the least. As Orville Schell puts it, "It looks like a series of dead ends, failures, unsuccessful reforms, and halted resolutions." Despite 30-plus years as a China scholar and journalist, Schell admits, "I hadn't been able to really make sense out of it."
Two days before the Beauty of China, Show the World concert would debut in New York, a young Italian conductor, a 60-piece American orchestra and a 74-year-old Chinese pianist were working out their grooves.
Since Jeff Leung Chin Fung arrived in June for an arts residency in New York, he has seen the gay pride parade, witnessed the Fourth of July fireworks, lain in Prospect Park and enjoyed reading in the Brooklyn Public Library.
In 1908, the Austrian composer Gustav Mahler wrote "The Song of the Earth," an orchestral piece inspired by his reading of Hans Bethge's then recently published volume of translated Tang Dynasty-era Chinese poetry, "The Chinese Flute."