Orchestra festival to celebrate original works by Chinese composers

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The upcoming edition of the biennial China Orchestra Festival is a special one because it marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up.

Lyu Jia (left), artistic director of the China Orchestra Festival, and Ye Xiaogang (center), one of the composers whose works will be performed at the festival, attend a press at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. [Photo/China Daily]

Separately, the festival, which was launched in 2008 by the National Centre for the Performing Arts will also celebrate works by Chinese composers.

During the festival, which runs from April 6 to 28 at the NCPA in Beijing, nine Chinese symphony orchestras will perform 35 original works by 22 Chinese composers.

The festival's artistic director Lyu Jia, who will also be one of the conductors at the event, says: "This year marks the 40th anniversary of the country's reform and opening-up, which led to China opening up to the rest of the world, and a transformation of the economy.

"Musically, during the past four decades, the country's classical music scene also made great strides, and the compositions to be performed at the festival will reflect the achievements and the development of China's classical music."

The festival will open with a concert by the China National Symphony Orchestra under Tang Muhai, and will feature eight pieces, including Symphonic Opera of 3 Notes by Tan Dun, Casting Sword by Ye Xiaogang and Torch Festival by Wang Xilin.

The Chinese tenors Shi Yijie, Shen Yang and Liu Songhu will also take part of the concert.

Speaking about the festival's themes, composer Ye, 63, who is the chairman of the Chinese Musicians' Association and vice-president of the Central Conservatory of Music, says: "The year of 1978 is special to me because that was when I came to Beijing and began my studies at the conservatory. And from then on, I had the opportunity to learn music and speak through music."

Ye, who was born into a music-loving family in Shanghai, is regarded as one of the top Chinese composers of his generation.

Speaking about his work over the past few decades, he says: "I have traveled a lot and always wanted to compose because it felt like I was documenting the changes in the country.

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