Youthful orchestra keeps tradition alive

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Suhasna Liyanaarachchi, a student at New Brunswick High School in New Jersey, plays the erhu with the Bard Youth Chinese Orchestra at the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College in New York on Friday. ZHANG RUINAN / CHINA DAILY

More than 50 Chinese students made their debut as the Bard Youth Chinese Orchestra (BYCO) on Friday night at Bard College in New York's Upper Hudson Valley, treating the American audience to melodic works with uniquely Chinese elements rarely performed in the US.


From the Anhui folk song Fen Yang Flower Drums to Silk Road, which shapes traditional Chinese instruments into a variety of Western styles, the concert featured a full ensemble including erhu, guzheng, pipa, xhongruan and dizi.


"The students in the BYCO are members of our summer academy program, which is part of our partnership with the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing," said Robert Martin, director of the Bard Conservatory of Music.


The Chinese Music Development Initiative, in which Chinese folk instruments are being formally taught in a Western music education system for the first time, was launched last year by Beijing's Central Conservatory of Music (CCOM) and Bard College Conservatory of Music and inaugurated in January at Bard.

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